My unexpected (and windy) adventure

We’ve been having some very odd but very beautiful weather lately, and today was warmer than it’s been in months! Since I had some time off of work  I decided to go on a longer run / walk. I was shooting for around an hour, and hoping that this time I’d be able to increase the length of my running intervals to 2 minutes.

Unfortunately for me, the wind had other plans. After about 5 minutes outside it was pretty clear I’d have to change up my normal path if I was going to get anything done. My typical route had me running straight into some pretty strong wind, and for my first few running intervals I was barely able to break 45 seconds! Ugh.

My preference has always been to stick to larger streets and stay away from residential areas. There’s a simple reason for this – DOGS. Twice in my life I’ve been attacked by unleashed dogs. The first time, my legs might have been ripped to shreds if I hadn’t been wearing an enormous skirt. The skirt itself was ripped clean off me, leaving me running half naked back to my house. The second time was definitely my fault. I was at a neighbor’s house looking at their dog’s brand new litter of puppies, and I got too close. The momma dog bit most of my nose off, and I had to get emergency plastic surgery to put my face back into normal working order.

These days, I try to avoid any possibility of running into an unleashed dog. Just the idea of seeing one is terrifying.

But today the wind made me change course from the main road into a nearby neighborhood. The houses blocked the wind pretty well, but my body still wouldn’t let me go past 1 minute of straight jogging. I guess it was just one of those days. I decided to roll with it. I was just getting into my new rhythm when I saw it – a huge, shaggy, poodle-esque dog trotting by itself down the street. AHHH!!!

I stopped dead in my tracks, frozen by fear. There are lots of people who say the best thing is to stay as still as possible. Supposedly, if you run you take the form of prey in the dog’s mind and they immediately give chase. So this pup and I had a staring match for a few seconds until he suddenly jumped into a play bow, wagging tail and all. Thank god! Just then the owner appeared and called him away, and just like that all was well.

Except, well, I was lost.

In my effort to get out of the wind I’d wandered into a confusing maze of a neighborhood. Dead ends, curving roads and three way intersections galore. I wandered for a while and eventually the houses grew thinner and thinner, until it dead ended at one of the main roads I recognized. Turns out, I’d wandered way farther than I thought. What’s more, there were only two ways back – going back into the neighborhood (possibly getting lost again in the process), or walking the mile back to my apartment against wind that was strong enough to literally knock me over. I chose the latter, and even though I’m glad for the exercise my pace was totally killed for the day.

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Well, the good news is I passed a nice little pond AND discovered a cute little cottage advertising music lessons, so not all was lost. Next time (when it’s a little less windy) I hope to actually hit those two-minute intervals! I’m still proud of myself though. I wasn’t totally feeling the running vibe today, but I went anyway and I didn’t regret it!

Stats for this run: 3.24 Miles, 61 minutes and 21 seconds, 18’56” pace

So, have any of you had problems with unleashed dogs on your run? Ever had to change course and got lost as a result? Tell me about your unexpected running adventures!

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