Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scaredy Cat? Maybe Not.

Jona and I have really enjoyed running together this spring. The sun is coming up earlier, warming the morning air, making it much more pleasant to get up and enjoy an early run.

Some mornings we run around our lake which includes a challenging mile of wooded trail. It winds, rolls, and keeps you on your toes with its many tree roots. Maggie loves it. She's a machine during that stretch of the trail, fast and focused. It's great for our proprioception and ankle strength, as long we don't trip which, believe me, happens.

Last Monday we noticed a sign posted throughout the trail notifying trail users about a woman who had been attacked and raped by a man in broad daylight a few days earlier at a neighboring trail. It freaked me out and I was grateful Jona was with me.

Fast forward a week later. I was planning a morning run around the trail where the woman had been attacked. No need to live my life in fear, right? I put out on all my gear on the floor the night before, drank a ton of water (helps me get out of bed for the run in the morning because I have to pee so bad), and went to bed.

That night before the run I had amazingly scary dreams. Dreams about people coming into my house, dreams about scary monsters (I had watched Fringe the night before), and another specific dream about that man on that trail that I was going to run the next morning.

My alarm went off and I felt that I should not go on my planned run. I felt like an idiot. Like that guy, would be at that trail, on that morning, where I would be running. I felt paranoid and lazy, but didn't go out on that run. I slept in a bit, dragged Jonathan and Maggie out of bed, and hit our regular loop around our lake.

I read once that we as humans are the only species on earth that will put ourselves in an enclosed space like an elevator if we feel we are in danger. We deny and ignore our instincts if our "fear sensors" are firing. Maggie is living proof of that. If she's afraid, she's gone. I'd like to think that maybe that is what happened this week when I didn't run on that trail. The whole point to this big, long-winded post is trust your instincts. Be careful. You just never know when your "fear sensors" might be trying to tell you something.


  1. Amen, sister. I took April on a 9pm run a couple months ago and our loop included about 1/4 mile on the Steven's Creek Trail. We both were terrified as we ran it in the dark and yet we ran it anyway. Stupid. I have started listening to my instinct more.

  2. i've felt the "do not go today" feeling, too. it's good when you can recognize it and listen to it.