Thursday, June 9, 2011

Maybe it should be 'Run - Bears Chase You'...

My first night of catsitting coincided with my first late night run of the summer.

I prefer not to run at night for one very simple reason: I am a fraidy cat. And not a sensible, "I'm afraid the cars won't be able to see me" or "I'm scared someone with kidnap and murder me" type of fraidy cat, but an irrational, "even while I'm scared out of my mind I know I'm being stupid" fraidy cat.

I get deathly scared of bears.

Seriously. Every time I turn a corner or the shadows move funny, I'm convinced it's a bear (or sometimes a large dog or even a tiger if I'm in Country Park) waiting by the side of the road to gore me.

I don't know why I'm scared of bears when I run in the dark. All other times, I love bears. I even love bears while I'm camping and there IS a legit chance that bears will come and rip my tent open and gore me because I forgot I have a granola bar in my backpack. But something about night running makes bears really scary to me.

I had to run at night, though, because I had stuff to do all day. My mileage is already messed up for the week and cutting my Wednesday run means cutting another 10 miles off of it, and you can't make up 10 miles when you're already kind of maxed. So even though by the time the after dinner stopwatch read 2 hours (my minimum eat-a-meal-then-run time) it was 10pm, I put on my running shoes and went.

And you know? It was actually kind of nice. I mean, I DEFINITELY ate too much at dinner and I had to duck into a 24hr Harris Teeter and not buy anything like a shifty person, but it was really nice and quiet out there. If you know which neighborhoods to stay in, Winston-Salem is a really safe place to run at night. I was super slow for the same reason I had to visit Harris Teeter, but even that wasn't enough to ruin the overall impression.

When I was first adding distance, about this time last year, I had to run at night because it was so hot and my body still wasn't adapted to intense physical exertion. I remember one run out at Salem Lake (back when the loop was a little under 7 miles) and by mile 5 I had to stop and walk because I was so hot and dehydrated that my body had actually stopped sweating. I was dizzy and honestly thought I was going to die.

I love thinking about those times because it underscores how far I've come in so little time. I mean, I still don't like running in the heat. It's miserable and hard. But I can do it without serious risk of death.

Then of course when I got home I was too amped up to go to sleep, so I washed my running clothes (they'll thank me for that at the group run tonight) and watched Auction Hunters until my eyelids fell down. My grandma's cats didn't come in the house, but I've adopted a zen-like attitude towards that this go around.

By "zen like" I mean "could give a monkey's foot." The cats will come in the house when they're hungry and hot, whether or not they like me. And if they don't, well. They're all very overweight and they can just diet until Grandma and Grandpa get back next week. Also appparently they catch mice and snakes quite handily, so they won't starve.

I saw a cockroach outside this morning, and my first thought was that it clearly had rabies, since cockroaches are nocturnal and flee from the light. I think probably that's incorrect.

This is so cool. I love the Tom Tom Club and I fully support any and all efforts to revive them.

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