Craig’s Corner: “Wild” encounters on the running trails.
The sad story here is that I think I jinxed myself into getting bit. Just yesterday, I was thinking about all my “wildlife” run-ins during my running and training this year for the OKC Memorial Marathon. I thought to myself, “I haven’t had an encounter with a coyote in a while.” Well little did I know I would have more than one wildlife encounter in one morning.
Sure enough Sunnie, my running buddy and dog, and I started our run one morning and we weren’t 200 yards in when I hear this yipping and barking. We were close to where we head down to the trails we run on, and it sounded kind of like a dog but a little different. Then…..the howling starts. There must have been a pack of them and they were LOUD, PROUD and CLOSE. Needless to say, our running route quickly changed. (I was thankful at this point to have my Garmin GPS watch so it didn’t matter – we just forged a new path).
So change we did, and had a great run, although ultimately more than I bargained for. The temperature was in the mid 50’s, no wind, the change in scenery was nice and ultimately my times were good. Of course, Sunnie managed to find more mud puddles to run in (she really is like a kid in that respect…almost magnetized to them) and post run she grudgingly readied for her bath. You should see how pathetic she drops her head and tail and slowly walks over to her spot. You would think she is on the way to her execution or something. Now you are probably thinking this is where the “bite” comes in. No, not yet. Sunnie only bites me when we wrestle and play.
After I had Sunnie cleaned up, I did my post run stretching and went inside. I wasn’t inside but a minute when out of nowhere, Dracula (at least that’s what I named it) bites me on the back of the neck. I quickly swatted Dracula, and then pulled what appeared to be a little spider (or something). It fell off my hand onto the floor, keep in mind it is still early AM…and dark everywhere. Thankfully I have my head lamp on to hunt it down. Upon further inspection I realized that it was a tick! Well that gave me the creeps, especially since it was still alive after being swatted to oblivion. That didn’t last much longer though because I squashed it to beyond oblivion.
Anyway, I can only assume that my “alternate route” lead me to pick up a passenger—either running under a tree or from puddle-magnet Sunnie. All day every little itch or prick I felt seemed to catch my attention. That particular spot where I was bit, well, I keep thinking about it and can almost feel it. In the end, I think I can truly say that I better understand the saying “once bitten, twice shy”. And shy I will be for some time wondering if I will jinx myself again, if I will soon be the victim of another “Dracula” after a morning training session.