Saturday, May 20, 2006

An Entirely New Way to be “Goosed”

ORN: 12.3 miles, 1:54:35, 9:20/mile

The paved city trail where I do most of my running winds through several wetland areas and along city ponds. These areas have a lot of wildlife on them, including geese who wander quite freely across and around the trail. Since I went out in mid morning today and it was a beautiful spring morning, they were quite active.

Along with all the adult geese, we have baby geese too, being spring and all. Around mile seven today, I came upon one Mama Goose with five goslings under her watchful eye. This part of the trail had a pond on one side of it but a busy street just off the other. She saw me coming and I slowed (not too hard for me at my usual pace). At first she steered her little clan towards the street and I stopped. Then she got them moving back towards the pond and onto the grass. Thinking all was well, I slowly began to run again, looping a bit to the right, near the street. I passed the waddling family, thinking all was well.

Mama disagreed.

As I passed the little tribe, she turned, hissed loudly and suddenly got airborne, coming after me! Here I was, out for a nice run and I had an angry, 20+ pound goose at eye level, closing in quickly. She literally got her beak within 18” of my left ear, her five-foot wingspan looking pretty impressive up close.

My plan for a long, steady distance run quickly turned into an interval workout or even fartlek, if one considered this “speed play.” I barreled away from Her Majesty as quickly as I could accelerate. For a moment, I really was wondering if I could outrun a flying goose.

She decided I was no longer a threat. She headed for the pond, I headed on my way. This was one time, though, I wish I had a heart-rate monitor…that graph would have been something.

A wonderful run on a beautiful day. Complete with a motivational speech from the Animal Kingdom.



Darrell said...

Now that's the whole "fight or flight" response in action for sure. I bet the heartrate took a nice little upturn there. I'm glad that everyone involved came out safely. As I was reading my first thought was the poor things ended up in a bad way in the street.

Anonymous said...

I run where there a geese looming with their young. I guess I never dreamed that they would attack. They have hissed on occaision, but I try to give them space (just enough). I may have to be a bit more careful.

Running Chick said...

heh. i hate to admit this, but i had a good giggle at your expense! clever, funny post. =)