Adventure Running in Dark Swedish Woods

I came home last week-end from a week in Åhus, Sweden. Kept up my current 8 hours per week running, although it was challenging, especially last wednesdays 90 minute run. Not because of challenging terrain, it was almost as boringly flat as here at home on Amager.

Because of lots of family fun that day I didn’t get time to run before late in the evening, and I knew it would be dark before I got home. I decided to run through the woods of the military training terrain (no live firing before the 18th they claimed at the entrance, and I saw noone with a gun) to Fårabäck for a 90 minute progressive (Poker Pacing) run with a set of strides at the end.

Fårabäck is a beautiful little idyllic village at the sea, with hundreds of car-sized rocks lying out in the water just off the coast, and combined with the setting sun and low tide I had to stop for a few minutes just taking it all in. It was extremely pretty, and I felt happy and content.

Then I ran home, back into the woods, twilight setting in, and my paranoia breaking out.

There’s something about running through unknown pine woods. Just the sound of my foot strikes and dogs barking and cows mooing in the distance, although it could’ve been anything, hard to hear (there are wolves in Sweden, right?)… and what was that movement over there around the roots of that tree? Paranoia.

I knew it was silly, but there’s no shaking that feeling as soon as it sets in.

After a couple km’s I came back to the big pasture. I had run through there several times in daylight, including on the way out, there would come cars by pretty often and the cows would stay off the road, so no problems. But apparently when I went back the cows were all crossing the road for some reason, and they stopped to look at the stupid human that came running towards them. I stopped and looked at the stupid cows standing in my way.

At that point it was 200+ m both back and forward to the cattle grids, and a little closer back to some pine trees that I might be able to climb for safety. Not sure I could outrun those cows over that distance.

After a minute of quality time like that, the cows got bored and started to move on, and I started to walk slowly along the road towards and past them. After a while I had a group of cows standing to my left looking at me, then a black one went forward, and I realized it was the bull! I was really wired at that time, first the rather unsettling run through the pine woods, then the cows that did look a little “wild” from what I was used to from my childhood. So I stopped turned towards the bull, and it got scared and took a step back. So I just wen’t on my way and could start running 50 m later, no more cows, no more excitement.

The rest of the run was uneventful, but for a 90 minute run it had been quite an adventure.