Running: Lakeside and Moana at night: screw that

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Friday October 12, 2007.

I just got back from my “longest workout yet” (thanks, Lance Armstrong!), a 4.06 mile run from my house up Lakeside until my Nike Plus iPod Sport Kit told me I was halfway to 4.05 miles. I’ve run that route before and it’s a good one. Not tonight.

Well, to be honest, the run was good. I felt good, ran decently, and didn’t die, so it wasn’t all that bad. One little incident, however, tainted the run overall.

I had just crossed Moana and was heading South in the Northbound lane (always run against traffic). I was in front of the Shell station with Deli Town in it. Just about past it, in fact. Out of nowhere (well, actually it was the sewer) came four (4!) dirty, rotten, mangy raccoons. Into the street. Sort of. They were confused. There was a small amount of traffic, which certainly didn’t help. Three of them successfully navigated across Lakeside toward Moana Nursery. The other one was all over the place.

At this point I was totally stopped. I was a little embarrassed to be almost running back home while people in cars stared at me and the raccoons, but I was also a little afraid. I hate raccoons. HATE them. And I was staring at one of them as it was scared and now alone. It bounced around a little, not knowing where to go, and I thought about picking up a rock from the landscaped area next to me to try and scare it away. I thought better of that because I would have had to take my eyes off the raccoon for a split second, and I don’t trust those things. I was ready to mount a defense, but I was also dragging a little from the run.

Real quickly, the raccoon, through some sort of silent signal, realized that he was not with his buddies anymore and knew exactly where they were. So he bolted into Lakeside—and a car. The car (heroically) never even slowed down. The driver obviously shared my disdain for the creatures and didn’t give a fizzle if he killed one. The thumping sound was audible through the iPod with music playing. Both tires rolled over the raccoon, who also did a roll or two itself. Then, the raccoon got up, and bolted off to where its friends were. I looked back at the car, and it was just cruising along.

I, on the other hand, was scared shitless to run in front of a drain the rest of the 2.5 miles.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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