Friday, August 20, 2010

The problem with running in the dark... that you have to run with the other things that run in the dark.

We're headed camping this weekend, with my in-laws, for one last little hurrah before school starts back up. Normally I rest on Friday and do my long run on Saturday, but since we'll be somewhere in the middle of nowhere (okay not really nowhere, but close) and we won't have access to showers (ewww, after running 12+ miles I don't think so) and I'd rather not bathe in the river (that just might be taking "ice bath" to the extreme), I opted to get up early this morning to run.

It was soooo dark. I'm kind of afraid of the dark, not really, but kind of. Actually, I'm more afraid of the things that are in the dark. This morning, those things were raccoons. I'll be honest, I think they are really quite cute in the day time, but you turn off the sun and get their eyes glowing and it's a completely different story.

I opted to get my 12 miles in on the Ruth Bascom River Bank Trail that runs along the Willamette River. Lovely, lovely place to run in the sunshiny daytime but apparently hang out central for everything raccoon during the wee hours of the morning. They. Were. Everywhere. And they scared the crap out of me! (No, not literally.) I swear they kept coming from all over... making loud noises, shining their beady little eyes and one even growled/hissed/whatever it is raccoons do, at me. They were sneaky too, just when I would least expect it, they would make their move (i.e. shake around in the bushes and claw their way noisily up a tree) and give me another panic attack. My biggest fear was that some rabid raccoon was going to jump out of a tree on us (I had Jonny in the stroller) while his pals were biting at my ankles and I'd end up spraying myself with the pepper spray. (Does it even work on raccoons?)

Anyway, we made it through unscathed and unattacked and thanks to the adrenalin I had pumping, managed to run 13.11 miles in 1:52:01 (which was a 3 minute PR from last week). If you're keeping score, though, I think it's Raccoons 1, Laurie 0... and I'm not sure I'm up for a rematch. We'll see.

Happy Running... hope everyone has a great weekend. Watch out for the glowy eyed things in the dark.


P said...

EEK! Raccoons are pretty freaky stuff. I've seen a few coyotes in the early morning, too, which of course caused me to scream like a girl.
Glad you were unharmed (and had a smokin' fast time on your half-mary)! Have fun this weekend!

Rae said...

I got up and ran this morning instead of tomorrow too! Thankfully it wasn't dark and there were no scary eye-glowing raccoons staring at me! I did however hear a creature in weeds which scared me. :)

runningwithababyonboard said...

I love running in the dark, but only because it scares me... lol. I feel so much faster (which is still way slower than you... look at you and your speedy self WITH a jogging stroller, no less!).
Those raccoons are terrifying! Thank God they aren't around here... (I think!)

racing dawn said...

I'm pretty your sure you burned more calories just from anxiety! I'd be the same... I can freak myself so quick - I only run in the dark if no other choice - or if it's race morning! :) Way to be strong and get it in!

Heather said...

I will watch out. I have to start running at 4:30 AM now that school is starting and it is DARK!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

wow I love running in the dark, but that's because there are street lights not pitch black!

Tara said...

I love running in the dark, but not on trails in the woods! I would have been a little scared too with no lights and critters everywhere.

Nice run though, great PR!

ross88guy said...

Running in the dark is awesome but I always end up injuring myself even if I run with a head torch!

My <a href="> Running Blog </a>

ross88guy said...

Running in the dark is awesome but I always end up injuring myself even if I run with a head torch!

My Running Blog