Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Birds Attack

Not much running over the last week, this being a taper and all.  I'm looking at the weather reports for Loudonville, OH, every 30 minutes hoping for perfect weather. After running in the heat last week, I know that a hot weekend could make for a character building experience. Not much I can do about that.

One weird thing that's happening on my running route, is that I'm being bullied. Some bird has decided that he hated my guts and has been bomb-diving me, actually hitting me on the head. I tried changing my hat and it still happens. He attacks me going out, and coming back. I've asked other runners if they had been attacked and they look at me like I'm crazy. Yesterday, I looked at a cyclist ahead of me and he went through no problem so I followed and sure enough, the friggin' bird came after me. On the way back, I picked up a stick and tried to hit it when he came for me. He started hovering just out of reach, mocking me, so I threw the stick at him and almost got him. Be careful bird! Law of the jungle and all that.

Overshare warning! Skip this paragraph if you're not comfortable with intimate-part running injuries. I don't know what happened last weekend, if some of my shorts shrunk or something, but on Thursday morning I woke up with shooting pain in my left ball area. Was it the heat? That kind of pain is a bitch. It radiates to other location and I was worried my race was doomed. I went for my run on Thursday and it wasn't too bad, but it sure didn't help. I decided not to aggravate it and take 3 days off.  I could have panicked but I didn't because I've had this kind of pain before, ending up laying down on an ultrasound table, a towel under my sack and a female technician named Frieda running the ultrasound stick all over it. Not fun. Not to panic, I was told, leave it alone, stop squeezing it to see if it hurts and it will get better. That's what I did this time and sure enough, I'm now perfectly fine. End of overshare.

I have not started to pack for the weekend. I still have to buy my gels and Advil. It's Wednesday for Pete's sake. Last year, I think I started getting my drop bags ready a week in advance. I'm not sure I opened more than one during the race. The only thing with Mohican, is that the aid stations are pretty far apart, about 10km in a lot of cases. That's a long time when you're shuffling in the heat, so you need to carry a lot of water. At least two handhelds. I will also leave my belt and my bladder in drop bags in case I get sick of carrying both bottles. I will leave 3 different kinds of shoes at the start/finish: my oversized Crosslites, my Mizuno Ascent trail shoes and, in case of emergency, my Nike Lunar-something road shoes because the toe box is so nice and roomy. I will start with the Crosslites.

My plan for this race is to eat and drink more than I did last year. Derrick always told me to eat close to 300 calories per hour, but I doubt I did. This time I will. Of course, it's easy to say that now. We'll see what happens after 50 miles in the heat. Eating is not so easy then. I keep getting flashbacks from Creemore, where I experienced the worst bonk of my life. Was it the hydration, the salt, the heat, the side stich from hell, all of the above? Freaks me out just thinking about it.

I could go on, but let's end this now. Race report next week.


Carlos said...

The same bird is all over me as well! (I assume you are talking about the Don River trail right? If you don't get the bird I will.

Anyways, I read a pretty good report on GI (stomach) issues during hot weather, it may be useful for you (see below the link); the most interesting advice was having GU diluted in your water bottle so you really don't need to swallow the whole thing when your stomach is uncapable. Anyways, just a thought.

JD said...

YES, that's his picture on your link. Bastard!

GU gels are WAY too thick for me anyway. How do you even swallow them. It's like swallowing a gum.

I'll read the link for sure.

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

A red winged black bird flies overhead squawking at me these days on my trail also but has not dive bombed me yet. I think it's our slow pace that makes him nervous(the males are black with red the females are brown).
Good Luck keeping up your nutrition and hydration at Mohican. Eat, Drink, Run! Not in that particular order.

chris mcpeake said...

just stop squeezing your balls .... is that possible?

Heres a bird link just for you

Ruth Waters said...

OMG. I am so pleased to have found someone who has also been attacked by the bird. It's happened to me twice in the last two weeks while running on the trial beside the Don Valley, in the exact same spot. I've told people and they think I'm mad. I'm going to circulate your post. Thank you! Ruth