What’s the most interesting/unusual/unexpected thing that’s happened to you on a run? Have a question you’d like to ask other readers here? What’s a great book or movie on running (or anything else) that you’ve read? What have you learned about yourself (or anything else) from running? Today is your day — anything you’d like to share/ask/contribute, I’d love to hear it. — Terrell
When I lived in Ireland, I loved going for runs in the late morning. One day, I heard something coming up behind me, big and fast. I lived in a small town, population 625, and it was mostly cobblestone. Just about anything could make a racket. I move to the side as this noisy thing advances until it is right beside me. I turn my head to see what it was.... a runaway horse! A giant bay mare to be exact.
It paced me for maybe 1/4 mile. It was breathtaking! Then it ran off before I could even think about trying to find where it needed to be.
There was also a bull who would charge its fence when I passed by, but after 10 times or so, he would run beside me on his side of the fence.
TL:DR The animals in Ireland love to run.
Last winter I was training for my first half (it went awesome, and now I'm addicted to running). During one of my weekly mid-distance runs, I was running on the sidewalk in my neighborhood, which is adjacent to a park and very wooded.
I was doing out-and-back 6 miles, and I was almost to the halfway turnaround point when I noticed that the cars were stopped on the street. I thought it must have been a deer crossing the road or something similar, because it was early morning and it wasn't terribly cold outside.
As I approach the cars, I'm able to get a better look at what is causing the traffic jam: a rafter (group) of turkeys were crossing the road...and one of them was trying to fight the front bumper of a RAM 1500! It kept gaggling and jumping and fluffing its feathers, all while the cars were honking and revving to get moving.
I had to stop running because I was laughing so hard that I couldn't catch my breath.
Long story short: Turkeys fighting with cars makes me laugh.
Not very unusual but this brought me joy. I was visiting family in Texas and went on a run around the neighborhood. A dog bounded up to me mid-run and joined me. He ran by my side and then another neighborhood dog joined us. The two dogs played while running along side me. It felt like I was running with a pack and it made me smile (and also obsess about adopting a dog to run with me...I have two Poms and while they are the best, running distance is not their forte)
I used to run when I was quite young, say 12 to 16. Then I found other things more interesting to do as a teenager. As an adult I began running again, only to run into debilitating plantar fasciitis, later followed by a knee accident so bad I needed surgery. Believing I was done with running forever; I gained weight and entered a very dangerous time battling metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and exacerbated by liver problems). Now facing a painful, inflamed fatty liver that the ONLY option I had was to lose weight, I entered medical diet program. I lost weight but I found a new problem: basically starving one night I HAD to eat. The least dangerous thing I could think of was lettuce with calorie-free dressing. I ate that salad so ANGRILY, which brought up the question: Why eat a salad angrily? I talked with a behaviorist and had this most interesting revelation: loud crunching can reset and calm the brain, especially in people with ADHD. ADHD? I had never heard of that when I was a kid. Could I have that now as an adult? One of my kids has battled ADHD, so maybe me too? I came up with an alternative: a punching bag. It worked! When I felt discombobulated: punch a bag. No more nachos! No more angry salads! And now that my weight was at a safe level, I tried a gentle couch to 5k running program. And you know what? The pounding of feet to pavement soothed my brain. Seriously. I took it slow, careful with both my feet and knees, and now hips. I Added in yoga and pilates to help with those troublesome hip flexors I had just woken from a deep slumber. And I ran. The more I ran, the happier I became, the clearer the world has become. I am most happy after a long, long run. Running is better than any nacho, any food, any punching bag. Now I get why I started running at 12 years old. I'm running my 4th half marathon this Sunday and am now signing up for one long race a month, just to keep me on my toes. I'm 55 years old and hope to run right into old age. See you at the finish!
