It’s no secret that running is beneficial for both the body and mind. But as I’ve harped about before, it’s not just the mind-clearing, heart-pumping endorphine-loving reasons I love running, but for the places it can take you and the sights you’ll see…thank you, Dr. Seuss. This past weekend provided this exact adventure.
I made my way home to Reno, NV to meet my brand new niece for the first time (I’m not posting more photos as I don’t know if my sis is ok with it). She’s everything you could have imagined and I can’t wait to spoil her like every good aunt should. I also got to see my favorite chunky monkey:
Prior to meeting my niece, I woke up early to go running with my brother-in-law as I figured he could use some fresh air in between all his new daddy duties. We met bright and early at my parent’s house and made our way to the trail (which I clearly did not take enough advantage of when I was growing up).
While Reno is far from Portland’s lush green scenery, it felt like the mountains hadn’t turned totally brown yet and instead were graced by deep yellows and crisp air. It felt chilly yet awakening…until you started running.
Why. Can’t. I. Breathe.
Need. More. Oxygen.
My 7:34s that I was busting out in Portland and California? HA! Nowhere to be found here as I gasped for air and struggled to keep up with my BIL. Running in Reno is running at around 4,300 ft. elevation and boy did I feel the difference. The 18-22 miles that I was supposed to run? Uh, ya. That turned into 13 miles.
But it was still worth it as something completely new happened during that run…
As I was catching up to my BIL I saw him stopped at the corner calling for his dogs to come. I approached him, he pointed and there it was. A gigantic (yes, this is the appropriate adjective here) black bear. It was far enough on the hill to not be a danger, but close enough for us to have to call his dogs in, stop and watch it pass.
I’ve seen my share of wildlife on the run and even more roadkill on the bike, but never before had I seen a bear. It was unreal. I was jumping up and down saying, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”
I tried to capture a photo but it doesn’t do it justice, so instead, here is our, “Oh shit we just saw a giant black bear while running” face:
If you’re curious about what to do if you approach a bear in the wild, everything you need to know can be gleaned from this masterpiece:
It’s basically: make that bear your bitch. Punch it in the face. Wrestle it to the ground. And then steal it’s picnic basket. Or you can read the full, real article here (which is actually kind of confusing — stand tall, play dead, fight back, no, wait, wait, climb a tree).
Anyways, we then continued to make out way through the trail and I continued to complain about the lack of oxygen – I had to make up some excuse for my horrid performance.
Regardless, it was a gorgeous morning full of adventure that reminded me of why Reno is great. Hopefully it’s a peek into why Reno isn’t just a sketchy downtown, but actually an outdoorsman’s dream.
Now tell me – any wildlife stories of your own? Tips on what to do when you approach wildlife while running?