Betty Says: Bite Me

As if a little stick will protect me from these teeth.

This week on the Facebook page for Run Like a Mother (an excellent book for anyone who feels like their fitness needs to compete with work, family and that massive to-do list), they asked:

So let’s talk trail running this afternoon. Curious: are you scared of it? If so, why? Animals, injury, getting lost, falling, something else? And how, if you have, did you overcome your fear?

I love running trails. They’re more scenic. They’re more interesting. In the heat of the summer, they offer welcome shade.

In California, they also offer rattlesnakes, coyotes and mountain lions.

Yeah, I’m not exactly into the wildlife portion of the trail running program.

Every time I run on the trail, I pick up the biggest stick that I can find. While I’m reasonably certain that it wouldn’t actually help me fend off a vicious critter intent on sinking its teeth into my flesh, it makes me feel better. I can’t explain why, but it helps me to run with more confidence. Just try to bite me, beastie. I have a dinky little stick to protect myself.

Dumb? Probably. But half of running is mental, anyway. If that’s what it takes to get me out on the trails, then so be it.

FYI, if you encounter a mountain lion or coyote, the best approach is to seem bigger, badder and louder than the beast. If you spot a rattlesnake, run as fast as your little legs will carry you.

As for getting lost, injury or other scary stuff, that’s why I carry my phone. Granted, AT&T would likely drop the call as I begged for rescue, but it’s better than nothing.

Do you run on trails? What are your biggest trail running fears?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Search by Category
Looking for something specific?

3 Responses

  1. I run on a paved trail, so I get the scenery and shade with none of the ankle rolling that’s my biggest fear (and reality) of running on dirt trails. So many roots, so little ankle strength. Part of why I carry my phone is my fear of being stranded mid-trail with ankle sprain. Sketchy-looking men tend to be the scariest wildlife around here, but fortunately the trail I run on usually has plenty of people around, so I feel fairly safe.

  2. Terzah says:

    I LOVE trail running, but I made the mistake earlier this year of reading Beast in the Garden, which described in great and scary detail a runner’s encounter with not one but two mountain lions, right here in Boulder where I live. Now, I won’t run on mountain trails alone at mountain lions favorite hunting times (dawn and dusk). I don’t carry a stick like you do at other times, but I prefer to do these runs with others. You gotta respect nature, right?

  3. Alisa says:

    Terzah, we hear stories all the time about a runner/hiker/dog walker running into some sort of wildlife on the ridge trail. I do try to avoid dusk and dawn like you do, but somehow the stick makes me just feel ever-so-slightly more empowered.

    Lori, if you ever make it out to the west coast, we have a flat, packed gravel trail that you would love. All of the off-road, none of the roots!

Leave a Reply