It’s spring. Warmer days, baby lambs and calves are everywhere. Daffodils, other assorted jonquils and bulbs are in flower. My tulips are budding up nicely and the leaves are starting to grow on the deciduous plants. Nice. The wet weather isn’t quite forgotten, a number of farm roads and laneways are still really muddy and will need repair, but that will have to wait until the busyness of calving peaks and troughs. Some paddocks are badly pugged but hopefully time and the sun will do much to repair them, otherwise they will have to be drilled (new grass planted). Spring, new life, no more winter, warmth and hope.
BUT! Spring also means Plover Season. A time for all runners to dread.
I start to run, over the cattle stop, up to the hay barn. I look and listen anxiously, running forwards with nervous energy. They see me coming, they start to squawk and cluck. They take to the air. I keep running, watching, waiting… hoping that this time they will understand that I mean no harm to their precious nest.
They circle around me. I keep running. OH NO! I can’t see them. I try and swivel around to see where they are AND THEN! With precision timing I feel the rush of air from their wings right behind my neck and the high pitched terrifying squawk in my ear. I scream and run faster. Nasty little beasties. These creatures are certainly no candidates for All Things Bright and Beautiful!
Plovers are great parents. They will do anything to protect their nest. These particular plovers come back to the same place each spring. I’ve been walking and running up our driveway for five years now. For five years they have swooped at me and I have NEVER deviated from the road or harmed their babies. Bird Brains! That’s what they have!
The only solution in Plover Season is to drive, yes, get in the old farm jeep and drive 500m through their territory and park at the dairy and run from there!
That’s what I did yesterday afternoon, I admitted defeat, left the plovers to their parenting and drove up to the dairy to start a run. I didn’t feel like running, I was tired. But I went anyway. I love how dedication and discipline kick in when the feelings are going in another direction. I felt wooden. My pace was slow. How am I ever going to build enough endurance puttering along like this? I got to the turnaround point and thought I’M GOING FASTER! and I did. Form the first time I managed a reasonably decent negative split (23:05 and 20:38 for 7kms). I went from feeling drab and down to feeling empowered. I sustained a much faster pace for 3.5kms even though I didn’t feel like it. I’m learning that my body can do so much more than I think it can!
And Plovers? They were still there. I could hear them clucking away as I parked the jeep safely back at the house. They didn’t get me, well, not this time!
Happy running 🙂