Wild Animals On My 22 Mile Run


Since I'm training for a 50K trail race, I decided I'd try for 22 miles today. After running 11 miles on the asphalt trail, I ran into the woods for some trail training. I saw two deer run away from me.

Not long after that, I spotted a snake in my path. I backed up and took some pictures that you can see up above. The trail was covered with leaves and branches that made it hard to see snakes so I ran to another section of the woods to finish running and I felt like a trail loser! After the run, thanks to Google research and my husband, I realized that it was a venomous copperhead snake. I guess it wasn't such a bad idea to pick a new place to run. That's because in the new trail section, there weren't as many fallen leaves on the dirt road so it was easier to look for snakes.

It was hillier there, but hills are good, right?! It was about 77 degrees by then and when the sun came out, I felt like I was in the desert. Fortunately, the clouds came back and I felt better or as good as you can feel after running 18 miles and feel like you should have brought more gels and carried a water bottle. (I used the park water fountain.)

I took Hammer gels at miles 5, 11 and 17 because they might have those at the upcoming race I'm training for and because I'm afraid of running out of the Tailwind powder that worked so well last week. The flavors tasted good: apple cinnamon, huckleberry and raspberry, but the trails slowed me down and I should have had at least one more gel.

In my last mile, I spotted a bald eagle land in a tree so I took that opportunity to enjoy the view. I was happy to have an excuse to stop. I was worn out, but I knew I'd be glad I completed the run so I picked up my dog at home and we finished my 22 miler together.

After the run, I drank a smoothie. To make a smoothie that's almost like a chocolate shake, I blended a frozen banana, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder and enough milk to get the consistency that I wanted.

After running a fairly easy 20 miler last week, today's run taught me how much tougher running 2 more miles can be when it's warm and I don't have enough fuel. Now it seems like doing another long run (22 or 24 miles) before the 50K race is even more important just to show myself that I can do it without stopping to stare at snakes and bald eagles.

Gear

  • Brooks Ravenna shoes
  • Thorlo Experia socks
  • Pearl Izumi shorts
  • Target sleeveless tank top
  • Spibelt

Comments

  1. Yup, I would have had a heart attack and ran screaming like a little girl away from that snake lol!

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  2. Great job getting in 22 miles!!! You are going to rock that 50K!!
    I have a lot of things that freak me out but for some reason snakes have never been one of them - I love that picture/gif you shared!!

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  3. Yep, you are going to rock that race! Hills are excellent! And I guess the closest I have come to wildlife on a run is a coyote twice last year. But it looked like a dog both times and ignored me so I barely paid attention.

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  4. You always amaze me! After seeing that snake I would have been worried the whole time I was running that I would run into more. Good thing you switched your route!

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  5. I didn't even see the snake in the picture until you mentioned it! We don't have snakes at all here in NZ. Once driving in Texas we saw a dead one on the road and went closer to have a look - even then I was scared it might jump out like in the movies lol! I guess they are like most creatures and are more scared of us than we are of them?
    Yay on 22 miles!

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    1. I almost didn't even see that snake in real life! After seeing the snake, almost every stick in my path looked like a possible snake!

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  6. Sounds like you'd a great run Tina - with time to enjoy the wildlife. As regards snakes, we have adders in England, which are small but poisonous. I'm always happy to meet one on my run.
    That smoothie sounds nice too. Must try that....

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  7. That's the beauty of trail running. I think most trail runners love animals and nature. I come across snakes quite often and suppose it's part of living in Africa. Sound like you are preparing really well for your 50k. It's going to be awesome!

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  8. I am a huge weenie around snakes and would have been running in the oposite direction! Great job on the run. I think I have the same Houston Marathon finishers mug!

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    1. That's the '08 Houston Marathon mug - my PR race so one of my favorites!

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  9. Excellent run! Quite the entertainment on the run - some fun some (Mr. Copperhead) not so fun. Keep up the great work. You're going to completely breeze through that 50K.

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  10. You are always so inspiring! And a bald eagle landing had to have been so awesome to see! Fueling is always such a complicated issue. I've used Hammer Gels for a long time but lately am preferring Gu's lemon/lime. I tried a Powergel the other day and I like their consistency, but for some reason the Gu lemon/lime is digesting the best for me. My problem is that I start getting "starved" no matter how many gels I have. Like, I want to eat a sandwich usually around mile 11 *sigh*

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    1. Maybe you need to sign up for a trail race! The aid stations are often full of all kinds of food!

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  11. Ew! I hate snacks! And I prefer Gu.

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    1. One good thing about snakes is that they eat other animals we might not want hanging around - like mice. (I know you meant to write snakes.) That makes me feel a little better about the fact that we live near water and that means that there are plenty of snakes around. GU tastes good and they have lots of flavors.

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  12. Wiggling snakes! Put a warning! I can't stand looking at that. Nightmare City!
    The other animals sound interesting.
    Do you ever jump at sticks? I do if I'm in a scared mood and think everything is a snake.

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  13. Oh my goodness, what an amazing run, but MAN I would have freaked out about that snake! HOLY cow! It looks pretty big too!

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  14. Yikes on the snake...I hate snakes. Poisonous ones would be worse! Nice work on the 22 miles though.

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  15. Love the Bald Eagle - I'd freak if I saw a snake. Nothing but pavement here 12 miles west of Manhattan!

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  16. I love reading your blog because you always have some interesting photo from nature to share...whether it's a deer or snake! I live in a really rural area and I've only come across deer while trail running. But I'm always afraid that I might come across a bear!

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    1. Bears? Now that's really scary!

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  17. Oh my gosh, that snake gave me a heart attack just looking at the pictures!!! I can't believe you were brave enough to take them. Thank goodness you didn't accidentally step on it! I get so nervous running the trails when there are leaves on the path (like now). I can never decide if I should look for snakes or try to NOT look for snakes. Luckily, we have very few venomous snakes in our area. Glad you weren't bitten!

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    1. Actually, I saw the snake, stopped and ran the other way! Then I ran back to take pictures so that I could show my husband and hoped very hard that it wouldn't attack me when I was taking the photos!

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  18. Yikes! I'm glad you spotted that snake and went the other way! FYI- its a common misconception that baby copperheads are not dangerous. But in actuality they are more poisonous than an adult copperhead. Be careful out there!

    You are becoming one of those ultra people. You know how I know? Because you casually threw around the phrase "easy 20 miler."

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    1. Did I call a 20 mile run easy?! I had to read what I wrote and you're right. Crazy!

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  19. Great job out there - and on spotting that snake and choosing another pace. Snakes freak me out!

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    1. Yeah, I'm really glad I was able to run over to a less leafy wooded trail at the park. There are some really great things about the park I live beside!

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