Saturday, December 10, 2011

Man vs. Wild

With a little over a week until the Rocket City Marathon, I headed to Moss Wright Park to do my last hardish workout. I was going to run the first two miles of the Team Nashville 10 Mile course as a warm-up and then run the last eight miles at marathon pace and then add in a mile cool-down at the end. I anticipated the workout to be tough but didn't expect to struggle very much.

By the time I got Kate and dropped her off with Mary, I would have just enough time to finish before darkness fully settled in. I hid my keys at the top of my wheel and headed out for the first mile of the course, which was a loop around the park. After the first mile, you head out into Indian Hills, so i stopped by my car to drop off my long sleeve shirt. Normally, I forget which tire I place my keys on, so it's a guessing game until I find them. However, after checking all of my tires, my keys were nowhere to be found. I then looked under the car and under each wheel because sometimes I place them there but still, they were nowhere to be found.

At this point, I started to become a little frustrated and then noticed my car was unlocked. I was pretty certain I locked the car but thought there was an off-chance that I forgot to lock-up and left the keys inside the ignition. Again, the keys were nowhere to be found. I then looked in every nook-and-cranny and moved around everything in the car. I still couldn't find them and after losing about ten minutes of daylight, I decided that I needed to hurry up and start my workout.

After shutting the car door, I thought I heard a jingle in the distance. I looked over my shoulder and saw a squirrel about 50 feet away with my keys in his mouth. I couldn't believe what I saw and then charged after him. He must had been toying with my because I chased him around a tree several times and when he made a move to climb up the tree, the keys fell out of his mouth. For a second, we stared each other down, sizing each other up.

When it comes down to dogs, normally I'm not scared of them and if one chases me, I will charge it or throw stuff at it and nine times out of ten, it will run away. But squirrels are crazy and you never know what is running through their mind and in that brief moment where I debated what to do, he charged towards the keys, grabbed them with his mouth and he was up the tree. To make his ownage of me even more complete, he somehow set off the car alarm.

I spent the next few minutes throwing sticks at him in the tree while he alternated running around the tree and chowing down on my key chain. After a few minutes, he jumped to another tree beside it and the chunking of sticks continued for the next few minutes. He set off the car alarm again before jumping onto the roof of a building beside the tree.

At this point, I wasn't sure if I would ever get my keys back (well, technically Mary's). I picked up the frequency of my stick throwing and then he ran over to the side side of the roof. I sprinted around and must have had a moneyshot throw because the keys fell out of his mouth, slid down the roof, and onto the ground. I froze for a second, not knowing what to do. Just like earlier, we stared each other down for a second or two and then I made a mad dash for the keys, while fearing he would jump on the back of my head and start biting me in the neck. Luckily, I got the keys unscathed and was on my way. Unfortunately, he had the last laugh because all of the buttons on the keyless entry were chewed off and to make matters worse, I had to bail on the workout because my first two marathon pace miles were several seconds too slow. If only I got this on video, I would be telling this on the Ellen show and not typing it a couple weeks late in here.

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