I’m calling it a wash. I mean really, how often do you get to see a turkey duck?
Ok ok….maybe I got a quick glance at it swimming on my long run last weekend, but it was near the end and if you will recall that run also stunk so I figured my eyes had deceived me. There was no denying it tonight though. That sucker was staring me down.
As far as the run goes, phflllt (which, if you are unfamiliar with that term, would be that sound you make when you stick out your tongue and blow. My daughter refers to it as the “fancy screwdriver” since she thinks it closely resembles the sound my husband’s power drill.) I should have known it was not meant to be when I went downstairs during my youngest daughter’s nap and the treadmill belt started slipping.
Apparently, my husband had noticed this earlier in the day on his run about halfway through and opted to finish outside. Unfortunately for me, I can’t just pick up and take off on a little run when the treadmill fails and leave my little ones to attend to themselves no matter how many times my 4 year old assures me she is a terrific mommy. But rather than give up without a fight, I did what moms do. I went into problem solving mode and improvised.
After a quick phone call, my parents agreed to watch the girls after we all went out to dinner with my grandma. Then, I’d go run some trails near their house. Jammin’. Run on again.
Only one problem I’d learn later on the way to dinner. We were going to a polish restaurant. Now personally, I’m a big fan of polish food. Put a little dollop of sour cream or add a side of sauerkraut on nearly any dish and that’s fine by me. But a lot of polish food happens to be fried and at least on my easily irritated while running stomach, fried is not the best choice of pre-run meal preparation.
So there I sat at the restaurant with my proud polish Grandma and Dad, staring at the menu. “Just get a salad,” my head kept telling me, but my heart was crying out for pierogis (fried dough stuffed with potatoes, cheese, or sauerkraut), potato pancakes (um…pancakes made out of potato, also fried) and naleshniki (pretty much like a crepe, stuffed with cheese-very polish, or with strawberries or apples-very unpolish, but mighty tasty and also of course fried).
I was weak. I rarely get authentic polish food and despite knowing it would certainly not be as tasty as my Grandma’s (which of course it was not), I passed on the salad and went for the good stuff.
Half an hour later I started my run. Tempo run. 5 miles @ 8:30 min/mile pace was the plan. The weather was nearly perfect. Overcast. Mid 60’s. Slight breeze. The first mile was sweet, just under 8:00. My legs felt terrific. But soon enough, just like my head had warned, those tasty polish delicacies attempted to make their reappearance. By mile 2, I was reduced to a walk, albeit a nice walk, on pristine trails with nothing but the wind through the leaves, the song of various birds, and the pitter pat of leftover rain drops falling from the trees.
It was near the end of this walk that Turkey Duck emerged from the woods. He (or she, I’ve got no idea) is big and jet black with a white head. And he’s got one of those things. You know what I’m talking about. One of those red jibbly jabbly things hanging from his neck (wattle…thanks Wikipedia). He must have spotted me first, because by the time I saw him, he was not moving. If I had been running by someone’s house rather than in the middle of the park, I would have thought he was some kind of statue. A big fake turkey duck lawn ornament. He just stood there motionless across the street that at that point was running parallel to the trail I was on as if he was thinking, “maybe, if I just don’t move, she won’t see me.” But I did and I watched him watching me as I passed. The only thing that moved was his head ever so slightly, turning to keep one of those eyes on the side of it on me.
But then as I passed his location, he started to dart out towards me. “Great.” I thought. “Not only did my run blow chunks (almost literally). I’m about to be mauled by a turkey duck. He’s probably protecting a nest or something. I wonder how fast this sucker can run. Or fly? Am I faster than a turkey duck?”
Fortunately, I didn’t have to find out. After his mini sprint, he stopped in the middle of the road and I just kept moving along. I’m sure I was a great boost to his ego. And am pretty certain, I could hear him chest bumping his fellow turkey duck bros after I passed by, “that’s right…keep moving girlie. Did y’all see how she just ran off as I charged. I didn’t even have to get near the trail. Wassup now runner girl?”
So yeah, the run was a bust but now you can answer that age old question. Turkey ducks do exist.
P.S. Don’t worry turkey duck did eventually waddle his way out of the road.
P.P.S. I apologize for the lack of posts this week (and that the last two runs I’ve blogged about have been not so terrific. It happens but you certainly don’t always need to hear about it. I just had to make sure turkey duck got his props). I’ve been working all week on the Become a Runner section of the site. It’s pretty much finished, just want to go through all the info one more time before I post it. But you can be on the lookout for it this weekend.
P.P.P.S. One more week to get in your entries for the One More Mile shirt and Itunes gift card giveaway.