Dan Lopata

Live, Love, Listen

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Attacked by Goats!

“I don’t want to” that was the first thought through my head as the alarm went off at 5 AM. “My legs are tired. Yesterday’s debacle of a trial run was enough, Can’t I just sleep?”

An hour later Amy asks “What can I do to help you?”

“Nothing,” is my quick response. But it is then I roll out of bed and go downstairs. The Laundry is in the dryer waiting to be folded so I begin that task and start pulling out the running gear from yesterday. It is just the fact that I’m up and moving at this point and the leggings are in my hands that I give up and put them on. Next thing I know it’s 7:00 AM and I’m out the door.

Yes the sun was already up, but it still counts as sunrise when I see it for the first time peeking through the trees of the clouds, and this is what happens just about 2 miles into my run. All is now well… or so I think.


Moving slowly on dead legs, hitting closer to 9 min/mile than my 8:30’s that I’m accustomed to on these long road outings, I’m still feeling fine and wave to a runner as he passes by in the other direction. I’m about to enter my favorite county park and beginning to find my stride.

As I traipse into Mendon Ponds Park I make the decision to turn right on Pond Road, opting to go longer than I had originally anticipated. I pop a Clif Blok at 5.5 miles determined to knock out 15 instead of 12 miles.

Hills are no problem today; headwind, no sweat. This is going to be uneventful… until I exit the park and get to the intersection of Reeves and Clover.

I look up and see what I think is a deer hanging off of a fence. Thinking that this is a little odd I’m trying to figure out how a car could have hit a deer so hard it would end up in this position. Then it moved! It came down from its upright position and turned to look at me… this wasn’t a deer, it was a really big, strange looking dog… NO it was a really BIG goat! Not one of those little ones you see at farm markets, but one whose back was a high as my neck.

This was curious, I’ve encountered lots of animals on trails, but I was on the roads, and never had I run into a goat before. I grabbed my phone out of my vest to grab a shot, and then another goat, the same size came out of the bushes and curiously started walking toward me.


I don’t really know much about goats other than they can pack a mean head-butt and can kick pretty hard, so I decided that maybe I don’t want this cute BIG thing getting that close to me, so I decide to turn and resume my run. Upon turning to my left I saw it… the REALLY BIG GOAT with HORNS staring at me! I started walking – they started following – I started running – they started running! The big one running right next to me kicking his hind feet wildly! I started freaking out and yelling “HELP” and finally jumped off the road into a snow bank.

They stopped. They looked at me, I looked at them, I started to slooowly move through the snow bank. They didn’t move. I got about ten feet away, and they stood in the middle of the road staring at me. I turned and RAN! Sensing that I was no more trouble they just stood and watched.

400 yards later, still way up in my own head about my close encounter, a dog barked at me and almost caused a heart attack! Now that was the closest I came to dying today!

Now this whole encounter seemed like it took at a bare minimum 10 minutes, (I haven’t looked at my splits yet) and even with that, I managed my half marathon split in under 2 hours which is good for me on dead legs! That said, it’s now 12 hours later and I think my heart rate has finally got back to its resting rate.


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