Last week, my long run was a bit longer than expected. With my bad vision, I didn't realize until after a few seconds that I had been making direct eye contact with a stray dog across the street from me.
I was hoping that'd be the end of it. After a little while, I saw a shadow coming from behind me, so I moved to the side thinking it was another runner. But then, I felt something pawing at my heels and realized the dog was following me.
I had no idea what to do, so I just kept looking straight ahead and running. After a little bit, the dog was whining next to me and then he jumped up at me. I yelled at him and he stopped, but he kept pawing at my heels every now and then.
It wasn't the kindest thought, but when I saw a cyclist heading toward us in the opposite directions, I was hoping the dog was follow him. He didn't. After a half a mile, I came up with a plan.
There was a fire station a little out of my way. I figured I could go there and ask them if they knew if animal control could be called on the weekend (or at least keep the dog occupied for 10 minutes while I ran away).
The dog was still with me for a mile, so I went to the fire station. The dog was gone by then, but I still stopped by the station telling the firefighters that the dog was following me. As I was about to leave, the dog was nice enough to be waiting across the street for me, so I waved him over. He kindly complied and the firefighters kept him to see if animal control was available.
Stray dogs have always been a running fear of mine. Once, I ran into an area where there were dogs, who were bordering on aggressive, but there was distance between us and I ran in the other direction. I'm not really sure what to do. In this case, it was an open area without houses or stores. I didn't see a stick or rock if I needed it. This week, I made sure to pack my pepper spray with me. But any advice on dealing with stray dogs would be greatly appreciated. My first choice of course is avoiding them.
I don’t normally invite people to join me for a run, and so far, July has been a reminder of why that is. I got stood up twice.
Person Who Must Not Me Named 1 said she couldn’t join me for the bike social but would join me for my long run the next day. When my alarm when off, I thought I had to get ready quick in case there’s a knock at the door that would wake up others.
I scrambled to get my water, reflection vest, watch, and other gear on. No knock on the door. No text. “Maybe she’s waiting for me in the front of ___,” I thought. No, she wasn’t.
I started my run, mentally planning other places we could meet if she called late. Yeah, there was no reason to do that. I never got a message. Actually, I still haven’t gotten one.
Person Who Must Not Be Named 2 asked if I was going to the Footworks July 4 Run/Walk. I hadn’t planned to, but it’s free and I just got invited, so sure.
I got there with just minutes to spare before the run started. No one was there to meet me, so I called. “We’re headed there now,” I was told. And then about a minute later, the run started. While running, I kept looking around to see if I just missed Person Who Must Not Be Named 2.
At the turnaround, I checked to see if Person Who Must Not Be Named 2 was just really behind. Nope. No one.
I phoned PWMNBN2 when I finished the run. I learned they were at a park walking. PWMNBN2 thought the race started half an hour after it actually started.
So that happened. Not actually showing up is one thing. But if anyone actually did keep a running date with me, I’d hit Issue 2 - mismatched paces.
Do you have a running buddy? Do you have a similar pace? If you don’t, does one person slow down for the other or do you all just meet up at the end?
The photos below are from the Footworks July 4th Run.
I got to attend part of it. Unfortunately, running in cold weather causes my nose to run too. On a long shot, I asked a woman if she had a tissue, and she actually had quite a few.
I headed back to the hotel, and I felt like I was moving fast. The first part I know was because I was headed downhill. (I could've gone in another direction, but I earned the right to run down the street the easy way.) The rest was because I was trying to reach the next block before the light changed. It felt like quick sprints, but my watch confirms I was going my usual pace.
I wish I had a chance to have a longer run, but I enjoyed the opportunity to have a quick look around.
The 40-minute 5K continues to elude me. Most runners would probably scoff at such a goal. Most the running apps seem to think the only 5K that exists is less than 30 minutes.
I started running with a Couch to 5K app. In reality, it was a "couch to 30 minutes of running" app. And I don’t run a 5K in 30 minutes. And years later, apparently, i can’t even run one in 40 minutes. But I’ll keep trying.
I got pretty close at the Vida Verde 5K in McAllen earlier this month. Twelve seconds earlier, I would've finished the run at 40 minutes and 59 seconds. And I’d have no shame in claiming that as my 40-minute 5K.
Last year’s Vida Verde 5K ended up my personal Discount Tire 5K. (Here’s the post from that run.) This year, I actually got to see the route. I learned it was part of the route used for the McAllen Marathon. (The only way I knew this was because there were signs stating that.)
That last part of the route was through Quinta Mazatlan. It was a bunch of quick short turns. While I appreciated them, it seemed like a lot more than .1 mile. There was someone at the last turn signaling that the finish line was close. I thought it wasn’t as close as he was saying, but it was practically at that turn.
I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t taken those few seconds to think, “Yeah, right buddy,” I probably would’ve shaved those precious few seconds off my time.
Ah well, I have another run in a few days. Wish me luck.
Side note: Kudos to the organizers on the participant shirts. They were very nice. (It looks better without the wrinkles.) And I got a single-digit bib, which as close to being #3 in a race as I'll ever be.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.