Being "wiped out" at a hydration station!! I never saw it coming during the Austin HM this past Feb. It was the last "watering hole" and I got one cup at the first table...and thought "just one more" at the far end would carry me through. As I grabbed the cup and continued running forward a young lady moved 90-degrees left and into me...and I went down in a nano second. Unfortunately, the iPhone on my left wrist was between the road and my ribs...and it was 8-10 weeks before I got back to normal. How I finished the HM is beyond me, but I did!
Seeing a blind man being guided by his guides, squeezing between the guides to tell the runner how inspiring and awesome I thought he was, only to be told he was deaf in the ear I was telling him!
While running a Colorado Turkey Trot a couple of yrs ago a fellow alongside me suddenly tripped, pitched forward hitting his head. While I stayed with him, a female runner ran back to find help. The policeman who responded realized, too, that the injured man was somewhat handicapped and treated him so kindly, carefully assessing his needs.
Kudos to the CO Springs’ police!!
I have so many moments that I couldn't list them all, but one of the ones that stands out was actually in a marathon. I had hit a rough patch in the last mile (what's new, right?) and was really struggling. A young lady ran up alongside me and said she was running her only marathon and wanted to hit her time goal. She asked if I could help her. I'm pretty social during half and full marathons, so I talk to a lot of people along the way. I told her I'd help, and asked for her name (Erin). I just got her to talk about her baby, her husband, her life. She engaged in conversation and never slowed down during the last mile as I pushed her. When we crossed the finish line, she checked her Garmin and exclaimed that she hit her goal by 5 seconds. She hugged me and disappeared into the crowd. That was five years ago. To me, that's the epitome of the run family. I can truly say that my training family is just as real as my biological family. We genuinely care about each other. That experience at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is one that I will never forget. It wasn't about me. It was about seeing someone experience the joy of the run, and understanding that my part in that experience was trivial compared to the miles that let up to her experience. Long after she has forgotten about me, she will have the medal and be able to tell her grandchildren that she completed a marathon at her goal time!
I run in the evening/after hours and cross several bridges. I've seen lots of snakes before so I always wear a headlamp when it gets dark. Not a funny story but a word to the wise! Dr. Bob Breen, Texas
Last year during the Baltimore celtic winter run where lots of guys wear kilts, i guy in front of us apparently dropped her boxers and I mentioned it and he looked down stopped and ran back to get them
When I studied abroad in college in northern Italy, I trained for my first marathon by doing endless loops around the city walls. I think women running alone is more common there now, but 15 years ago I was a total outlier and I got stared at everywhere I went. I also wore brightly colored and mismatched clothing, which Italian women would never do. There was a group of elderly men who ran together in a pack every weekend on the same route, and they kind of adopted me, which led to me becoming low-grade famous - nicknamed "l'americana" - just for jogging around every day. It was a VERY small town!
Can’t hurt me by David Goggins. Was great book about determination and never giving up.
2 things. 1. "The voice in your head that says you cant do it, is a liar!" at one point in my life i weighed over 300 pounds. going from that to a marathon finisher is still surreal. 2. the runners high is real. I was never very fast in the half marathon. i trained hard for a race and decided to go out with the 2hr pace group even though i had never run a sub 2 hour half. at about mile 9 we hit the turn back to the finish line and i felt great! i had a ton left in the tank and decided to turn it up and leave the 2 hour group behind! One of the greatest feelings in the world to know that all the time and effort put into running actually paid off. finished mile 13 with a 8:09 split, never thought i could do that but the smile on face and the feeling i had when i left the 2hr pace group behind is a feeling i will chase the rest of my life
Last week on a long run in Dahlonega (the Bull Mountain trail) a few interesting things happened:
- first my friend and I went head first into a race that day of about 300 mountain bikers, racing up toward us (fortunately not coming down behind us). That was fun saying hi about 300 times!
- next we got down to the big creek crossing and all these cyclists were flying past, shouting and cursing, throwing their helmets off and jumping off their bikes. Turns out they were swatting away hornets, who had gathered in a cloud just beyond the creek. Well, we had no alternate route so ended up bushwacking off trail for a little bit. No stings for me fortunately!
