Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, being flexible helps you to stay quick on your feet… and may even keep you smelling better. Yes, this is a bit of a tease, but it does have some relevance.
Just before dawn I was out for my morning run with my trusty sidekick Sunnie (my yellow lab and constant running companion). About a mile into my run I caught a quick glimpse of something moving on the path ahead of me. At about the same time that my eyes began to focus my brain began to register what I was seeing, the unmistakable white stripe on the black tail sticking up in the air.…..SKUNK! A quick pivot put me into an immediate about face. Thankfully Sunnie hadn’t seen the skunk otherwise the chase would have been on and so would the STINK!
I am now running in the opposite direction. I get about 200 yards down the path when all of a sudden, Sunnie growls and takes off running toward the woods. Yep, another SKUNK! First, I yelled, “NOOO! Heel!” And then my fight or flight instinct kicked in… I RUN!!!!
Flexibility does not wait in situations like that. You either have it or you don’t. (Of course, the onset of a day’s worth of adrenaline didn’t hurt!) A few strides later I smell that distinctive odor. With miles ahead of me my only focus now was on an unavoidable tomato juice bath for Sunnie and the trashing of my favorite running clothes and shoes! Not a happy runner at this point.
As I continue to run the smell seems to dissipate. Not sure at this point if it is my wishful thinking or not, but I figured I might as well keep going. Thinking the worst is behind me, I start to smell the smell again, and it’s getting stronger. Putting two and two together I realize that it must be in front of me. Thankfully the sun had begun to rise, bringing enough light to see the now too familiar, dreaded black tail ahead of us on the trail. Cue the quick pivot change of direction again!
About a mile into yet another alternate route, I let down my guard and set in to enjoy the rest of the run. But no! Reminiscent (no pun intended) of a “B Horror” movie, the enemy kept popping up everywhere. It was after this final sighting that I decided home might be the only safe place at this point. Once I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that neither Sunnie or I were casualties of the “Stink”. All’s well that ends well.
But I did learn a few things…
- Flexibility is often needed when you may least expect it. This would include not only running from Skunks, but also avoiding things on your running path that come out of nowhere. But you can’t rely on what you don’t have. Therefore, flexibility preparation is critical. If you don’t prepare, injury beware!
- As my grandmother used to say, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. There are many things that might affect your training sessions, so being able to adjust your plan is essential to success. Again, being prepared is key.
- If there is one skunk around, there’s a good chance there are more!
- Running isn’t just good exercise and mind clearing, it can also be a real adventure.
OK, enough about the “stink scare”. Maybe next time I’ll take on less of a challenge. How about Achilles tendonitis?