Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why I Talk to the Animals

After my post earlier this week regarding talking to deer (and other woodland creatures), I received quite a few responses.  One that made me laugh...hard...was Evolving Through Running who commented:

Has there ever been an occasion when you had to greet a deer as foe? Any particularly rough deer gangs near you? 

To which I felt the need to respond.  But before I do, I feel like I need to explain myself a little bit.  I am possibly the queen of irrational (and occasionally rational) fears.  I didn't fly until I was 22 because I was deathly afraid (we're talking mini-panic attack the night before my first flight complete with me leaving a will with my best friend that she could take all my cute clothes and shoes, except that all those cute clothes and shoes were coming with me on that trip and would undoubtably go down in the fiery plane crash along with me).  To this day, I cower when there is lightning outside.  Yes, I understand these are fairly rational fears.

Shall we move on to the less rational?  Ok then.  When I was in high school on the volleyball team, the Varsity players would have to rotate officiating the 'C' teams games (I think most places refer to this as the sophomore or freshman team....whatever is below the JV team...ANYWAY).  When I had to be the "up" official, meaning I was the person that stood on a little stoop attached to the volleyball pole looking down on the net and the players, I would be absolutely sure that for the first time in the history of the world, that thick cable cord that was wrapped and cranked ever so tightly to ensure that the net was nice and tight would snap, fling back at me, and slice open my face.  NO JOKE.  I hated being the up official.  I would always ask to swap whenever I was assigned.

The bike path that I run on is a fairly wooded area and runs right along a river.  I see a deer or a small family of deer probably once a week while I'm running along.  There was one incident where I came up on a deer in the dark where I frightened him (giant rack on this guy) and he frightened me, and I got to thinking.....  "Hmmmm if he were to start running at me, how fast would he have to go in order to knock me out?  Could he run at me hard enough to actually kill me?"

Sidenote:  Most of my irrational fears end in my maiming and/or untimely death and/or mutilation and disfigurement.

I then spent the rest of the run trying to do the equation.  If 120 lb. girl is running approx. 6 mph and encounters an average sized deer, at what velocity would the average sized deer need to be traveling to ensure dismemberment?

I thought I could pose the question to you all.  Surely some of you are math geniuses.  Perhaps you could google the average weight of a deer if that will help with some of the missing variables.  Maybe there's a "deer average speed when frightened" chart out there.  Maybe if there's enough interest, Mythbusters could do an episode.  All I know is that for my own peace of mind I need to know.  Somehow I don't think greeting the deer in calm and soothing voices is going to keep them from ramming me to death (although in the meantime I am going to hope amongst all hopes that that is indeed the case).

I ran 6 miles Tuesday morning in 57:50 for a pace of 9:39.

I ran 8 miles Wednesday night in 1:18:10 for a pace of 9:46.

.........Zero woodland creatures were encountered.


Slomohusky said...

hmmm... what kind of deer was it? mule deer? the average elk can run up to 40 mph. yet i think you are in no fear here. especially if you are wearing all your cute outfits. :) fun posting

Evolving Through Running said...

That was a GREAT post, and answered my sarcastic question beyond anything I could have hoped for.

Now .... based on the detailed diagram and your astute identification of the creature in question, it would appear you are indeed dealing with the very rare Jamaican Trail Deer (scientifically known as Rudolfius Bobmarleyus). The good news is they are easily identified by their glassy stare, disarmingly red eyes, and propensity to uncontrolled giggling. The best advice would be to always carry a bag of Doritos, Pringles, or any other snack product intended to deal with the 'munchies'. Once distracted by these snacks they are likely to lay down, curl up in a ball, and nap for 12+ hours, making for an unfairly easy escape.

Your blog always makes me laugh, which I desperately needed today. Good stuff.

Jamie said...

love it! the picture can't be beat. I also hear you on the irrational fears :) too many to count...

Dwayne said...

OMG. That was hilarious! Not only does it have "higher math", but also some sweet MS Paint diagrams. (BTW, nice detail on the diagram--I noticed the knee strap. Brilliant!)

I also have to call attention to the "giant rack on this guy" comment. The 12 y.o. in me snickered at that one.

Greg said...


this is a trick question! Having grown up in the great state of WV, where the first day of hunting season is a holiday! I know a thing or two about deer physiology. The deer would not have to be moving at all to insure your death or dismemberment. It has the neck strength equivalent to to a small bulldozer. It would merely take a halfhearted thrust on his part to do the job if you got too close. Many novice hunters and people who hit a deer while driving actually get gored by wounded deer every year because they don't realize the neck and shoulder strength of a deer. Bambi is kind of a bad-ass!

If this fear gets too strong and you live in a place where there are no wolves, you could apply some wolf scent to your person, which would scare off the deer, and most other woodland creatures . . . . heck just about every other living on this earth except a few dog breeds and well . . . wolves, who would consider this to be the equivalent of Spanish-fly. So if you live in a place with a wolf population of say . . . one -- this would be a really really bad idea! Here is a website for wolf urine (I love the internet), which is shockingly cheap at $6.99

Thanks for your post! Just what I needed to brighten up a rainy day! Now, I am off to buy some wolf urine, which is just going to make my office Christmas party!!!! ;)

P.S. the holiday thing is true: many schools in WV make the first day of Buck season a teacher work day because so many kids skip to go hunting.

Morgan said...

Girl you crack me up! I'm seriously dying laughing over here. Randomly, whenever I see woodland creatures out on my runs now I always think of you. LOL!

X-Country2 said...

AHAHAHA! LOVE the drawing. Awesome.

Nitmos said...

Haven't seen packs of deer prowling about but there are a group of surly squirrels outside my front door.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I've looked into this, contacted leading deer scientists and researchers, and they assure me there is NO CHANCE of death or dismemberment in a collision between you and any deer. Rest easy.

sisterbison said...

This was a great post! I generally talk to animals as well esp dogs because I'm sure otherwise they will bite me and I'll get rabies:) Just wanted to let you know I referenced your post about T swift on my blog today:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Speechless, which is rare for me, but this left me speechless

Glenn Jones said...

"Sidenote: Most of my irrational fears end in my maiming and/or untimely death and/or mutilation and disfigurement."

LOL! Love it!

All I get to see is an occasional coyote or bobcat, or one of these .

Donavan said...

This is kind of like you are channeling the Hyperbole and a half blog... You will need to work on the drawing part, but the funny story telling is there.

Greg said...


Thanks for the visit to my blog. I am glad that you liked my suggestion! I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am a genius, but I have my moments. ;) I think that the wolf secent will be a good follow up to the bacon soap that I brought to last years office secert Santa! I just hope that whoever gets it waits till they get home to crack it open!

jt00ct said...

I suggest that you wear a blaze orange hunting cap on all of runs. Deer know that hunters wear them and avoid them. This should keep you safe.

Julie said...

Oh Jeri,
You totally crack me up:) I do see deer on my runs too. They are pretty harmless. They are not even afraid of runners...they just look at me like I am supposed to be running right next to where they are eating:)

Funny picture Jeri, I didn't know that you were an artist:)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

oh my you are too funny and what a lovely drawing!

i was certainly talking to the dolphin this morning!

Julie said...

OH girl - I get you! I constantly have these discussions with myself on trail runs. Just last week I had a run in with some invisible yet very noisy wildlife and every single time, it FREAKS. ME. OUT.

northlandrunner said...

you are a nut.
Miss you.