I had a lone pickup truck driver on a deserted road try to run me down. It was early on a Labor Day morning on Cape Cod. There’s no shoulder, so I run facing traffic, and move left as the vehicle approaches. He saw me, and moved to the white line. I moved left. He moved further right. I flipped him off (I’m from NJ, don’t judge me, it’s what we do) and jumped into the bushes. He slammed his brakes on, and pulled a u-turn. I sprinted to a cafe and jumped the fence. There were people there. I gestured to the approaching driver to bring it on. He turned and left. For the next 7 miles I kept planning how to escape the crazy person should they decide to look for me. I stopped running on Route 6a.
I guess this would go into the unusual category. A couple of years ago, I ran the E.T. Moonlight Half Marathon near Area 51. The race started at midnight with a full moon out. The bus dropped us off on a lonely highway in the middle of nowhere. My husband just rolled his eyes at me when I told him where and when my race was. The race director via a bullhorn, said "just follow this road and make a left at the finish line." Okay, pretty simple. The first 6ish miles was straight up hill to Coyote Summit. I can't remember the elevation gain but it was a lot - especially for someone from flat Texas. I started off with the front group. I was feeling pretty good. We made it to Coyote Summit, where I naively expected a straight downhill towards the finish line. Not quite! I had also expended a little too much energy going up hill for 6ish miles. So, I backed off of my pace to avoid having to crawl across the finish line on my hands and knees. Well, that's where things started getting interesting. Since it was near Area 51, I had no service - was using my phone for music. Since it was in the middle of nowhere - it was dark. For the next 7ish miles I had the song "All by Myself" playing on a continuous loop in my head. Drove me nuts! The rest of the runners were miles behind me. The group I was with kept to their original pace and left me behind. So I was solo, in the dark on an active highway. By mile 8, I had decided that this was one of the stupidest things I've done! I was ripe for an abduction - alien or otherwise! I was never so glad to see the finish line!
Unusual- Three animal encounters. When I first decided to lose weight I went to the local park. I attempted to run and was unable to run a quarter of a mile. This was in December of 2007. I spent about two and a half years walking. One day at same park at around 11:00 in the morning a racoon appeared on the trail and began following me at a quick pace. I finally had to take off in a run. When I got done running the racoon had stopped and I suddenly realized I had run fast and was not breathing hard. Within couple days I had started running and within 4 weeks competed in a 5k race. Next month running another 50k and running my first 50 miler next year.
Second encounter was last spring when what I thought looked like a large black dog turned out to be a bear on the trail. The bear veered off into a small pond just off the trail. The other incident happened this past May when I came around a corner during a race and a runner yelled and pointed. I stopped and watched while a large timber rattlesnake slithered across the road.
I've learned not to drink any liquids at all before my runs. I learned how to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer and tissue in my fanny pack. I completed my first ruck run but decided not to use a ruck but a bag. The bag broke a fourth of the way to the finish line. I just scooped up the weights and kept going. From that, I learned that the pr and medals are nice but the main goal is to finish.
Indy Mini. Raining just enough to be miserable kinda surreal to be running on a motor speedway track. Saw a lady up head of me who kept adjusting her shorts or so i thought until i saw the blue plastic tampon applicator on the track. That was an odd one.
Oh and i was on a trail run once and i had just passed a water stop and round a corner of mud and root and rocks and look up and see a group crowded around and think, why is there another water stop, then as i got closer i realized there were doing CPR on the guy. He didn't make it. Kinda changed the whole rest of my day.
Here's my question for the thread: I am thinking about joining a 50 half marathons in 50 states club. What are your experiences with such organizations, good or bad? I'm not on social media, so would I still be able to "connect" with the club?
I currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina (the urban downtown part, not the burbs) and have almost literally ran into a coyote on two separate occasions. It was legitimately scary both times! I was also "nicked" by an owl. As I learned after, apparently male juvenile barn owls are little ***-holes who get jollies from swooping down and "attacking" pedestrians. I don't know if these encounters are better or worse than when I lived in Charleston and would sometimes run by gators at Charles Towne historic landing (my speed NOTABLY increased on those runs).
As others have suggested, I enjoyed The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats it's Young.
My favorite place to run is Edward Hines Drive, a 20+ mile road with park on either side that runs along a creek that feeds into the Rouge River just west of Detroit. One morning a few years ago while out for a long run there I tripped and took a pretty bad fall. My head was bleeding but I seemed to be OK. As I was deciding whether to start running again or to just walk the 4 or 5 miles back to my car, a police officer pulled up alongside me. He got out of his patrol car, walked over and asked me questions to determine whether I had suffered a concussion. (I had not.) Then he pulled out a first aid kit, cleaned my wound, and bandaged it. Finally, he asked me if there was anything else he could do for me. I was amazed and so grateful. I regret that I did not get his name or badge number and let his chief and the city of Westland know what a fine officer he is!
I was 4 miles into a run on a very isolated forest road, nearing the trailhead to an even more isolated trail. There were a couple of vehicles parked right at the trailhead. As I ran past them I was surprised to observe two persons standing between the vehicles, a completely naked woman and a completely clothed man.
We were all startled as they hadn't heard me coming because of the parked vehicle. I just kept running, unfortunately my plan had been to turn around in just 50 feet at the trailhead. After some quick calculations I decided that the best thing I could do for them was to just stick to my plan. So about 15 seconds after I first ran past them, I ran past them again and wished them a good day.
When I was training for my 2nd marathon in ‘16 I was doing my LSD run on a Sat morning. It was still dark out and I was running on a downhill slope downhill from a highway, but on a deserted road. There were trees between me and the highway above and the moonlight shone through breaks in the branches every once in a while. I glanced down as I was running and saw that I was about to step on a raccoon. It all happened so quickly - I did not know if it was dead or alive. So I lengthened my stride to avoid it. As I landed my foot I lost my balance and tried to correct. Then my momentum just carried me forward. I fell and landed on the heels of my hands and then kind of twisted around as I was landing and stopped on my butt. It stretched my hamstrings pretty severely but I kept trying. That was around the 5-6 miles mark. I kept doing until about 10 and then called my wife and asked her to pick me up. This was about 4 weeks before the marathon and I kept training and did finish it. It was kind of comical later, thinking about almost stepping on a dead raccoon. Only runners really see the humor in things like that.
The most interesting thing that has happened to me on a run was that first I saw a shooting star as I was running one morning, and THEN I witnessed the great blue heron take flight over the Kennebunk river, all before 6am in the morning. These things keep me running, no matter the weather or the time of day!
Probably saving a turtle. The poor little one was in the middle of a crossing, I picked it up and ran him to a set of woods. Or my armadillo encounter. Bless their little hearts, but they are so blind. I was running near dusk, and it heard me coming and started running. Unfortunately, in its poor vision, it just kept running in front of me!
I loved the movie, “Overcomer”! If you haven’t yet seen it, you’re missing out!
I think the most interesting thing that happens is not unusual at all but is something that I never expected when I started on my running adventure. I love that when I'm running in a race and by myself however by the end of the race I've made new friends. It's amazing to me how runners will support and encourage eachother, truly runners are a special bunch!
Two years ago, I was running with my dog using one of those waist-attached leashes so my hands can remain free. (He's a newfie mix - big, black fluffy sucker.) My phone rang and out of habit, I turned to look at it to see who it was (it was in a holder on my arm). That split second head turn caused me to roll my ankle off the side of the road. Then, because my dog was attached to my waist, he yanked me off my feet. According to the woman who saw it all happen, I was yanked off my feet completely, flying through the air, and landing on my shoulder, hip and head. The initial ankle roll broke a bone in my foot and tore the tendons in my ankle. I still have the scars of the road rash on my shoulder. I wore a air-cast boot for 8 weeks and needed 6 weeks of physical therapy. This happened on July 4th and it was November before I was running again. It was months before I was running again. Needless to say, the dog does not run with me anymore!!!!
