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 Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards

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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
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PostSubject: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:27 pm

I started running in addition to my weight training a couple of months ago. We have a really nice paved bike/pedestrian trail that surrounds our neighborhood. It meanders through two creek bottoms that are loaded with giant oaks and lots of brush, and makes a big loop around our area (We are surrounded by greenbelts on both sides of our community). I work out just about every day. 4 days a week I'm in the gym weight training but I wanted to add some more cardio to the mix and I hate those stationary machines, so I began running on this trail. My workouts are early, before work, so I've been running on this trail in the dark, usually around 5 am give or take. "In the dark" is kind of misleading because it's rarely very, very dark. There's usually moonlight and starlight or twilight, most mornings the first glimmers of light are coming into being just as I'm finishing my half hour trot. Also, I've been here 5 years now and I've spent plenty of time on the trail, and honestly I could easily make my way through it in pitch darkness. However, there is a difference between carefully skulking along and running in darkness, and I've had this fear of running into rattlesnakes, raccoons, bobcats, etc (we have no shortage of any of these around here) so I'm pretty cautious and aware of what's in my immediate path.

So this morning I'm about halfway through my run, it's about 5:15 and there's a full moon, clear skies, first glimmers of light coming up. I hear what sounds like my little pommeranian dog running along our wood floors - you know, half paw half nails scratching and scampering along. I look down the path ahead and here's this little black..... Dog? Looks like a little dog, sounds like a little dog, with long nails, coming towards me on the asphalt path. I proceed along, our paths drawing us close. When we get about 20 yards from each other it sees me coming and it's bushy black tail with the big white stripe pops straight up in the air.

scratch That don't look like no dog. That looks like a.......

Shocked SKUNK!!! affraid

And apparently the skunk was thinking HUMAN!!!! affraid


I immediately went into full speed backpedal and luckily mr. Skunk had the same course of action in mind. It immediately did an about face and retreated, but stayed right on the path. Funny, but it was trotting up towards me initially like it was coming towards the sound of my footsteps on the pathway. Did my jogging feet sound like another skunk, or maybe a meal to it? I dunno but it was quite odd that this animal, who usually lives deep in the brush and brambles of the creekbottom, came trotting right towards me down that paved path. Being nocturnal I'd have to think that it's eyesight is much better than mine at that early hour, but it sure was surprised to find that I was just some big dumb human interrupting it's skunkular activites. That skunk ran down that paved path for about 75 yards, I followed at a safe distance because, well, I was going that way and it was retreating. Finally it wandered off the trail and moved a good 20 yards to the side and then sat there watching me. My adrenaline kicked in and I did my first 40 yard dash since high school Laughing . I blew right by that sucker and then slowed to a trot and finished my run, with neither myself or the skunk the worse for wear.

I shall endeavor to broaden my scope of awareness to a much greater distance while running from here on out, and regard all small dogs on the path with much greater scrutiny from now on. But, I ain't gonna stop. Aside from the occasional hazardous critter, it's awful nice out there Smile

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fmw

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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:56 pm

Great story. I often run at night too, but it is in a city where the biggest dangers are being attacked by a dog that doesn't like runners or being run over by a car.
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mark
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:02 pm

lol! ,,,,,skunkular activities,,,, lol!

black and white induced cardio workout,,,

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TallSmoke

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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:36 pm

Skunks can often be very friendly, though I wouldn't ever try to pet one in case it had distemper/rabies.

We had a descented pet skunk when we were kids. He was an awesome pet.
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Justpipes
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:50 pm

That is a great story PD! Good on you in your endeavor for better health to boot!
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Frost

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Location : Somewhere near Philly, PA
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:11 pm

Good story PD, I too had a strange skunk experience. I had one follow me home at 4-ish in the morning when I was walking home from a 24/7 diner on Route 3, which is the main highway between Philly and the town I used to live in. It was about a mile and a half walk home from the diner.

The skunk started following me shortly after I left the diner. I crossed the 4 lane w/ median highway and so did the skunk. I crossed again...so did the skunk. I crossed 4 times and each time the skunk crossed too. Eventually it got within a few yards and decided to run the rest of the way home. It was definately a cute little bugger, but still a skunk.
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Midnight Blues
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:11 pm

P, nothing like an early morning jog to get things going, I would recommend a smoldering pipe full of Walnut to ward off the wild animals. Glad to hear your staying fit.

Best, Dan
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:21 am

Midnight Blues wrote:
I would recommend a smoldering pipe full of Walnut to ward off the wild animals.
I don't want to kill the poor little bugger! Laughing


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Doc Manhattan

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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:39 am

Midnight Blues wrote:
I would recommend a smoldering pipe full of Walnut to ward off the wild animals.
Now I'm picturing a skunk saying, "What the hell is that terrible smell?"
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ftrplt

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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:35 pm

We, and our cocker spaniel, got "skunked" twice 7-8 years ago! In our backyard!!!! The first time, the dog is screaming at the door and my wife LETS HER IN!!!!!! On to the bed, rubbing everything in an effort to get the spray off of her!!!!! What a %#^&*&^ mess. Took us weeks to get the odor out of the bedclothes, the dog (tomato juice only does so much!), us, and the house. Needless to say, I had a few words for the Mrs. on this subject. The second time, we were just sitting on our back patio, enjoying the evening, when this little b&w bugger comes around the corner, brazen as hell. We get up and run, he launches an assfull of spray; fortunately not hitting anyone. But the smell is awful. Lingered for days. Put up a new fence; haven't seen a skunk in years, though we occasioanally smell one in the neighborhood. There is a large creek about a half-mile from our house. 'Coons, opossums, and skunks must hang out there. We've had them all!!! FTRPLT
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Trout Bum

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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:54 pm

Great story, PD -- thanks for sharing!

(No skunks in AK, but moose encounters in my driveway/back yard are quite common.)
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StephenDownie

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Location : Vancouver, Canada
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:15 am

That would get my heart moving pretty fast too. We have skunks that wander through the backyard and being somewhat nocturnal myself I often see them. The dog got hit once and now we both have a good smell and listen at the back door before she goes out and does her business. Thankfully she's smart enough not to want to mess with one again and if there's one around she makes her trips to the backyard lot faster than usual to get back inside. My running is mostly done in the daytime and all I get are coyotes and rabbits.
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LL

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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:42 pm

I used to go camping a lot, and skunks were nearly always part of the deal. Except for the obvious, I like the critters.

I wouldn't be surprised if the one on the trail just wanted to play, PD. Some of them are almost like puppies in how they approach a situation.

Let's see... with all that Fitness & Lifestyle stuff you have happening you should be clearing out all your pipes and tobacco pretty soon. I understand that's how it's done around here. Neutral

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:08 pm

LL wrote:
with all that Fitness & Lifestyle stuff you have happening you should be clearing out all your pipes and tobacco pretty soon

Negative. A man's got to have at least one vice, and since I can't handle my liquor (lightweight) and can't afford to chase hot young wimmen (translation: I'm skeered of the ol lady) the pipes stay Laughing . I have cut back a bit, usually just a single bowl in the mornings, but I still thoroughly enjoy it. Much too much to let it go. Rather than fear what it my do to my health, I see my greatly improved health and fitness as more reason to not fear a little bit of tobacco.

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Centurian 803
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PostSubject: Re: Running in the dark, it's benefits and hazards   Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:26 am

Great story PD. I applaud your endeavors to remain fit. Unfortunately, I only run when someone is chasing me. Sigh! Rolling Eyes
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