Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Bear of a Run

Oh, I dread the day when I have to do the long run. (See Blog title "Natural Talents") Each year I try to get one 6-mile training run in, the distance I must run in the olympic- length triathlon I challenge myself to each August. I was on vacation up-north and I decided to run around the lake. A real runner would be thrilled with this convenient,10K, out-the-door, fantastically beautiful route through the forest and along the shore on trails and dirt roads. "Alright, let's get this over with," was my bummer attitude. I checked the clock on the garage wall before I left: 8:57 a.m.
When I was 3 miles into my run, there were two trucks parked on the road and a couple of guys walking slowly in the road, looking down. I stopped to see what they were looking for. Bear Tracks! I drew a circle in the sand around some of them, with the intention of returning to get some photos. But first I had to run all the way back home, and since I was half-way around the lake, there was no short route. I ran, and fast, I think. I can hardly remember the hills, the heat, the distance. I was determined to get a photo before a car ran over the tracks. I hurried in the house to fetch my camera and a ruler, and mounted my bicycle to return as quickly as possible. I did it! See the photos! I also learned from these bear hunters much about bear behavior, diet, and habitat, and that the location for the State of Michigan record bear (32 1/8 skull size) is less than 2 miles from my house.
How long did it take me to do the 6-mile run? Does it matter? I enjoyed that run!

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