...until something like this happens!
You get up early (okay, "early" according to everybody else) on a beautiful weekend. The weather is crisp, the sun is just peaking over the horizon, and you're up and ready for your run. You're tired of the roads, so you head to your local trail. It's perfect! Plenty of beautiful views well away from any traffic to hinder you. Awesome!
You get there to find a number of other cars parked. These are your comrades in arms; other early morning runners, cyclists, and walkers!
You get out, warm up a bit, pack your water, and make the biggest decision of the day.
Do I head left?
Or do I head right?
Hmmmm.... After a second, you decide you always go right, so why not left today? Sure! Change it up. It's all an adventure. Off you go!
If you've got music, you pop on the perfect song. If not, you just get into the groove of your breathing and listening to the peaceful surroundings. Then it happens!
There's a rustling in the woods. "Hmmm... Maybe a squirrel or a nearby dog." Then out pops one of nature's majestic creatures...
Until this moment, you have never fully understood the true meaning of "Frozen in Your Tracts." As the seconds tick by (which feel like minutes), you earn a full comprehension! You dare not move a muscle other than to blink!
In those frozen moments your mind starts to wander (read: RACE LIKE A WORM OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A BIRD!)
Can I out run a bear?
No, you can't outrun a bear, you idiot!
If I run, will that provoke it to follow? Or should I stay put?
Should I play dead?
Is it "Brown, get down. Black, move back"? Or am I getting that mixed up?
Shoot! What do I do?
Why is that lady ahead of me still walking this way with her tiny dog?!
The dog is so going to provoke the bear!
I am screwed.
I should have written a will.
I wonder what the HR data will look like on my Garmin.
I am so done for.
In reality, the bear merely ran across the path on it's own way actually more afraid of you than you were of him/her.
But in that super-extended moment of panic, it felt like your final moments were going to look something like this...
|How much did those track workouts do for you??|
After what seems like 5-10 minutes, you s-l-o-w-l-y walk backwards the way you came, being sure to keep an eye on the spot where the bear ran back into the woods AND the lady up ahead with the dog who has now stopped to take pictures. IDIOT!
Twenty (or maybe it was 100) steps later, you turn and walk, then jog, then run back to your car being super sensitive to any rustling of the leaves no matter how far off it may seem.
As you get back to the car, you take a moment to celebrate. "I just survived a black bear attack." Noooooot quite! You were lucky to simply not pee your pants in the middle of the rail to trails. But that's not how the story goes when it gets told to your friends when you get home..
But of course you're a Type A personality, so that has to wait until after you finish your run. Sure, there's a bear off to the left side of the trail, but that still leaves the right side!
What A Morning!