Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ticked on, off the run *warning: graphic*

10/7 run 130 mins @ ATT Scott King Road in black Altra Instincts (new color, same old model)

temp 55 wet and windy

HR avg 150 max 176

They can't help you.
I don't look like a victim.  I only run the parts of the trail south of I-40.  I'm trained in self defense.  I'm always aware of my surroundings.  These are the lies I told myself to feel safe.  So I never thought I would become another statistic, a victim, but here I am, the 14th person to be attacked on the American Tobacco Trail.  They came out of nowhere, attacking me at my most vulnerable.  I was around 6 miles into my run and I felt the call of nature, but thanks to the construction project, my regular rest spot was closed, so I did what my forefathers have done before me.  I stepped off the trail and into the woods to relieve myself, and this was where I made my fatal mistake.  I never saw them stalking me.  They were hiding in the tall grass, watching my every move.  I never had a chance.

I didn't even realize I was being attacked at the time, but as soon as I made it back onto the trail, I had a distinct feeling something was crawling on me.  I brushed off my legs a couple of times (I had on compression shorts), but I never saw anything, so I continued on with the rest of my run, not realizing my attackers were already swarming on me, finding the choicest spots to rob me of my precious lifeblood.  I got home, changed out of my running clothes and put my feet up on the couch to relax when I saw something.  An almost imperceptible speck was slowly crawling across my leg.  I grabbed the speck I saw and moved to the bathroom, where I had enough light to determine what I was looking at, and that's when I freaked. A seed tick.  And anyone who has found one seed tick, knows what that means.... MORE seed ticks.  I managed to find and remove at least 6 or 7 before I moved into the stage 2 decontamination shower protocol.  All garments and shoes were washed, quarantined in plastic bags and are still sitting in my deep freezer right now.  I set fire to the Jeep I rode home in (ok, I didn't really burn the Jeep).

My left leg got the worst of it.
The last few nights I would have gnawed my left leg off, if not for the drug induced coma of combining Benadryl caplets and Caladryl clear lotion.  I was stupid, the cold weather lured me into a false sense of security, and I didn't hose down in my regular 40% deet bath before the run that Sunday.  Not to say that would have saved me either.  Oh, and when I ran on Tuesday, I made extra sure to pee right before I left the house... and wouldn't you know it...half way in, I had to go.  So I did what anyone in my situation would do.  I did what I had to do.  I pissed right in the middle of the trail.  I'll never feel safe again.  They're watching me out there.  Calling to me as I run along, "step off the trail, we dare you."  My attackers are still on the loose, waiting for their next victim.  No one is safe.

butt crack?
Nope, just my knee!


  1. Yikes! We *really* need an early frost this year. The frickin' ticks are terrible.

    1. Yeah, I've never been so excited to run in freezing temps before! What's your race schedule looking like for this fall?

  2. Ugh! I've been feeling a little over confident with regard to ticks, too. This will make me take extra care when inspecting my appendages after a trail run. May we have many frosty nights this winter!

    1. Yes, don't let confidence or an overly full bladder be your downfall like I did! DEET is your friend, or at least the enemy of your enemy, which kind of makes it your friend, I guess. Since the attack, I feel like a junky going through with withdrawal after every trail run with phantom bugs crawling on me...

  3. I love this write up. And I am terrified. Thanks for the nightmares.