March 4, 2013

This Bugs Me

This Bugs Me

Saturday was a beautiful warm (nearly summer warm) day here in California. It was only about 7:30 in the morning when my friend Wendy and I went out for a run. It’s worth noting right here that Wendy is tall and me – well – at 5 foot I am officially short.

When we leave our neighborhood we can run a few different ways, but on a sunny day, it’s great to head north and into Huntington Beach because on that route there are no houses along the waterfront so you get the full warmth of the sun and uncluttered views of the ocean and beach and it’s pretty great.IMG_3678

To get there, we have to cross the Santa Ana River. Saturday, at that hour, the tide was very low and the river was less flowing water than a big mud flat. Wendy and I are running and talking and as we cross the river, to my most unpleasant surprise, I get a face full of tiny little bugs. They are in my nose, my eyes, my mouth. Yuk!

I look at Wendy who seems unflustered. Waving my hands in front of my face such that I don’t inhale more insects than necessary I say Aren’t these little bugs making you crazy???

Wendy: What bugs?

Then I look up at her and I realize in her part of the atmosphere there probably are no bugs. I invite her to check it out. Leaning down into my airspace, she says Oh, there are a lot of bugs down here.

I rarely complain about being small. Since I have never been any other way, it’s just how I am. I endured countless short jokes. I lived through Randy Newman’s song in the late 70s. I stared in surprise when the state of Oregon told me that based on my height I qualified for a disabled driver’s license. (seriously???)

When it comes to running small is a clear disadvantage. If Wendy ever decides to sprint, I am left in her dust. The only thing that let’s us run together as equals is that generally I have more endurance, so if she keeps her pace slow we can get through 2-4 miles together at a pace that sort of evens up out. Still, I sometimes can’t help but feeling that my miles aught to count more than those of tall people if I have to take twice as many steps…

When I got home, I was thinking about 2 things:

  1. I wonder how many bugs I ingested?
  2. Was this a one-time thing or am I going to have to plan for a mouth and nose full of these little things in the future.

Apparently, this is part of local ecology that I have just been lucky enough to avoid for the past year. I did find this local runner-blogger who seems to have a lot of experience with the Santa Ana River Gnat. He even has pictures: Keep Running Strong -Gnats of the River Trail

Lesson for today – don’t let the little things bug you. Just keep going.

Happy Monday!



1 Comment

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  1. Dawn
    March 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Ugh, nothing worse than inhaling bugs!!!

    It is actually quite a pleasant day in Georgia, although I haven’t been out and done my run yet. Will get there…eventually. 🙂

    Happy Monday to you. x