June 10, 2006

Lions And Tigers And Bears, Oh S**t!

Morning Workout
4 hours 40 minutes
Heart Rate Zone: Aerobic (Zone 1) to Steady State Threshold (Zone 4) and all spots in between.

30 minutes
Heart Rate Zone: Lactate Threshold (Zone 2)

Random Comments: I could easily sit here and complain about my ride, about the headwind, the cold and the hills, about the pedals that didn't fit, the bike that didn't fit and the jacket that didn't fit. I could talk to you about how I've had enough with biking. Of how biking is my weakest sport and it's getting slower and weaker every single day. I could tell you that I hope the Ironman race comes around at least one day before I inevitably take the chainsaw to my two-wheeled nemesis. But I'm not going to talk about all of that stuff, cause, as it so happens, a bear walked in front of me during my run today. And, frankly, that's a helluva lot more interesting.

I was staying at my sisters house, just a few clicks to the west of absolutely nowhere. There's a lot of woods and open land here. In fact, we saw quite the variety of wildlife on our ride: deer, pheasant, cows, horses... there may even have been a turduckin or two in there as well, I'm not quite sure. But once you see a bear, the rest of the wildlife means nothing.

I was 20 minutes into what was only a 30 minute run, zipping along and feeling pretty darn good when all of the sudden the bear walked right out into the road, not but 30 feet in front of me. As you can imagine, I stopped pretty quickly and pretty quietly and started backing up with the hope that he wouldn't turn around and do something stupid. Like eat me. Or tear off my arm.

There was only one way back to my sister's place and the bear happened to be right in the middle of me and the finish line. So I waited for him to get off the road. And I waited some more. But he didn't move. He just roamed around on the side there, playing in the weeds and overgrown grass. I started whistling and yelling to let him know I was around - mostly cause I remember reading this in some book about "things you should do in order to avoid getting eaten by bears". He looked at me, the bear did, but he didn't move. Mental note, write to the author of that book and tell him his technique doesn't work.

As I stood there trying to think of a new angle to get past this bear, he disappeared behind a tree and out of my site. I inched closer, looking for him behind that tree to see if it was safe for me to pass or if he were merely waiting to pounce. I expected to see nothing as much as I expected him to be preparing his dental floss. Fortunately, I saw nothing. Closer and closer I came and still, nothing. Finally, when I was just about at the tree, I decided it was safe to start running, so I did. A few steps into my re-start, I glanced to my left only to see my new friend, the bear, this time about 100 feet away from me, galloping along at my same pace.

Needless to say, I picked up my pace and I did it fast. The bear headed off into the woods and I finished those last 10 mintues of my run in about 7 minutes.

You can call me Grizzlyman if you want. That'd be OK.