Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just another short easy run...

NOT! Well it was relatively short, but not just another run.

First, I have to take my hat off to all of you who run in cold climates (please imagine me bowing to you saying "I'm not worthy!") I have no idea how you do it! Maybe I am a wimp, but I barely made it out to run today because it was COLD (relatively speaking). Now... please keep in mind that I have lived in Southern California for over seven years before you boo and hiss at me. It was a chilly chilly 47 degrees and windy when I got dressed this morning. Brrrrrr. Seriously. I had to push myself to get out there. It took me about a quarter to a half a mile before I felt like I could unclench and get in a rhythm.

As I was starting to feel comfortable in my run, I saw a guy jogging toward me on the path with his German Shepherd on a leash. I noted how big the dog was and admired how pretty he was. I like dogs, but I also have a healthy respect. I moved over to one side of the path so I wouldn't scare the dog etc. I smiled at the guy and could see that the dog was looking at me as well. Suddenly, as I passed, the dog lunged at me and barked. It was a significantly aggressive bark; I could hear that. I moved away and fell/jumped into the ditch. I screamed some sort of profanity. I haven't been scared like that in a long time. Thank GOD the guy was big. It looked like an effort for him to hold his dog. I think if that dog belonged to a smaller person, I would have been in big trouble. He asked if I was ok and apologized. I said I was fine and ran away. I am glad I did. Had I stuck around to talk to him, I think I would have cried. As I ran, I had tears in my eyes and was very very shaken.

The route I run has me double back on that path and I was nervous about seeing the man and his dog again. I decided if I saw them I would stop and try to "meet" the dog. He must have been threatened because I was running, right? Well, that was what I was thinking then. Now as I sit here writing this I am actually getting a little pissed off about the whole thing. Although I suppose the owner did everything he could and had him on a leash (thank GOD). I just can't understand when people have an aggressive dog as a pet (speaking as a person who owns a passive Beagle). I didn't see them again. I will have my pepper spray next time.**

I finally relaxed and got back into my rhythm. Thank goodness for my iPod. I was trying something new this morning-- listening to a book on tape. It is perfect for a slow easy run. It let me just escape a bit and run relaxed. I decided to start with an easy read, a cheesy best-seller. I am listening Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz.

About 3/4 of a mile from home, I was met with yet another reason to bring pepper spray with me when running in my neighborhood. Suddenly, ten feet in front of me, a coyote emerged from the canyon onto the path. WTF??? I didn't need that! I yelled at him. He trotted down the path toward my house. *sigh* My options were to follow him or to turn around and go back the other way, which would involve a VERY steep hill. It would ruin my easy run. So I followed him, making my footfalls heavy and yelling for him to go away. I also put my arms over my head (looking like a complete idiot) so I might look taller. Finally, he scrambled up the hill into the brush. As I passed the spot where he went up, I picked up my pace for the rest of my run.

I was glad to be done. Surprisingly enough, it was a pretty good run--three miles at 10:00 minutes per mile and I felt good (physically, at least).
Next time I am bringing my pepper spray!!

**I had to add a comment on Jill's blog entry that was asking us to tell her what we carry with us on our runs. In the past, I brought pepper spray when I run alone downtown or out in the actual canyons on the trails. Now I realize that we live close enough to a canyon and threats can come anywhere.


tgorourke said...

I'll cut you some slack on the coldness, you have lived in California for a while. *wink wink.*

I have to admit, I deal with a lot running on the roads here, but no coyotes, thank you God. Lucky for you, that guy was big and handled the big doggie (sorry, they can be enormous, and I'll still call them "doggie.") Oh Lisa, I think you deserve a day off after that!

Oz Runner said...

wow, a coyote? cool...well, probably not for you....

I would take a 47 degree day for running, it was 8 degrees with windchill here this morning...forced me to the dreaded elliptical.

jodes said...

wow, so much for a relaxing run! I have no idea what i would do if I ever saw a coyote when I was out for a run!! I would be completely freaked out.

That sucks about the dog! But aside from all that.... sounds like it was a nice run. ;o)

Oh yah, and 47* is my perfect running temp! Well, 45/50s is, so its pretty spot on!! i also grew up with chicago winters.

Alissa said...

Yesteday when I ran it was 47 degrees and I thought it was pretty cold. I wore my pants. I'm right there with ya. But after the first mile I really do enjoy running in that temperature. It makes me very angry to see people with aggressive pets too. My running buddy had a big pit bull break away from the person who was walking him and run after her. She turned and crouched an he leaped up on her back. The owner yelled and the dog froze and she was able to get away but whoa. I would have been scared for life. I bring the mace for animals almost every time I go out now.

jillwillrun.com said...

I freeze in 47 degree weather as well!

I was really upset when you commented and said that you ran into the aggressive dog and a coyote. I was concerned for you. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to shoot off an e-mail or comment until now to let you know that I was thinking of you and I'm glad you're okay. My husband gets upset if I go running without my pepper spray, especially after I got jumped by a German Shepherd earlier this summer.

I haven't read/listened to that Dean Koontz book, I'll have to check it out sometime. I enjoy his books as a form of easy entertainment.

AKA Alice said...

I'm another SoCal wimp who thinks it's just been freekin' cold here lately.

I'm not a dog person, so all dogs make me nervous...but the big ones scare me to death. I don't carry pepper spray or anything, but maybe I should.


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