Running at Dusk Near Water

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Deep Thoughts, Fitness and Health, Running, Vacation, Wild Hair
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Running at Lake Murray in La Mesa, CA

I also considered naming this post, “The Big Gulp”, or “Bugs in Your Mouth”, but decided to go with the cause instead of the result for a title. Southern California has very few bugs, and most places I run are very safe, even the beach is fine. However, I have a lake very near to my house, with a very nice running path and I’ve been running there much more often in the evenings this spring. The combination of the spring weather and later run times provided me with a rude reminder… keep your mouth closed or pointed downward when running at dusk near fresh water! All it took was one really big swarm and I have not forgotten this lesson again.

Crossing the George Mason Memorial Bridge into DC May 2012I’ve also managed to run close to 20 miles in the DC area this spring. Virginia’s bug population put’s San Diego to shame. I’m surprise everyone running within an hour of the sunset does not have a bug screen over their head. I knew running by the Potomac that I would have to watch out for bugs and took the appropriate evasive measures, but I didn’t think about it as much when I got further away from the river. What I did not think about is that Washington DC has no shortage of water features and reflecting ponds in the Mall area. Capitol beyond the reflecting pool at dusk May 2012 runYou aren’t safe anywhere from a sudden swarm of small insects. I ran directly into a very large swarm about 2 blocks from the Capitol and got my second mouthful of bugs in one season!

I grew up in the Midwest so this is not the first bug I’ve caught running (or riding my bike for that matter). In Iowa, you don’t even have to be next to a river, lake, or obvious water feature, the bugs are everywhere. If you’ve ever driven down a road in Iowa at night you know this! The last time we were in Iowa we went to a party one evening on the edge of town. Jenny and I thought it would be cool to walk into the cornfield to “check it out”. We were covered in bug spray, a common Iowa evening cologne… but as soon as we got within 2 feet of the edge of the field we realized we would not be safe in there. The buzz sounded more like a small airplane than bugs. We’re heading back for a visit next week, and I know I’ll be running; I have a Half Marathon coming up in a couple of months. I will try to run in the morning to avoid yet another protein filled breath of air.

  1. samesides says:

    Awesome! So you and your wife got to experience Iowa bugs. Watch out for those elusive chiggers. They like to burrow and breed in private place crevices. I should know. And when your pregnant, it’s even worse. Where are you from in Iowa? I’m from Wasington and graduated from Iowa City.

    Emily Reese

  2. eric.rial says:

    Hi Emily, I’m from Fort Dodge. I definitely remember chiggers and I’m glad I have not dealt with them since I moved away from Iowa in 1981. I love Iowa City! My sister lived there for years, and I went to University of Iowa, but did not graduate before joining the Marine Corps.

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