Running Observations

You know those jokes/warnings about crank callers and heavy breathing? Did you know an ostrich sounds eerily similar to those types of things when it runs up next to you? Did you know that having an ostrich run up next to you while you’re running and you’re totally not expecting it can scare the crap out of you?

Okay, let’s back up a little.

This morning my goal was to be out running by 6:00. On the road by 6:00. I thought I was supposed to have to take my car to the shop this morning by 8:00, so I wanted to be done running in time to take care of that. Of course, the shop is totally flaking on me and I can’t get it in there today, but that doesn’t mean I was going to change my running plans.

Well, despite my best intentions, I wasn’t actually out the door until 6:22 AM. I’m just glad I wasn’t letting my friends down with this kind of tardiness… just myself and I’m trying to be more flexible and lenient with myself.

Anyway, I decided to just run wherever I felt. I’d get to an intersection and turn whatever way the wind blew me. Oh, that’s a poor analogy because for once there wasn’t any wind. Okay, I’d get to an intersection and turn whatever way my internal instinct decided upon.

So that led me to an overpass with a pretty steep hill. My internal instinct is a jerk.

Not really, I actually liked that hill. It was fine. It was all the flat in the open sun that wore me down. And the long, gradual, uphill slopes on the second half of the run.

I was compelled to run down a certain road at one point, a road I have run along MANY MANY times. But usually I run the opposite direction on this road, which means I’m on the opposite side of the road from today. So I was taken a little by surprise when I was running on the dirt along a fence when all the sudden the sound of heavy breathing was right next to me, followed shortly by an ostrich head popping out of the bushes by the fence.


I had completely spaced I was running right next to the bird sanctuary. And I do mean RIGHT NEXT to it, if I was a more foolish person I could have reached over to try touching the ginormous bird. But I’m pretty practical… instead I just yelped and jumped a mile in the air. Or maybe I jumped about a foot in the air. I don’t really have me some mad hops.

I was pretty close to my neighborhood so it was just another 3/4 mile or maybe a full mile until I was back in “safe” territory.

I entered my neighborhood and was immediately confronted with the site of a very… um… man-ish woman standing in her front yard. She had her back to me and it looked like she was taking a leak in a very manly fashion. Turns out she was watering her flowers, but did she really have to hold the hose like that? Especially when she’s already kind of, um…. ambiguously built.

Next I continued to run along and was startled half to death when a dog damn near threw itself through the fence to bark at me. Seriously, if I was a dog whisperer and could peer into an animal’s thoughts, I think that dog would have said, “Ouch! What the… why did I do that?”

I’m also pretty sure this is the dog that chased me back into my home when I was training for my first time at the PF Chang’s RnR. That was pre-running-blog days…. maybe I should share that story here someday. It’s kind of funny.

Anyway, I was pretty glad to take cover into the safety of my home. I covered 7 miles today. I really wish I could say it was a breeze, but it felt kind of hard. My average pace was a 9:45. I’m seriously considering training for a 1/2 marathon using Daniels’ formula, which would call for a 10:50 pace on my long days. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that, it’s a lot different from what I usually run, but then I also want to experiment with my running and find how I can be more efficient and run until I’m 100.

The Runners World Smart Coach utility uses Daniels’ formula, obviously it’s gotta have some credibility. Have any of you run based on Daniels’ formula? Any thoughts on the concept?


  1. Great post, Jill! I can only imagine how it would feel looking over and seeing a giant bird next to me. I think I would have to find a bathroom quick!

    Not familiar with Daniels’ formula, but I have looked at the Smart Coach thing before. As I recall, the slow days are really slooow.

    Keep us posted.

  2. i’ve had dogs come up behind/next to me while running and it freaks me out! i can’t imagine an ostrich. i think i’d jump at least a mile too 🙂 i am going to use a daniels’ plan for my next marathon training period – let’s hope i can stick with it!

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