Friday, September 8, 2017

5 Juicy Tales from the Trails

I know, I know...today's Friday 5 topic is post-race treats. I'm sort of going along with the theme, but the treats I'm going to talk about are of a different kind. I'm talking juicy sights seen on the run--you know, the kind of things you see that make you go hmmm. Drama. Soap opera material. Hear me when I say that running, particularly long solo running, can be kind of boring. The mind can wander. The eyes take in the surroundings. The runner sees things that can't go unseen and the wheels of the mind begin to spin. A story unfolds. At least for this runner, it does.

Does this happen to you? I don't mind running alone because I'm able to entertain myself with the things I observe while out on the trails. So instead of talking food, I'm going to share 5 stories about interesting things I've seen while out on the run. Sort of "sole food", if you will.



The idea for this post came to me, like most of them do, while I was out for my run yesterday at the retention pond. The path at this park is a 2 mile loop around the "lake" and it's very popular with the local folks. Yesterday, I did some speedwork and walked down to the beach to work on my handstand. I saw a couple making out under the deck. They were wearing running clothes. Ok, then! I heard the woman squealing and I fell out of my handstand as I looked over to see what they were doing--let's just say he was stretching her out. It was really distracting and I can only speculate what was really going on, you know, behind the scenes. Handstand practice was over.

"Squeeee!"
You may have read my story last week about my adventure at the pond. As I ran my loops around the lake, drama unfolded with a rescue effort to find a missing woman whose dog was found running on the beach. Multiple towns from the area sent boats and divers. Helicopters flew overhead. People on the path gathered to share what they had heard about the woman. I left before the woman was found, but eventually, I learned that she was found alive and hiding under the pier. Obviously, there were some mental health issues and this story only received a small blurb in the local paper.

she was under that pier the whole time!
A few years ago, I was running on the limestone path when I approached a woman running towards me. She was wearing full makeup and her hair was perfectly styled. Except that the closer I got, the more I realized that it wasn't a woman, but a man dressed as a woman. I had all kinds of thoughts about this. Mostly that it was really hot and I'm sure that he was uncomfortable wearing that wig and makeup. I don't wear makeup when I run! Thinking about him occupied my mind for the rest of my run.

am I right?
Also on this path, about a month ago, I encountered a pair of men I nicknamed "Hans and Franz". You might recall my story about me stopping to ask Hans, who was doing push ups next to the water pump, if the water was safe to drink. Hans commanded me to drink the water. Franz, who was watching Hans work out, piped in that he was drinking the water and it was delicious! Anyways, when Steph and I ran the 10k last weekend, which took us on the limestone path, I saw Hans walking his dog. No Franz. So were they together that day? Or was Franz just watching Hans? Inquiring minds want to know...

This gives me another idea...Holly?
I've written in the past about the legend of the Cook County Forest Preserves' parking "system". Certain parking lots have a system to indicate why you're there. If you park normally, pulling your car in head first but you stay in the car, it, means you're looking to purchase mind-altering substances. If you are a male and you back your car in, also staying in the car, I am told this means you are looking for a hookup. Where these hookups occur is a matter of speculation. Running or riding my bike through these parking lots, I have seen men stumbling out of the woods more than once. One guy was red-faced and sweaty. Another time, a guy came whistling out of the woods. Over the past couple of years, the CCFPD has been sprucing up the preserves and I haven't noticed as much of this activity as I used to. I'm sure it still goes on. Food for thought.

I'll just leave this here...
You think living in the suburbs is dull? Who says running has to be boring? Do you see interesting things on your runs? Or are you just focused on the task at hand? 

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five!




57 comments :

  1. Geez. I'm not that far away and all I've got are coyotes and foxes...mostly....there was that "trail head" incident.

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    1. Thursday's incident may have been turning into a trail head incident!

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  2. I run mostly in around my neighborhood. Thankfully, this usually means my runs are boring LOL.

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    1. I run in my neighborhood too, but sometimes things get interesting.

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  3. LoL, you definitely have some stories to share! My running is WAY less "juicy". The only thing I see are geese, squirrels and other runners but they are just running and not doing anything crazy lol

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    1. Maybe that's a good thing! I've got too many distractions.

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  4. You do see some great sights on your runs! I am not sure mine are that exciting or I am too busy chit chatting to be aware of them. Lately I have seen a lot of deer out by our running trail

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    1. I'm surprised the deer don't try to pace you! I had that happen on a bike ride once.

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  5. I once ran by a plane just after it had to make an emergency landing on Lakeshore Drive alongside Grant Park. That was kind of weird...

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  6. I have been avoiding my favorite lake (which has a 1-mile loop around it) all summer because it's kind of a sketchy part of town and a strange man was spotted there a few months ago...and he's been showing up in the realty offices, requesting a female agent to show him around (#EEEEWWWW). I spotted a baby raccoon yesterday morning....he was kind of cute ;-)

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    1. We have a strange man in our neighborhood, complete with long gray ponytail and fluffy little dog. Except he's not interested in me. He likes to hang out by the school and the parks. He used to park in front of my neighbor's house and sit on her front step, even after she died. He's really creepy.

