01 October 2009

Dog Day Tempo Run

The word for today is leash. Apparently there are a lot of dog owners that do not understand the concept of a leash, nor do they own one.

On the plan today was a 55 minute run with 30 minutes at tempo. During my warm up I noticed a rough looking dog on my side of the street. The look of this dog made me think of some wild mutt running around picking fights with other animals. I decided to cross the street.

I slowed down in an attempt to not alarm him, but as soon as he noticed me, he began trotting across the street. Half way across he started barking, and I noticed that his eyes were the very window into Satan's soul. I stopped and yelled "NO". He veered away from me and went onto a nearby lawn, but started to growl lightly. I didn't dare turn my back to him, and walked very slowly backward as he sniffed around the ground. Finally something else caught his attention, and when I was a safe distance away I continued with my warm up.

When my watched beeped to signal the end of the warm up, I was feeling very good. I quickly got settled into my pace and felt comfortable. I did not realize it until I started my cool down, but I was in a zone. I was not even aware of the sounds of my feet. I was focusing on my breathing, and I think that helped me zone out and lock in a nice steady pace.

With about six minutes to go, I heard more barking. The sound of this barking was the high pitched yapping of two small dogs running toward me. Now I understand if dogs get loose by accident. Maybe you opened the door to grab the paper and they ran under your feet or something. I am sympathetic to that, but these dogs did not need to plan an escape, it was handed to them.

The lady was standing in her yard talking on the phone while the dogs just wandered around. The yard was not fenced in and they were not on leashes. As the dogs are jumping up and nipping at my legs I started to get irritated because I had to slow to a walk. I heard the lady yelling stop. She repeated the word over and over again, but I didn't realize she was talking to me until she said, "stop walking."

Now I was already irritated because my tempo was messed up and I was forced out of a zone. I looked at her and said, "I am trying to keep a pace here." All she could say was, "well stop walking and I will grab them."

What? Here is an idea. If you have two annoying little dogs that run after every moving object in the street, why not keep them on a leash. I wanted to speak my mind, but held back and just said, "Put them on a leash." Then tried my best to get back into the groove for the final five minutes of my run.

Of course those last five minutes were horrible. I got a stitch in my side and struggled to keep an even pace. My breathing was wrong and I was frustrated. I finished those last few minutes and then went into my cool down.

Besides the dogs, I had a very good run. For those 30 minutes at tempo, I ran an average 9:19 pace for a total of 3.22 miles.

In the beginning of January of this year I tried running a full mile at a sub 10 minute pace, and could only do it for barely a half mile, and it killed me. Today's 3.22 at a 9:19 pace felt awesome.

The improvement feels incredible!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I run with dog mace---only came close to using it once, but it's comforting to know I have it.

I have a big, very big friend (6'4", 240+) who was jogging a few years back, and a little dog much like you described went for his ankles.

He didn't slow down, and wound up drop kicking the little mutt about 10 yards in the air onto a lawn.

The dog's owner started to yell at him, but when he got a look at the size of him, just stopped.

He never turned around, but shouted that the dog should be on a leash.

John Smiley