Iam Marathoner and I lived in Brazil. The best book I had read about races is from Drauzio Varella, and the name of the book is Correr. I hope you can find it written in English.
Couple questions and thoughts: How many of you actually enjoy or pay attention to the scenery while running a long tough race? Also do you have thoughts of why you are putting yourself through all this suffering during a long race? Also do you look for fast and flat course or do you look to run courses that will truly challenge you? Races where you face real obstacles and where there is a real chance of failure, unlike a flat, easy 5k course. Finally how many of you look at your watch and check time and paces during a race?
My own answers are I look for challenging course, sometimes it can be a bit of a suffer fest :) I try to not look at my watch during a race, though I do check it during training. Running short easy courses doesn't really seem to be challenging or interesting. Even if course has a lot of elevation gain and or loss the thing to remember is the runners around you have to run the same challenging course.
So maybe next time some of you look for an upcoming race, you might try one that says "challenging" instead of "flat and easy".
Running movies: First two are on you tube- Life in a Day- The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Second one:- Where Dreams Go to Die: Garry Robbins and the Barkley Marathons. Last one is on Amazon Prime: The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats it's Young.
I was having the best race of my life.... forget P.R. it was what dreams are made of. I saw only three people in front of me and started to draw in the one directly in front of me. That was the last thing I remember until someone was looking down at me, asking my name and did I know where I was. It seems I passed out a quarter mile from the finish line. The ambulance that was stationed there, rushed me to the E.R. at a local hospital. After an hour and a half, three bags of fluids, and two Gatorades I was able to go to the bathroom... they weren't discharging me until I did. I was told I fell over, got up and started running three times before I finally stayed down. I'd been fighting a cold and took a 24 hour decongestant two days in a row. I was already dehydrated and didn't realize it... Now I drink BEFORE the start of the race because the water stops aren't enough if you're already in trouble. I still think of what could have happened and am thankful I live to race again.
Spicy fish tacos the night before a run..... 3 bathroom stops within the first 5 K. Thank goodness they were there.
Some friends (with a dog) and I were doing a trail race & we must have spooked a deer. The deer ran all around and then crossed between me & one of my friends and then next three people who were about 10 feet in front of us. It then leaped over the trail and straight off the side of the mountain. We all ran to look over to see and unfortunately the poor thing stumbled and came to rest near a rock. It was very shocking to witness.
I just finished Scott Jurek North and Eat and Run also read I am an Ironman emphasis on importance of nutrition rest and not overtraining Fav movies Spirit of Marathon I andII / Hood to Coast and Mc Farland Deb Stuart I run happy in TX
I was running Philadelphia RnR half & at 8 mile, I got so sick with a headache, upset stomach, etc., what would you say happened? I live in CA & travel east for that. 😕
My thought is you can finish ultra's but not conquer :) I'm still new to them myself, but I do like the challenge. The finish line sure looks good after hours of going up and down hills (sometimes only up).
My favorite books about running are John L. Parker, Jr.'s novels. I recommend reading them in the order they were written: Once a Runner, Again to Carthage, and Racing the Rain.
Yes i’ve Been training for the half marathon since last May with a a couple 9 miles runs and lots of 6 and 4 miles every day and i’ M kind of burn out, now the race is October 20th and still have 12&14 long miles weeks. What will happen if a take a week off.!!
Ironically, I never got an X-ray, but there was no doubt in my mind. After reading what the rehab was for rib cracks, bruises, and cartilage damage they all said 6-8 weeks. Side note, I never remember hitting the road, but opened my eye and was surrounded by lady runners all asking if I was ok. (Guess the guys though I could tough it out!). They picked me up...I could still move, do “painfully on” I went. Face protective shield on iPhone literally frayed...but that’s all.