Alright, so I have recently cut down my running to 3 days a week in training, no races (equals no concerns on PRing or heat exhaustion). Gosh, I really swore to myself in my last race that the humidity and heat really cause a huge factor of bringing down my enthusiasm for running. But I'll be there at the races to take pictures and cheer people on...and maybe even bring along the COWBELL!
Although my 3 days a week training sessions have started, I have broken the "3 day rule" to facilitate one of my college friends, whom has recently started running. So I run along at a gingerly pace at a 10 minute mile to pace her and to facilitate my injury. No girl should run alone in the city...come on now.
She was a beginner and I wanted her to experience “the addiction” of what running was about. She had joined up with TNT (Team in Training) which we runners like to call “the cult” because of the large groupings of people that run together in a group all around Central Park. But I support any cause that is fighting a disease, and if you are running on top of that (no matter what distance or pace) well then, you are not just fighting the cause; you are also doing good for yourself. So, she is training for the San Francisco Half Marathon or better known as the NIKE 26.2, which is very popular amongst the women because 1) it's an all women's marathon and 2) the hardware that they give out in the end of the race…a women’s most favorite colored blue box and white bow…need I say it? - Tiffany’s & CO! – “come on men, get with the program!” is what women want to hear.
So, last Thursday I met up with her to do a leisurely 5 mile loop on the East side. We ran along the Hudson River peering at the Brooklyn Skyline, stretched and then took a turn inside right between Alphabet City and the beginnings of Chinatown. We ran along the streets of some lower income housing areas, which were not too bad, although it wasn’t like running around Midtown either. While running on the sidewalks we saw in the distance Two HUGE Rats from the garbage bags on the left side to a building on the right.
(Envision a cat running across the street, and that is what it looked like from the distance) I really did not think much of it to keep running in the direction that we were going at and totally forgot that she being a lady, whom may have been afraid of rats or mice, should have crossed the street. I did not or had not even thought about that at the time (and of course, I was running, where I just have a complete focus on just running at the time, even at that pace).
SO, I continue to run, thinking that was it, TWO HUGE RATS and that’s it…wow was I wrong. We saw two more HUGE RATS scurry across again and a HUGE amount (I would have to say about 4 more all around the garbage bags) THEY WERE HUGE. We described them as cat sized rats. So after I pursued to run past them, I turn to look where my partner had been (thinking that she had ran across the street) and I look slightly back, she wasn’t there….I look slightly ahead of me and I can see that her focus was to run straight past there at a blazing speed that I have never seen her run so fast in my life. Boy, do I owe her big time for that experience, were we joked around at the end and said that those CAT SIZED RATS could have jumped us and given us RABIES or if I had dropped dead because of the RABID RATS, she would have been left alone and maybe even R_ped (I hate using that word, I have a story about that which I can share with certain people…)
We made it back ok, all in one piece, but the experience and trust in our runs outside of Central Park looms in the future of having a running mate. I told her that I had to show her the bad to make the good look and feel more appreciative, but I think we’re on good terms. The Rabid Rabbit Sized Rats will ever be imprinted in my running experience now.