Nature Gone Wild

by Beth on April 16, 2010

Did you know that wild animals are wild? And, apparently, they don’t necessarily care for humans. Now that spring is in full force, the animals are out and on the attack! On Monday, a friend and I were politely minding our own business while running around Medicine Lake when we ran into a ginormous swarm of gnats and other mysterious black bugs. It was like a scene from the movie The Birds. It was a huge cloud of bugs that felt like rain pelting us as we tried to get through it. I had to pull the collar of my shirt over my mouth and nose to be able to breathe. It took us a full mile to get out of it and I felt a little traumatized for the rest of the run.

On Wednesday’s runĀ and Thursday’s bike ride,we were greeted by the gentler side of nature. We saw a turtle, some turkeys, a pheasant and swans and none of them seemed to be out to get us. It was great to get back outside on my bike again. I have a new saddle and peddles and so far they both are working out great.

Nature was back with a vengeance today. We were running along a bike path and a goose was on our left and a lake was on our right. The goose started hissing as we approached but it stayed put. The second we passed it, it chased after us, hissing and flapping it’s wings. It took off and hissed at us as it flew overhead. I was screaming the whole time and praying that it wasn’t going to poop on us. That shot my heart rate right up there.

Mike nicely pointed out that maybe this was simply nature’s way of telling me to run faster. Thanks for that positive outlook, honey. Despite the onslaught of attacks, I had a great week of training. I lifted twice at the gym, ran 34 miles and rode 18 miles on the bike. Add in the two visits to the sports medicine doctor who is helping with my foot/hip/flexibility issues and it’s a wonder that I had time to keep the kids alive this week. Live they did and I even cleaned the house a little, too.

Everyone had great suggestions for races to add to my schedule. To me, racing is the party that makes working out worthwhile so I wish I could do them all. After looking at the family schedule and available races, I’ve settled on the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon on May 2nd. I’ve never done this race before, partly because it is usually the same weekend as Fargo which I’ve done the last three years, and partly because I heard the course was brutally hilly. Thankfully, it looks like they have pretty cool t-shirts and it is the 30th anniversary of the race so they are promising a great event. Even if the hills get me, it will be a great training run for the Minneapolis Half just a month later. Really, though, for this race it’s all about the t-shirt.


azrunning April 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I might have to look into that one although, like you, the family schedule gets in the way quite a bit and I already have a few races on the schedule.

Nat April 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Okay I am sure it wasn’t funny at the time but I laughed so hard when I read about the goose chasing you! :) I have heard great things too about that half! You will have fun!

I Run For Fun April 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

Ugh! I would have been totally traumatized by the bugs…and the goose too.

Yay! It’s so great to see you back in form again and running well. Go for that half! You can do those hills.

heather April 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I’ve been swallowing a lot of bugs lately – tis the season! I also almost hit a deer with my bike last week. That would not have been fun.

I’ve heard the Minneapolis half is hilly, so any hill run will be good training!

Bill (Love to Run) April 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Good Luck in the Lake Minnetonka Half. May the wild animals leave you alone your entire race!

The gnats are the worst. I do not run with sunglasses ever and when those sons of B get into my eyes, I have to stop and somehow pick their dead carcasses out right away. Ruins the whole momentum of a run.

Jean April 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Ah yes, the geese! ‘Tis the season. I have had one do the very same thing to me! They are a feisty bird. Wait until the goslings hatch (which will probably be quite soon, given how early everything else is). I usually try to stay clear of them when the little ones are around! :)

BrianFlash April 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Those freakin’ Canada Geese. They aren’t even really Canadian because they stay around here all year round.

Most dangerous animals on the trails because they won’t run when they see you coming.

mnsunshine April 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Glad you found a great shirt!

I love (usually!) our encounters with nature, too.

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