So much to learn if I'm really gonna run on a trail, all night, soon.......so I bought a headlamp and I've been practicing with it.......but running with the headlamp on roads wasn't fooling me.....they are the same roads I run on in the dark all the time....that isn't "practice" running with a headlamp....so Monday night I ran 2 miles on train tracks in the dark.....I'm sorry to report my suicide attempt was unsuccessful, trains are so unreliable.
Last night I waited until it was completely dark then headed out to a trailhead that starts uphill to run hill repeats in the dark. I finished my second repeat and cool down and was just about to start number 3 when I glanced into the woods to my right....and no more than 20 meters away are 2 glowing eyes looking right back at me. I froze. Turned toward the eyes and started a somewhat trembling process of elimination....coyote?.....too small, I think.....mountain lion?.....god I hope not.....deer?.....I would have scared it away coming down the hill, right?? Fearing the worst, and thinking back I didn't rule out Sasquatch, I slowly glanced over my shoulder to gauge how far away my car was if the decision to run for it is the final decision.....as I realized the car was way too far away and turning my headlamp back to the woods, there were now 2 sets of glowing eyes......I'm pretty much scared shitless at this point and I don't think I rattle very easily.....as I gain control of myself I realize that 2 sets of eyes rules out mountain lion.....and calm down a little....I'm not really afraid of coyotes, I see them all the time while running.....as I started backing toward the car, my position relative to the wooded area changed and I could now see open space behind the "creatures" and therefore a silhouette.....Deer....4 of them actually. So it appears, that among the many things I need to learn about night time trail running....I need to add glowing eyes identification to my list.
....and yeah that third repeat was pretty fast......fun learning new things!