Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Fly and Me

It was about 4:30am when I stepped out the door, and this was a bad thing. I'd wanted to get out the door before four, so that I could run more, but that's not what was in store. I guess I have to get out of bed before 3:10.

It was comfortably warm as I started, and this was a bad thing. It meant that I'd be extremely UN-comfortable as my run progressed, especially after the sun rose. And of course this did turn out to be the case.

What do these bad things have to do with the Fly? If you combine them (starting late and hot weather) and also run on the Ohio country roads that I run on, you get attacks by deerflies. And this is a bad thing too. They drive me bonkers. I know that I could avoid them. I could get out earlier and do my entire run in the dark (I tried, I tried). I could use repellent (but I hate that stuff, and I always have the hope that maybe I can avoid the flies long enough so as not to need it). I could run more on the citified roads and avoid the country roads (but I love those country roads). I could just stay in bed and not run at all (this is not an option).

After about an hour of running in the dark, the eastern sky began to get light. And that’s when I got my first nibble. Or, I should say, the first nibble got me. I tried to brush it away, hoping beyond hope that it was just some rogue fly that was out there on his own. Nope. Soon I was being eaten left and right. I did manage to swat one and it fell out of my hand and onto the ground. But that’s just the beginning of the story. Here’s how I described this little incident in my Facebook entry for today: ‘ is sure this happens to everyone: you’re out running on country roads and attacked mercilessly by deerflies, so you swat one and it falls to the ground and you think, “at least that’s one fly that won’t chomp on me anymore”, but IT DOES, and you know it’s the same fly because it looks a little like Jeff Goldblum, so you swat it again and this time you hold it in your hand an pull off one of its little wings, PETA be damned.’

The rest of the story isn’t quite so exciting. I got back home for a pit stop after my 11-mile loop, then went out again, headed for the track. Those three miles were slower, but when I hit the track I really turned on the speed. Yeah, right. I did go from 8:30 and 9:00 minute miles to just under eight minute pace for three of the four miles there. Not so long ago I would’ve expected these to be sub-SEVEN minute miles. Today I was happy with the sub-eights. But then, suffering mightily, I slowed down again and struggled to get home in the heat. I’d wanted to do something like 22 to 24 miles today, but this run only added up to 21 in 3:01. Maybe next week’s long run will be better.


Mr. P said...

Nice post. You just made me spend half an hour researching deer flies on the internet. Now I'm going to be paranoid running in Hinckley tonight. Did you know that they can potentially carry anthrax? Oh, I offically entered the Erie Marathon today too.

Dan Horvath said...

Anthrax? Maybe I'd better start using the repellent.

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