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.