Diary of a Newbie Runner: Zombie Pigs & Pit Bulls

{By Ellery Sadler}

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Why do I never just have a pleasant, somewhat painless run? Without harrowing experiences or dead frogs or zombie pigs?

It started out like such a lovely run. 57 degrees and sunny, on the beach. I mean, seriously, what is better than running on the beach? (Yeah, I know, just sitting on the beach. But we’re talking about the world of exercising here.) So anyway, my mom and my sister and I head out.

We pass breezy twenty-year-olds in leggings and jackets running along, looking and probably feeling, amazing.  We pass a group of wetsuit-clad kids, looking like enormous lizards, heading out to go paddle boarding. There is a salty breeze coming from ocean and sun is shining and it is just glorious on the beach. (I kind of love the beach. If the beach was a guy, I would marry him. No question. I mean, he’d be laid back and relaxed and good at surfing with messy blond hair and a wild side… )

My side and my knees are killing me, so I decide to walk for a minute and then head back down the beach. My mom and sister wave and take off further down the beach. I turn around and walk past the lizard-like people again, then this really old man passes me. He has to be at least seventy-five or eighty. Well, I can’t be beat by a eighty-year-old man, so I stopped walking and started running again.

I saw something on the beach up ahead, so my natural curiosity getting the best of me, I ran closer. Normally one sees lots of things on beaches. I’ve seen tables and rats and horseshoe crabs the size of Texas, but never anything close to as gross as this.

 It was a pig. A dead pig.

Warning: y’all, this is about to get graphic. If you are expecting a light-hearted look at the world of dead pigs, you’d better leave. If you’re brave enough, keep reading.

This was not your ordinary sweet little pink pig on a farm; this was a small orange wild boar. The back half was completely gone, leaving just the ribs and inner grey stuff exposed on the sand. It’s face was somewhat mangled, but I could still see the evil gleam of its eyes and the bristles on its ears. And its snout was hideous, teeth still in a snarl. I promptly snapped a picture to commemorate this moment and kept running.

But that pig would not leave me alone. Do know what is one of the most frightening thoughts I’ve had recently? Zombie pigs. Why did Alfred Hitchcock never make that into a movie?  All I could picture as I ran home was this pig, mouth gaping, eyes rolled back in its head, chasing me down the beach. It’s little front feet pounding on the sand, its entrails trailing behind it.

Yeah, picture that next time you run and lets see how fast you go.

Zombie pig. Chasing me. Zombie pig. Chasing me. Zombie pig. Chasing me.

My feet made an endless rhythm on the beach and I suddenly questioned my life calling. Maybe I should be a songwriter. I had a pretty catchy chorus, right? It could be like the new “What Does the Fox Say?”

As if dead zombie pigs wasn’t enough for one run, I glanced behind me to make sure the pig really wasn’t following me (which it wasn’t) and then looked back ahead to see an enormous white pit bull racing towards me. Its red eyes were narrowed (why do those things have such creepy red eyes??) it’s enormous jaws hanging open. Its owner was calmly walking behind, a sinister smile on his face.

Yeah, I bet this dog was trained to attack me. It had probably spent its entire puppyhood ruthlessly ripping up photographs of me and here at last was his chance to eat me. Why this random stranger had such a deep grudge against me, I’ll never know.

It rushed at me, and then past me, to greet (or maybe kill) some dog behind me on the beach. I breathed a small sigh of relief and walked up the path.

Which is worse, dead zombie pig or gigantic white pit bull?

That’s a toss up.   

Edit: During a walk on the beach, I stumbled on an enormous, headless zombie pig. (Yeah, be glad I didn’t make that one into a picture.) Two dead pigs in two days? I’m thinking the dead zombie pigs take the prize.