Monday, February 28, 2011

Bird Fights Prius - and other tales from Long Run Saturday

As you may know, I've signed myself up to run a 10K trail race in March. This race is exactly twice the distance of the ONLY trail race I've ever done and almost twice the elevation gain.

To put it for you in a way I know you'll understand, it scares the shit out of me.

The thought of gaining that much elevation over such a short distance sounds terrible. Like, the likelihood that I'll make a public shame of myself will increase by 10 fold, if not more.

So, in an effort to forgo as much publicly shameful behavior as possible, I decided I'd go out and run the distance and elevation beforehand so that I don't die during my race. Normal people call this, "training".

In fact, I used to call activities done in preparation for a race, "training", too, once upon a time, but now that so many factors of my well-being are at stake, I basically approach these races as though they may be my final act on earth if I don't prepare adequately and the word, "training" hardly seems to cover that.

However, I'm loathe to see these "training" days otherwise, given the near treacherous conditions I faced on Long Run Saturday.

Where do I start? OH RIGHT - at the beginning - where, before I'd even run Step #1, I punched myself in the face.


Oh yeah. Apparently yours truly needs an operating manual for a pair of arm warmers. The operating manual would go as follows:

1. Arrive at your running location
2. Slide arm into one arm warmer WHILE GRIPPING THE TOP OF THE SLEEVE FIRMLY
3. Repeat with other arm warmer and arm
4. Run comfortably despite horrid conditions

Unfortunately, I didn't have any manual like this, so instead I did it as follows:

1. Arrive at your running location. Realize it's really fucking cold.
2. Put on beanie. Decide it's still really fucking cold.
3. Put on gloves. Decide it's STILL really fucking cold. Decide it's high time I wore these stupid arm warmers I keep dragging around and not wearing.
4. Slide right arm into arm warmer, being sure that big end is on top and little end is at the bottom. Pat self on back for being so flipping smart so early in the morning.
6. Scream bloody god damned murder in the middle of empty park and inspect lip in sideview mirror. Confirm presence of blood and freshly swollen blood blister.
7. Throw arm warmers back into the car out of spite and give them the finger.
8. Commence run, lamenting the decision to leave cozy arm warmers in the car out of spite.

So, yeah, I punched myself in the face because I'm retarded and then left my much-needed arm warmers in the car because I'm retarded and then pouted (with the aid of my newly swollen lip! Bonus!) for the first mile of my run because, again, I'm retarded - and a child.
Boo on the stupid girl.
Super good start to a really long and arduous run. Good going, me!

Then, because excitement never alludes me when I go out on these mountainous adventures, it was snowing.

Don't you make fun of my Fuel Belt shoe thingee. JUST DON'T DO IT.

Yes. You read that right. It. Snowed. In. The. Bay. Area.

And, oh goodie!, when I showed up at the park, which is, like, at 1,400 feet, there was snow on the ground and trees and bridges and yay. And, since it was a balmy not-quite-freezing-but-still-butt-ass-cold 34 degrees, lots of that snow was melting and making rivulets and puddles and mud just every fucking place that there wasn't snow.
So I charge through puddles like an eight year old? So fricken what?

Where's mah snowboard?

This was my beanie, post-run. Notice the sweat that's frozen on the brim. Cozy.

So, in addition to my newly minted swollen lip, I had the opportunity to slay myself in numerous other ways. Thankfully, nothing horrible befell me during my six mile out and back route. I mean, aside from the monstrous 1500' elevation gain, of course.

I didn't slip, fall, slide off the side of the single track trail when a group of Asian women wearing huge green Poker Dealer visors refused to make way for the ninja woman rocketing down the trail, or even twist my ankle.

I did however manage to skip across newly active streams, forge more than one wet weather creek and crunch along frozen snowy trails once I reached the cold summit. It was a long hard run and BOY HOWDY was I tired afterward and sore yesterday. But, it got done and I'll go out and do it again as many times as I can before race day is here and I have to punch myself in the face in front of a crowd.

