Today marks the one year anniversary of Chronicles of Kate!
I remember one year ago, sitting down to get this thing started and thinking to myself, “what the heck am I going to write?” I really wanted to document my life in terms of running and different aspects of health, and looking back now, I’m so glad I did!
Thank you to all of my followers, and those who have just stopped by to see what the ramblings were about.
Here are some highlights and some of my favorite posts after one year:
This past weekend I headed out to some local trails, for an afternoon full of running adventures. The weather was starting to cool, but in some parts of the trail, the sun was very bright and warm. So after running past native shrubbery, horses, and rabbits, I turned the corner and heard a hiss like noise that sounded the way a bush would sound if it were really agitated. Now, while running on the trail, hearing bushes shake and sounds 3-5 feet off the trail is completely normal. There are plenty of animals that are camouflaged in their natural habitat that we never see, but that get startled as you run by. This was a different sound, probably because it wasn’t 3-5 off into the bushes jus off the trail, it was more like a foot away from where my foot just struck the ground. I looked down, and there is was sitting there in the sun… a rattlesnake.
My reaction to jump steps back happened before I could even gauge what was going on, which I was thankful for. Then I remembered, among all the types of animals you would see on a trail in Southern California, rattlers are one of them that you should never forget about. It’s easy to though. Once you get going in your own running adventure, without actually seeing a threat on the trail, you can tend to forget that these things are out there. So after announcing to my running partner what I had just discovered, we stood there and watched it watch us for a bit, until it decided that it was safe to slither away.
We stood amazed as how beautiful it was, and how scary it was at the same time. After it went on its way up the hillside is when we continued on the trail. This was the first time my partner had ever seen a rattlesnake out there on the trail, being that she just moved here from the other side of the country. I was glad that she got to see what kind of nature we have here, but then she asked, ” what would we do if it bit one of us?” Well, we would surely be in trouble is what I told her.
So this got me thinking. Considering the fact that I run on trails, and that these things live in trails, I really should know what to do if I (or anyone else) suffered a rattlesnake bite. So I did some research. I by no means am a doctor or any other type of certified rattlesnake expert, but here’s a bit of information that I discovered.
The majority of rattlesnake species live in the American Southwest and Mexico.
Rattlesnakes are the leading cause of snake bite injuries in North America.
Rattlesnakes are predators living off of birds and rodents.
They will generally avoid humans if they can sense their approach.
Rattlesnakes have a venomous bite that destroys tissue.
Symptoms Of A Rattlesnake Bite:
Nausea and Vomiting
If treated properly, rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal!
If A Bite Occurs:
Rattlesnakes rarely bite unless they feel threatened or provoked!
In Southern California, rattlesnakes are common in rural areas, but it is not uncommon to find them in residential areas that are located near hills and open land. Just because you may not be on a trail doesn’t mean you could never encounter one. Here’s what to do in a bite situation.
Remain calm, and retreat from the snake at least 10–15 feet. The victim needs to receive medical help as soon as possible. While on a trail the arrival of medical personal could be difficult to get depending on how far in the trail the victim is, so act quickly.
Remove restrictive clothing from the victim including watches and jewelry.
Stay calm. The victim’s heart rate does not need to go up which will only allow for faster circulation of the venom. Walking back to the trail head if the victim is not too far into the trail could be an option, if the pain is not too severe. Doing so might help get assistance faster. If it is too far or requires too much work, staying put is probably best while waiting for medical personnel.
Tourniquets, incisions or sucking the venom out of the wounds should not be used or performed. These are proven to be ineffective, and may actually cause more harm than good.
These snakes live out on the trails, so it’s not fair to harm them when we enter into their territory, but it’s important to know how to coexist with them. If you are running and run into one like I did, stop and step out of its way a good 10 feet. These animals don’t want to bite you because doing so will waste energy on something that they are not going to be able to eat, but they will if they feel threatened. Calmly walk away, but remember where you saw it as to warn others that are approaching in the area. Also check out this site for more information on the topic, Wildlife Encounters – Part I.
The hunt for Rapper Ridge, well officially Raptor Ridge, began a little over a week ago when my friend Trisha and I planned on running on the course that our upcoming respected races would be held on.
