Really. Whoever it is that is running in front of me and dropping them on the trail, you can stop now.
After my fierce run yesterday at the Continental Divide USATF 10k Trail Championships I headed out to the Whitewater Centre for a nice easy long run. I decided to go fairly gentle on myself and just try to keep an even pace as I looped around the trails.
As I was happily zoning out, running merrily down the trail and thinking happy thoughts I was suddenly aware of something underfoot. And when I say underfoot, I really mean underfoot. I heard it before I saw it. A sharp rustling of leaves and an unfamiliar sound. As I looked to my feet I caught the blur of pine needles shifting and a figure eight of fat snake coiling up under my toes. I hopped and shrieked and took a quick little dance around the reptile as it shifted to full cock mid trail. I leapt really high as I pranced right over the top of it. Yes. I screamed like a girl.
Somehow I managed to miss connecting with the critter and once safely on the other side and away down the trail I stopped and turned back to see it looking back at me ready to spring. Suddenly I was drenched with fear with sweat.
Uhm… I’m thinking this was a nice venomous copperhead?
I stood and watched until it uncoiled and scuttled quickly off the trail back into the pine straw. As it headed off I was able to catch a better look at his head and became more convinced that this was indeed a copperhead. On trail I wasn’t 100% sure, but having looked at the possibilities I think my instinct was right. Unless someone knows better?
After my Crowders’ rattlesnake experience I was pretty shaken and cut short my run that day, tonight though I managed to hang tough and carry on through the trails. I was definitely much more jumpy and kept skidding to a sudden halt at every lurking root that was pretending to be a snake, lest it were a snake pretending to be a root.
Apart from that heart pounding upset it was a great run today though. After all the hills yesterday I decided to treat myself and not run Goat Hill. I did make myself run the entire rest of the eleven mile route though and managed to maintain a much more even, albeit more casual, pace than usual.
Seriously though, please, no more snakes.