Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Story Without A Moral

The thing about coming back to running after a break (a fairly decent break in my case) is that it can feel like starting over. It doesn't matter that I have run innumerable kilometres over the years - take long enough time off and muscles atrophy, aerobic fitness diminishes and the challenge becomes to get back to where you were. Preferably without hurting yourself in the process.

My challenge this weekend was to run both days. Early on Saturday morning with the group and late Sunday afternoon by myself.

The Saturday run was never going to be an issue. I had a pile of birthday cakes that needed to be handed out and I wasn't going to go to the effort of baking without making sure the baking got to where it was supposed to go.

It was the Sunday run that was going to be the challenge. Because it was in the afternoon and it's harder for me to motivate myself to do an afternoon run. And because it was warmer than I'd expected for a winter run. And because my legs were sore from the previous day's run.

Um, maybe not stretching after the run might have been the culprit. Or maybe it was going to happen regardless.

Tight calves. A knot in my glutes. And hamstrings that you could have played a violin concerto on. Punishment for taking time out of my usual exercise regime.

No worries, I thought. It'll improve as I warm up.

And it did. Mostly. Except for the hammies that defied the warm weather and the gentle pace for the entire run. They moaned and whined every time we hit an uphill - and there were a few of those. So I had to take my mind off my geriatric body and distract myself with the scenery.

There were lots of other runners. Although I wouldn't describe them as scenery. More like me - aging, red-faced and sweaty but still out there doing the best to stave off the inevitable decline.

There were lots of flowering trees and shrubs. Spring obviously took the hint from the warmer temperatures and decided to get started a bit early.

Spring hadn't stopped with the flora. New life everywhere.

And then there was the scrub turkey. A big Tom turkey intent on crossing Sir Fred Schonell Drive. 

These could possibly be the world's stupidest birds. Admittedly it was a Sunday afternoon and the traffic wasn't as bad as a week day. But there still was traffic and his escapades reminded me of a game we used to play on the Atari when we were kids - Frogger. Forwards, backwards, backwards, forwards, forwards, forwards.

My very minor psychic powers told me that it was not going to end well.

But he surprised me with his skill at dodging enormous four wheel drives. He managed to make it halfway across with all feathers intact. And that was the busy side. The other side of the road had very sporadic traffic. I checked over my shoulder and saw that if he kept moving he'd be safe in the little park scratching up a new mound in no time.

I felt like I'd witnessed a little miracle. And I scoffed at my melodramatic sense of calamity. So much for my very minor psychic powers. More like very non-existent psychic powers.

That's about when I heard the whack. The fluttering of wings against bitumen. My belief in my very minor psychic powers was restored. And the soreness in my hamstrings was put into perspective.

The moral to this story? None and lots. Be consistent when you exercise or you will pay a painful price. Always stretch at the end of a session. And look both ways before you cross.


  1. Oh my. I watched a deer check the road - both ways and then cross. Seriously. Then he looked back as if to say - well done!
    I do not like running in the afternoon. But if it is evening and cool and peaceful I have discovered that can be quite nice.

  2. Oh no! Poor turkey...
    I know what you mean about afternoon running - I much prefer exercising in the morning so I can justify being a tad lazy in the afternoon...

  3. Love that you haven't lost your sense of humour! :-)

  4. We went camping recently and there were turkeys on the farm, and when we drove along the raod out they would come and stand in front of the car. Once it took me about 5 mins to get past them... aaargh!

  5. Poor bird. I used to come across turkeys when I ran in the hills in Asheville. I was always a little scared of them at first and then realized that they weren't smart enough to get out of the road so I felt safe enough that they weren't smart enough to actually do anything to hurt me if I tried to pass. And yes, starting over can be painful! I know this!

  6. Yay for going out in the afternoon! I'm not good at doing that. I will think of you and the turkey on my run tomorrow morning when I cross the one busy street I need to. Luckily I have only this one busy street on my runs.

  7. Well, I'm sorry that the 2nd run was painful but hooray for getting it done!!
    That poor (stupid) turkey!!! This time of year I have had to slam on my brakes more than once for a group (flock? herd? gaggle?) of them crossing the road.

  8. I hate running in the afternoon (and in the evening for that matter :) ) I only run in the morning. I have tried everything and this works best for me. I know you are a morning runner too so good job on going at there on Sunday afternoon.

    I always find it fun to read that it's Winter where you live and Summer here. Our Summer is coming to an end and yours is just starting.

  9. What a poor turkey!
    Sorry to hear about your painful run. unfortunately I am compelled to run in the afternoon.

  10. Oh no. Poor guy. Even if he is dumb. How nice to see spring emerging just when we're going the other way. I think I need to winter down under.

  11. Great job getting back out steps!


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