Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long Runs and Guns

And I don't mean my biceps. I've been a longtime admirer of my biceps, as any of my closest friends and my mother can tell you, but this is not about those. We can save those for another day.

I ran a long run today. Probably my first real long run since June. In June I did a 10-miler (WHAT?) and lots of 9-milers, and then I had a lazy summer wherein I lost a lot of my fitness and the will to run. This included going on vacations and hating hotel gyms and not wanting to run outside in the Southern heat. This also included getting a dog who wanted to run, but couldn't run that far. I know, it's a load of excuses, but there it is.

So I've been trying to build my base of running back up because I want to run a half-marathon in January (WHAT?), and I have a training plan to start that begins the second week of November, but I have to build a solid base before then. Last week I ran 6.25 miles on Sunday, and today I was out to battle 7. I did it, which felt amazing, even despite the fact that I completely spaced on the knowledge that at about 6 or 7 miles, you begin to chafe. And it hurts.

But nevermind that, because what happened this morning is the run to end all runs (that sounds gross. Sorry.). Actually, it was at the beginning of my run, and I still busted out 7, so take that.

I ran around the big block first, knowing that I hate having to do an extra run around the block at the END of a run because then I feel tired and I just don't wanna. So I'm moseying along, like I always do, and a little black Honda starts driving by, really slowly. In fact, we're going about the same pace, although he pulls a little ahead of me. There are a few people in the car. They look nice. I'm used to slow cars because the roads here are bad and especially those low little cars, they have to go slow.

No big deal. The car is a little ahead of me on the right. I'm on the left side of the road. It stops a little ways up, in front of the church by our house and I think "oh, someone's getting dropped off at the church! How nice!" No. The guy rolls down his window..

and pulls out what looks to be a rifle. I am not even kidding. The first word that popped into my head was probably a word that I shouldn't post on this family-friendly blog. The second word that popped into my head was "Jesus" because I really wanted him to help me at that point. And I think then I seriously thought "okay. I knew this might happen someday - girl runner killed in foreign country". Then I look to where he's pointing the rifle - up at the electrical lines where there are birds.

The past few months we've heard lots of gunshots, and I even saw a guy standing out in his yard, pointing at some trees, and I assumed people were shooting at birds. It drives my dog crazy. Crazy with fear.

I had stopped running, staring at the rifle, with a terrified look on my face. The people in the car realize that I had stopped running, and start talking and motioning that I can go ahead. I ask if the gun is for the birds. He nods and smiles. I keep running, fully thinking he's gonna shoot me in my back or something. Nope. I don't ever hear the gunshot or see the car again.

Good golly. Nobody tell my grandma, kay?


  1. wow pookie! i'm glad you're ok! i promise i won't tell your grandma-how's your mom taking it?

  2. Whoa! I'd be off guard too.
    Are there crops growing there? A lot of people shoot cannons off here to scare the birds from the orchards/vinyards.

  3. yeah. I live in a huge agricultural valley - lots of tomatoes, onions, strawberries, zucchini, etc.