BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!
That is the sound of my alarm going off at 5:00AM this morning…on a “vacation day.” Why? To go run, of course! I shuffled my way into the bathroom, pulled on my running clothes and got ready to pound the pavement. Then I realized how DARK it was outside…and foggy. I mean, it was like a horror movie just waiting to happen! Maybe now that I am so far along, much less stable on my feet, and obviously slower, the thought of being approached by a stranger on the roads scares me to death! I am not normally a scaredy cat, but the thought of running out on the road all alone was such a turn-off today that I opted to head to the gym instead.
Oh, and if you are wondering what a human school bus looks like, here you go. Let the giggling commence…
On the way to the gym, I let my mind wander. That’s what happens early in the morning when I am still trying to “wake my brain up.” Oh, and the ADHD certainly does nothing to help keep me on one train of thought. Anyway, I started thinking about all the other things that I fear about running alone. Granted, these fears are not so massive that they actually keep me from running, but they do cross my mind from time to time when I am out pounding the pavement on my own.
What if I get pooped on by a bird?
Okay, so this one is kind of funny. I admit that photos of other people getting pooped on while they are running makes me double-over in laughter, but the thought of it happening to me? No, thank you! I hear that it is supposed to be good luck or something insanely absurd like that. If that is the case, then I want to be the unluckiest runner EVER. We do not have a lot of them here, but I hear pigeons are the WORST offenders. When traveling for work, if I have to run in downtown areas, I will go out of my way to avoid groups of pigeons in city squares. I know they have it out for me. They are like dogs, I know they can SMELL my fear. Those beady little pigeon eyes…
What if I see a dead body?
I KNEW they studied up on this!
I know that I watch WAY too much CSI. Seriously though, art imitates life and runners really DO find dead bodies…probably even more often than we hear about! I have this insane fear that while running past wooded areas or alleys that I will look over and see some bloody bloated body that has been there for who knows how long. You know what is worse? I even look in the woods and alleys to make SURE there are no dead bodies in there. I mean, I do not go into a full-on crime scene investigation, but I definitely keep my eyes in that direction…you know, just in case. When I am running in sort of remote areas, I will even think to myself, “You know what? That seems like a good place to hide a dead body. I would put money on it that there is one in there.” I mean, who does that!? I am a weirdo and I have really got to give it a rest with the Law & Order marathons.
What if I get bitten on the butt by a goose?
This sounds totally absurd, but this one has actually happened to me! At the LSU lakes, geese are everywhere. One time when I was in college, I was running with a friend of mine. As we approached this large gaggle of our feathery friends, he casually said something like, “Wouldn’t it be funny if those geese tried to chase as we ran by?” I squinted my eyes, cocked my head to the side and gave him that look that said, “Why in the heck would you say something like that?? Don’t you know you just WILLED it to happen!?” My friend’s comment must have done some Jedi mind trick on the geese because as soon as we ran passed them, here they came…half running and half flying. Keep in mind that in light of his comment, I passed the geese on the far side of the street, as far away from them as I could get. Apparently, my chubby (at the time) little runner legs could not out-run the big, hissing white and gray monster with wings that was in the lead. I tried my best to keep hauling butt while still looking behind me. All of a sudden I realized that my friend had ditched me! His sprint was cheetah-like and when I turned my head to look forward, I saw that he was a good half a mile ahead of me already! As I mentally cursed him for bringing this whole situation upon me, I felt it. A big, hard goose beak right below my left butt cheek. I do not think I have ever yelped so loud in my whole life! I kept running and running and running, finally catching up to my friend. The geese must have gotten tired of chasing me because I realized I no longer heard them behind me. As soon as I stopped, I could FEEL the welp on the back of my thigh. I could not twist around to see it, but I didn’t need to. I pulled up the leg of my shorts to let my friend see and his eyes nearly bugged out of his head. There was already a bruise nearly the size of a softball forming. Needless to say, I hobbled back to my car (the LONG way around the lake, obviously)…not saying a single word to my friend the rest of the time. Stupid friend and his stupid big mouth.
Geese are the devil!
When it comes to running, most people fear things like not finishing or tripping and falling. Not this girl. In regards to the tripping and falling, I guess I have just done that one enough to have gotten over it. Let’s just say that not a whole lot embarrasses me these days. Looking back on it, my fears seems sort of ridiculous, but it is what it is. Maybe one day I will get over them, but until then…don’t think I won’t keep one eyeball looking out for that dead body.
What are YOU afraid of when it comes to running, training, and/or racing? Do YOU feel like your fears are justified or do you think you should find some way to get over them?