SQUIRT and The Noise

SQUIRT, also known as runrise, is my Super Quiet UnInterruped Running Time.

not about the trots

I love SQUIRT. It means starting a run under the stars, and finishing it while the world wakes up.

It means silence, with only the animals to break my thoughts.

It also means cool, dry air.

little elephant

And then there’s The Noise.

The Noise comes when the world wakes up.

It means traffic and crowded sidewalks.

It means zero opportunity for animal sightings.

It also means hotter temperatures, and hotter tempers.


So, when for the first time all year, SQUIRT encountered a rain delay, you could say I was unhappy.

I had two choices:

  1. Run 19 miles in a rainstorm
  2. Run 19 miles on a dreadmill

Neither option was appealing, so I did what any thinking person would do.

back to sleep

When I woke up a few hours later, nature gave me a third choice.

The rain had stopped.

It was muggy and humid, but I could run outside.

Not knowing how long the dry spell would last, I got on my running gear, and tore out the door.

bunnies can't speak

Half a mile from my house, I looked down and saw my fail.


The thing about SQUIRT is that, sadly, I must take safety precautions.

I carry my smartphone and a bear whistle.

I wear really bright, reflective colors so cars can see me.

That morning’s SQUIRT ensemble consisted of neon orange shoes, neon pink compression tights, a pink running skirt, and my lime-green technical tee.


I carried on.

Cars roared past, and at mile 2, I upped the volume on my music to tune them out.

By mile 3, sweat was (literally) running off my face.

slip n' slide

Soon, I encountered the first weekend warrior. I avoided eye contact, certain that he wouldn’t greet a demented rainbow.

“Long run day?”

I turned down my music.

“Huh?” I asked.

“Long run day?” he repeated.

“Oh, yeah, it is.” I replied.

“You have a great one!” he called out as he passed me.

“You too!”


I carried on.

At mile 8, I was greeted by a bald head wearing a feather coat.

Turkey vultures are enormous.  They have freaky pink bald faces and sharp pointy teeth.

Oh, and they’ve got large talons.

Now, one was directly in my path, staring me down.

bird food

Remembering previous fails adventures with his cousins, I slowed down.

He didn’t budge.

I reached for my whistle, but I’d left it in my SQUIRT pack at home.

Not wanting to become this turkey’s sandwich, I did what any thinking person would do.

I made kissy noises at him.

terrified turkey

I carried on.

By mile 15, the humidity got to me. It had yet to rain, but the atmosphere was thick, and I was unhappy.

I was having trouble dodging all things human and machine.

For the first time ever, I considered breaking up my run and finishing my miles the next day.

i'm done

But then, from behind, I heard “You’re doing great!”

Confused, I circled around.

Someone was on the sidewalk, giving me the thumbs up.

demented rainbow encouragement

I carried on.

At mile 18, I was running down my last hill when a car pulled over on the shoulder ahead of me.

I crossed the road to get out of the way.

When I got to the other side, someone stepped out of the car and took my picture.

what the fleck

“I’m a photographer, and I love your colors!” He yelled.

“What? My colors?” I yelled back.

“You just look so cheerful against this dull grey day!”

Stunned, I did what any thinking person would do.

mixed slushie

SQUIRT and The Noise both have a place in the runiverse.

SQUIRT means cool air, silence, and stars.

But it also means solitude.

It means pushing through on your own.

on your own

The Noise means traffic, humidity, and crowds.

But it also means sharing.

It means letting others push you through.

i can do this

And, sooner or later, everyone needs a push.

especially nice people

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