Thursday, June 2, 2011

Danger! Danger!

Last weekend I was in San Diego visiting family. While there my brother-in-law, Dennis, took me on a run with his running buddy Dave. I have run with Dennis in the past…or attempted to run with Dennis in the past is probably more accurate. I usually find that I am gasping for air trying to keep up with what seems like an easy pace for him. Prior to this San Diego run, my last Dennis run was at Kailua Beach Park. We had made our way down to the end of the beach, and decided to cut through the neighborhoods. This was not a good idea, as there was not really public access. This did not stop Dennis from finding a way for us to get off the beach and on the road. I followed him as he made his way toward someone’s front gate, and watched as he did some crazy Navy Seal type shit and scaled this very tall lava rock wall. As you can imagine, I was slightly less powerful and graceful. I think my approach to scaling this wall resembled more of a beached whale trying to get back to sea.

At any rate, last weekend we went running on these beautiful trails in Carmel Valley. Don’t ask me which ones, I don’t know (and besides, I run without my glasses so things like road or park signs are fuzzy). This run was awesome. Up and down hills, into valleys, lots of pretty flowers and plants and all that stuff. The weather was just right and the sun was on my face as opposed to my usual trail runs where I am shaded by trees – good ‘ole Oregon.

Throughout the run Dennis and Dave had been filling me in on all the wild creatures a person can encounter on this particular trail: bunnies, quails, rattlesnakes…

Rattlesnakes?! Yes. We saw one. This is the part wherein I almost got bit by a HUGE rattlesnake.

Okay, not really, but this is a blog, and aren’t I supposed to make things sound cooler than they are? We did see a rattlesnake. That much is very true. It happened on one part of the trail where it was narrow enough that the three of us ran single-file. Dennis was first, followed by me, with Dave in the back. Dave spotted the snake and yelled out. Dennis and I came back to look, and sure enough there was a rattlesnake poking its pissed-off head out from the brush and onto the trail. All of us had run past it and missed it by a few inches. Dennis and Dave (well, really Dave) proceeded to use a branch to move the rattler back into the brush so as to be nice to the other fine folks using the trail.

Since encountering the rattlesnake on this run, I have been thinking of how I might share this via blog and somehow tie it into running and PhDing. Then, an incident this morning gave me some inspiration…Running and PhDing are dangerous activities. It’s true.

The dangers associated with running are kind of obvious:

· You can hurt yourself with bad form.

· A rattlesnake can bite you on a trail.

· A Trail Troll can reach out its grubby little hand and trip you up on a tree root causing you to fall down and skin your knees.

· You could trip over your dog if it’s running with you.

· Sweat could pour down into your eyes so much that you can’t see where you are going.

· Blisters…huge disgusting blisters on your toes.

The list goes on.

The dangers associated with PhDing? Well, based on personal experience:

· You could get a nasty paper cut. Seriously, you use and handle a lot of paper working on this thing.

· Your back could go out carrying all those damn books around.

· You could inhale too many dry erase maker fumes.

· Hot coffee could burn you due to the fact that your hands are so jittery from consuming high quantities of caffeine.

· A rattlesnake can bite you – you know, for those people studying rattlesnakes.

· And new to my list as of today – You can fall off the bouncy ball you are using as a chair and hit your head on a wall because you were trying to stretch upside down to bring more blood to your aching head.

Danger is apparently my middle name.

Running Updates: Am up to 12 miles, going for 13 this weekend. Continuing to run in my Vibram 5-Fingers and loving it.

PhD Updates: Am on a new timeline with my new major professor with aim to get first draft of dissertation done by September. Rewrote Chapter 1 (again). Am making huge headway with Chapter 4.


  1. You know the problem with the Vibe 5 (as I like to call them) is that there is no little cut out for your Nike+ Sensor. How is Phil Knight supposed to keep track of all his little ducklings if they won't conform? Good job defeating the rattlesnake, better luck next time with the ball <3

  2. that was a huge-ass snake!!! don't let anyone tell you different! crazy navy SEAL shit ;-)