A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Friday, June 28, 2013


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Ophidiophobia: Do you have an irrational fear of snakes????

Yesterday I went on my first trail run in a loooooooong time. This past spring, my husband and I got in the habit of hitting up different state parks that have disc golf courses. He plays a round of golf while I run the trails. It times out perfectly, and by the time I am done, he's heading back to the car, too.

Then suddenly this summer, my fear of snakes turned irrational. I decided I would not be running trail again until the fall or winter- whenever it would be cool enough for the snakes to be hibernating. I've never liked snakes, but my fear of them also never held me back from a trail run. Yet for some reason this summer I decided my fear of seeing a snake was greater than my love of the trails!

**Fun Fact: I love hearing about other runners who have seen snakes! Whenever someone mentions they were on a trail run or a hike, my first question is, "Did you see any snakes!?"**

In preparation for writing this post, I typed "fear of snakes" into Google images. I could barely even look at the pictures, it made me want to puke!

Over the past six or so years I have probably run over a thousand miles on the trail. (I used to be crazy and run ultra marathons, so a Sunday morning 20-25 mile training run on the trail was not an out of the ordinary thing for me!) You would think I've seen a TON of snakes, right? WRONG! Out of all those hours spent on the trail, I can count the number of snakes I've seen on one hand...

Megan's Snake Sightings!

Snake Sighting #1: I once saw a snake on the tow path at Wildwood. It was really small and slithered right in front of me. EW!! Obviously I never run on that path anymore (because I'm sure that snake is still there) and when I do a loop at Wildwood, I run Industrial Road instead of the tow path. And anyone who has ever run on Industrial Road knows how GORGEOUS it is. (cough! *sarcasm* cough!)

Snake Sighting #2: I hopped over a little long brown snake on the Conewago Trail. I was completing my first ever 18 mile run and was less than a mile from being finished. My friend and I yelped when we saw it, and now every time I bike on that trail I envision little brown snakes jumping up and biting my ankles.

Snake Sighting #3: I was walking the Lakeside Trail at Pinchot with my husband and we saw a green snake chilling right in the middle of the path. We had to walk around it through the woods and I made him carry me on his back. He felt very manly and "knight in shining armor-ish" after that.

Snake Sighting #4: Apparently, I once ran by a huge black snake curled up on the side of the trail at Pinchot. I didn't see it, but the runners behind me did. My friend and I were too busy discussing Sex and the City that we didn't notice the big scary creature. So I don't even know if this one counts, because I didn't actually see it.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is IT! I have only seen three, almost four snakes while running the trails. This summer, I've seen more snakes on the ROAD (dead, mind you, but still gross!) than I have seen on the trail in my whole life! But I always wonder... how many snakes do I run by but don't actually see? Probably hundreds! It is so scary to think about!

But today my husband gave me a pep talk. He told me he knows how much I love the trail, and I shouldn't let snakes keep me away. I should do what I love, and that I probably won't even see any because, well, I never really see any!

So I took his advice and ran a loop around the Lakeside Trail at Pinchot while he did his disc golf thing. I will tell you, after taking several months off from trail running, I forgot how buggy, insect-y, spiderweb-y, and pricker-y trail running is. I felt like the bugs were crawling in my eyes. I swallowed something, not sure what it was, but it was alive before it entered my mouth. I got a few scratches but nothing major- pretty normal for a trail run. I also got in some good thinking, which I really needed.

I bet you are wondering if I saw a snake?

I did NOT! I saw a squirrel, a bunny, and a beautiful deer hopped across the trail right in front of me- but no snakes! Except for the ones that were there and I just didn't notice...

Will I run trail again this summer? I'm not sure. I hope so. It's pretty ridiculous to not go out and enjoy something I love just because I might see a snake.

A happy time on the trail with no snakes...
At one of my favorite spots on the Appalachian Trail
between Boiling Springs and Scott's Farm

Are you afraid of snakes?

How many snakes have you seen?


  1. I suffer from this same issue girl! I saw a rattlesnake when I was running with John on
    a camping trip. I actually just leaped over it and then freaked out. I am deathly afraid of snakes. I almost didn't do the trail marathon because I was too scared of snakes popping out of the boulders when I was running. I am glad there is an actual name of this phobia. We need to invest in a snake-bite kit when we run together. Those damn snakes will find us. Love your blog. Jennifer

  2. I can't believe you jumped over a rattlesnake. It's so scary. They are everywhere. I guess WE'RE running in THEIR home so we can't be mad, right??? I'm not too scared of trail marathons because so many people are running that I think it will scare the snakes away. Thanks for reading my blog!