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  7. I always find it odd when I see women at the gym with a full face of makeup. But I never saw a man dressed as a woman out on the trail while I was running.

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    1. That was the only time I've seen it as well.

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  8. Wow! My runs sound so boring compared to yours! I barely even see other people out when I'm running, let alone people doing interesting things. The only things I can come up with is once being stopped by the cops to ask if I'd seen an old person apparently with dementia wandering around. And that was years ago.

    I have a few friends that run in full makeup, including lipstick. They are such badasses that I would never question their choices. I'm talking Spartan races, multiple Ironman, ultra marathon types.

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    1. I don't understand how you can be a badass and wear full makeup? Maybe they don't sweat as much as I do, though.

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  9. Wendy!!! What the heck?! You have the craziest stories ever!!!!!

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    1. It's action-packed out here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago!

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  10. Those are hilarious. My spiciest story was when I was hiking a trail with my folks in Colorado. It was a fairly popular trail and we rounded a bend to come face to face with a guy wearing nothing but gym shoes and a baseball hat. Nothing. Else. My dad asked "how's it hanging?" as we passed him. He was too embarrassed to answer.

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    1. Oh my! I haven't seen any naked runners on my runs, ever!

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  11. My runs are definitely boring. There's nothing much going on in my neighborhood, and I'm perfectly OK with that. I do watch out for geese since they can be mean.

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    1. I just run through those gaggles--they're hissing at me and everything. But they can't catch me!

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  12. My suburb is pretty boring and I'm okay with that. I get to see my quota of crazy whenever I run in Waikiki. The morning after Halloween was one of the most entertaining!

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  13. Bahahah! Awesome stories! Made for an excellent Friday morning read. Cheers and happy training! Jerod

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  14. Wow!! quite the stories on the road for you! the last interesting thing I saw, was the life lion landing at the medical center.

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    1. Oh, I work at a major medical center so the medical helicopter landings aren't a big deal anymore...

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  15. Oh my goodness, some of these are quite the story!! I don't know that I've had any experiences like that but my mind definitely does wander when I'm out. Okay, wait, so there was the one day a few years ago that I was running through our local park and my mind wandered to dogs and bears (I don't know why) and then, lo and behold, there was a BEAR on the path!! He was an adolescent and thank goodness there was no mama bear around but I saw him a few more times and he gave me quite the scare (I actually called 911. LOL). So now, I try to just think about bunnies and turtles and frogs. haha

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  16. Except for the deer, cows, and horses, I rarely see anything as interesting as you do while running - but I think that's OK, LOL!

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    1. It goes in waves. I can run for months and not see anything exciting, but lately it's been interesting. I blame the eclipse.

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  17. Oh, my! You've sure run into (or I guess past) some strange things! The CCFPD parking 'system' is so funny!

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    1. Is the same parking system in effect by you?

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    2. I'm not sure about the parking, but when I came across the creep wacking off last year, my neighbor, who is a Will County public defender said to me, "that's why people go to the forest preserve". Um, what???

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  18. Wow you do have some interesting runs! My town is pretty quiet in comparison - I mostly have to look out for the wild life LOL!

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    1. It's quiet here normally--but after working in the local ER, I realized that it's not a bubble where I live.

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  19. Craziness! Interesting on the parking system! There are some park rest rooms I've had to warn my husband about -- because we female runners get the scoop!

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    1. Oh, yikes! I use those restrooms--I've never had anything odd happen there.

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  20. You have the best stories. I need to come running with you!

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    1. I would think you'd have a few yourself, between living in NYC and Austin!

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  21. Lol at the running man in full makeup :) I don't run in makeup either, I'd imagine it takes some getting used to!

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    1. I've done it, not intentionally, when I've run in the evening and it doesn't feel good to have the makeup sweat in my eyes.

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  22. You are so funny!! My mind wanders when I'm out there too, but since I usually work out so early there's generally not anyone else there to notice and have thoughts about. Hans and Franz...lol!

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    1. I couldn't believe when I saw Hans again!

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  23. I definitely see things on the run that get my mind spinning!

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    1. I spend half my run trying to sort it all out!

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  24. I'm usually just focused on the task at hand. Although frankly, I'm kind of glad I don't see that stuff!

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    1. I don't mind. It keeps my mind occupied.

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  25. Encountering sights like you have certainly helps to make running quiet an interesting sport. You never know what you might see while you're out and about!

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  26. I live in an area that is very drug tolerant. Meth and heroin are huge and people are constantly wandering around like zombies doing odd things. It's rare I don't see something weird on my run.

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    1. That's really icky! I do occasionally see that but it's more than exception than the rule.

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  27. Wow, you have a lot of locoalmfun going on I. Your area for sure 🤣🤣🤣😳

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    1. They don't call it Action Heights for nothing...

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  28. Oh wow, the DC suburbs are quite boring when compared to Chicago's. :D

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