Long run are not my favorite thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. But outside of races, I prefer not do more than 10 miles during a training run. That said, I’ve learned to suffer through an extended number of training miles for the sake of not suffering during races. All of this is somewhat relevant because I had to do a long training run this weekend. I wasn’t particularly excited about it. I already had a lot of miles on my legs for the week, but I went out anyway. To run the time I want at the Akron Marathon in a few weeks, I needed to cover a lot of distance in one (long) shot. So I found myself traversing the paths through the park on Saturday — before most people were out of bed.

The morning was cool and slightly overcast and it felt more like fall than August. Perfect for running. The first couple miles went by quickly, but as I approached the end of the third mile, I saw something in the middle of the path ahead. From a distance, it looked a bit like a beat up basketball. As I got closer, I realized it wasn’t a ball, but a deer. Actually half a deer to be exact. I’m originally from Ohio, so I’ve seen my fair share of roadkill. However, this poor little creature had met another type of foul ending. Her hindquarters were completely missing. I thought she’d been hit by a car, but given that no blood trail or hind legs were in sight — not that I looked all that hard for them — it’s more likely that something else wild got her. Bears are not native to these parts, so maybe it was a coyote. They are pretty scarce, though. So what got her? I spent the rest of my long run on the lookout for whatever was lurking in those woods. Hopefully I never find it.

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