Snowy tree crotch behind me. HA! Crotch.

Just kidding. I'm totally not bringing the arm warmers to a race. I'd probably kill someone.

Anyway, when I got back to my car, all triumphant with YAY! I didn't die from that ferocious elevation gain even though I have a fat lip! I found a tiny bird - a finch maybe or a swallow - throwing DOWN on my car.

And, as the poop stains dripping down the passenger door would suggest, the throw down had been going on for some time.

See, this little bird was perched on the passenger side door pooping his little heart out while pecking the ever loving crap out of my sideview mirror. Just going to fricken town over there - feathers flying, poop shooting, tweeting like someone had jammed a baby carrot up its butt and left it there.

I really didn't know what to do. I stood there for a minute and stared at the bird. I tried to lovingly call out to the bird, "Hey you fucking bird! What the hell are you doing?" I tried to shoo it away without getting within poop shooting range. Only when I took out my phone to take a picture did it fly away, leaving poop and feathers and Crazy all over my car door. So, I decided that I'd go stretch and forget that my car had been in a battle royale with a bird the size of a pear.

Not ONE SECOND after I turned my back to start stretching my noodley quads did the tweeting and pooping madness begin again - in earnest.

And when I turned around, there was little Mr. Psycho Poop Shooter, pecking away at my sideview mirror like his own reflection had done him wrong...oh so wrong.

It was hysterical. Though, again, no photos because that's the only way to defeat an attacker such as this - point an Android phone in its direction and its anus recoils so that it can retreat post-haste.


And then I went to Whole Foods for some coconut water. That's all.


  1. First off, birds are evil. I hate all birds and their never ending pooping ways. I don't count ducks or geese as birds. Even though they poop a lot. Because they are kind of cute.

    Second, I need one of those shoe thingies! Because although you look retarded, it's a good way to ensure when you die running your body will be accurately identified because hey- I'm making Mr. Police Officer's job easier by carrying my ID in a conveniently located place. Genius.

    What the fuck is coconut water? Don't coconuts have milk??

  2. You know why I read your blog (and never comment)? Is because I would so do all of that crap. Shit like that happens to me all the fricken time, and it is nice to know I'm not alone.

    Also, I study birds. They don't have anuses. They have cloacae. But they do poop a lot.

  3. Your story about the arm warmers sounded JUST LIKE me. In my case I suffer from a deficit of spatial sense, where I stop and hard or sharp things begin.
    You are a hoot.

  4. oh my god.. this made me laugh so much i spurted tea all over the laptop...

  5. Sara - You know, normally I don't take issue with birds and, in fact, like them quite a lot. This guy, however, was after his own title in the Bird Vs Car wars and I didn't want any part of it. The shoe pocket thingee holds my car remote so I can get back in. Don't make fun. Also, coconuts DO have water. It works as a natural laxative if you drink too much though, so don't, like, drink too much.

    Katie - #1 - you should comment more because I need someone to bond with over doing crap like this. #2 - I'm ashamed to say that I knew that about birds and totally forgot. Thank you for that.

    Jenny - This time, the hard/sharp thing was my own fist. Humiliating.

    Emma - I'm sorry about your laptop. Don't let it near any little birds.

  6. Take the arm warmers to the race--an easy way to eliminate the competition.

  7. Sorry I was totally laughing at you whacking yourself in the face. I'm such a clutz I'm always doing stupid shit.

    I think that birds do that because they think it's another bird.

    Do you take something to stab someone with? I'd be scared someone would drag me off in the woods and rape me and chop me up into pieces.

    The snow totally missed us. Totally disappointed about that.

  8. I want to speak with you more about this trail running. By Sunday, also known as: THE DAY WE SPEND AT THE SPA TOGETHER DRINKING AND ACTING LIKE SPOILED IDIOTS WHO MINT MONEY, I will have completed one of these.
    Can't wait. For your visit.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.