Since becoming friends with Trisha, her and I have run in places together that I would never venture to, Raptor Ridge included. So while waiting for the date to come around of our planned attempt to do damage on said location, I looked up maps and trails to make sure we would not get lost, even though I knew of the general area. Trails can be tricky sometimes, and during an exploratory run I would be all over the place looking for the coolest trails, but we weren’t doing that. We were specifically going to annihilate Raptor Ridge. In my searching for anything related to the trail I discovered that Raptor Ridge is simply the name of the hill, not the name of the trail.
So we headed out on planned date and time, ready to do work on this hill. It was a warm and sunny day, but that didn’t discourage us. It was decided that this particular trail would be great for heat acclimation training due to the complete lack of shade in the first 3 miles. The beginning of the trail was easy enough though, just a flat straight trail that headed toward some hills.
Usually running on trails includes some climbs to actually make you feel like you worked, and some interesting scenery. This trail had neither one of those elements. We only planned to run 5-10 miles, so actually destroying the hill seemed out of reach, but funny thing is, we never even saw it. Apparantly my complete lack of direction showed itself during this run, and we ran 4 flat miles before turning around. Beer was on our mind from the get-go. There will be other opportunities to find the hill, and all of that can be discussed over a nice cold beer.
Dogs are great companions and can also be some of the best running partners. A dog’s natural instinct is to run, and if you have a dog chances are they are full of energy that is just waiting to be released.
Here are some tips and suggestions to turn your dog into an amazing running buddy.
Depending on your dog’s level of energy, some practicing may be in order. Just because the dog is high energy, it doesn’t mean he has a high level of endurance. If you have access to a large area that the dog can run in, take advantage. Go out and get him running whether it be after a ball or with you. Once you see signs of the dog slowing down, or getting tired, take a break and play later. Activities like this will make the dog stronger and get him used to running for longer periods of time.
Teach Leash Manners
If you have taught your dog how to walk on a leash this part will be much easier than if not. If your dog runs every which way while going for an afternoon walk, it becomes dangerous for both of you if you start running together without fixing this issue. Teaching your dog to walk on one side of you only helps to eliminate them tripping you up while running, and take it from me, it’s not fun to skid down the sidewalk on your shoulder because your dog jolted in front of you. If you have a dog who pulls ridiculously I recommend getting a leader. When he pulls you during the run, the leader will force his head to turn to the side. Dogs don’t like this and they learn very quickly that the pulling action is what is goofing them up. After using this for a few runs the dog usually gets the picture.
Teaching your dog key words will also help them understand what it is that you want from them. Telling them to “Stop” or “Wait” means the obvious and can be used when approaching a stop sign or street.
Running Off Leash
If your dog follows commands and is not animal or people aggressive running off leash can be an option. I definitely would not recommend doing so in area of high traffic whether it be cars or humans with other animals. Just because your dog listens to you, doesn’t mean that other dogs listen to their owners. I don’t run with my dog off leash simply for the fact that I know he won’t listen to me if approached by another person or animal. I have encountered numerous dogs that are just running around and harassing my dog and I while trying to get our run in and their owners think it’s funny. If your dog does the same thing, keep the leash on.
Having adequate amounts of water for both you and your dog is important. If you plan on going on a long run take a hydration pack with you with water for the dog also. The time of day will also play a factor in how much water you should bring. Dogs are unable to sweat so they cool themselves off by panting. Take breaks if your dog is panting excessively and remember to get fluid into them when they need it. Dogs can’t tell us if they are feeling bad, but with practice you will be able to assess their condition.
Most importantly, have fun! This should be a great bonding experience for you and your dog. Go on adventures with you dog, and I guarantee you he won’t complain. Dog’s love to be with you and this will certainly make them feel special and like they are doing their “job.”
Running with your dog provides you with a level of protection, a great way for both of you to get exercise, and an opportunity to have fun together.
Running is a huge part of my life. I am not great at it, and do not have the most experience, but the memories and feelings I get out of it are all mine. This blog will serve as a platform where I can document my experiences through running. People run for many different reasons, whether it be to lose weight, cure boredom, running from something or someone, and because they simply love it. I run for the pleasure of knowing that I can. I run for health benefits as well as feeling connected to a better me.
Here I will include all things that interest, inspire, and encourage me and I hope you will join me on my travels.