Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears... Oh My!

Okay, maybe minus the Lions and Tigers, but I had a Bear scare yesterday morning. Well to be honest, I never actually saw a Bear but it may have been in the same park I was running in.

Here is the story, I was doing my easy run in the mid morning and entered a local park a few blocks from my house. I took an extended trail in rather than the regular entrance to the park. As the trail met the main trails in the park, I came upon an older man walking his dog. He tells me to be careful and that he is sure he heard a bear in the bushes while he was fishing. He goes on to tell me that he believes it attacked a dog on the upper trail as he heard a commotion and that this is why he had a pocket knife in his hand. I confirmed the area where he thinks he heard the bear and then thanked him for the info and went on my way. As I was running, I heard him say that there was bear droppings on the trail where he was.

At that point I was debating with myself what I should do. Do I continue in the park or do I do a 180 and head out of it to finish the rest of my run on the roads. I opted to keep going but to be aware. Of course going through my head are the recent bear attacks on the island where some guy had part of his scalp ripped off. I think my heart rate might have been a tad higher than normal. I continued on, debating whether I would continue my usual loop (generally I do 1.5 loops) or if I should just head to the other side of the park and head out of the park.

I met up with another lady who was also walking her dog. I stopped briefly and asked her if she had seen/heard the bear. She had no idea what I was talking about, but stated she wouldn't be surprised because she occasionally thought she saw something black move in the bushes before. I know bears are around as there are wooded areas backing onto the park, but it is whether they show themselves or not. I start to head on my way and she asks "Are you a marathoner" to which I stop and respond no only half's. She goes on to say that she needed to get into running because all the runner's she sees have lean legs. I tell her that it is addicting and that it's best to start slow. The conversation lasts a little longer and then once again I am off again.

I decide to head on my usual loop and a half and then a few minutes later all of a sudden I think I hear rustling in the bushes. Or was it some grunting? OR.... was I freaking imagining it? It was in the area where the guy said the bear was. I have no idea if it was anything or if it was me imagining it, but I opted to skip the half loop which trail cuts through the park right where I "think" I heard this. Instead I did an out and back on the lower trail before heading out of the park.

So was there actually a bear? I have no idea. Did I actually hear rustling/grunting? I can't even confirm that. I thought I did, so I kinda just booked it out of the area. On my way home the man who I saw in the park drove by me and waved. I think I will wait a few days until I run through there again. Good thing I never run with music eh?

In other news, my luggage arrived yesterday. In fact, stupid Purolator tried to deliver it when I was out on my run. Go figure, that is the time they always try and deliver. No matter what time I go for my run, that is when they come by. In the end, I went and picked it up while I was out running errands in town.

Watch out for the killer kitty guarding the box

Not the prettiest, but hey... free is free

Close up

Last night I also attended the First (annual?) Westwood Running Club BBQ at Westwood Lake. It had a decent turn out of 25 or so people I think (I am horrible at estimating people). Just fun to get together with a bunch of runners of all abilities. Thanks to the WRC boys for putting it together!

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