ORN: 6.4 miles, 1:01:06, 9:33/mile
So I'm on my usual route in the dark this morning, 3/4 of a mile into my run, winding on the trail past Cumberland Woods, when I hear a blood-curdling screech and scuffle just inside the edge of the trees. It is pitch black and I can't see anything in the woods but it sounds awful. I quickly realized there was no human sounds here but I couldn't tell what it was. I picked up the pace and kept looking.
As I got past the woods, I realized it was probably a fight between a couple of possums over some choice bit of rancid cheese or road kill. But the surprise and awfulness of the screeching and fighting was no picnic. As I ran away, I kept "hearing things" behind me. Yeah, it made me jumpy. All I was hearing was the movement of my nylon shell, but in the dark, it seemed worse.
Well, about a mile later, I heard something behind me again. My heart rate jumped once more, only this time the thing said "I'm passing on your left." Oh, good, another runner, tooling along at about a 7:00 pace, thus blazing past me. I thanked him for warning me and quickly asked if he had heard the possums in the woods. "No, but I did see a couple of skunks cross the path...watch out for them!" And off he went.
On my return trip, the woods were quiet and fresh smelling as daylight crept through the clouds. The birds were singing and a gentle breeze blew. Possums must have called it a night and the skunks had hunkered down. Whew.
Persevere. And look out for the critters.