Monday, March 4, 2013

Running Against the Wind and Unleashed Dogs

This morning was a scheduled 2 mile run.  It was beautiful out, well, beautiful compared to what I have been facing in the past month.  It was probably mid- to high 30s.  I put on a technical long sleeve shirt, some long running pants, a jacket, ear warmers, and gloves. 

I drove my 5 year-old to school, letting my husband know that I would be stopping to do my run on the way home.   I let him know that when the baby woke up, she would have to eat and get changed.  Out the door we went.

My son goes to school about 3 miles away.  He gets driven to and from school daily.  There is a park that has trails marked off so I know which one to use to get my 2 mile run in.   After dropping him off, I went back to the park.  I put my ear warmers on and my gloves.  I stepped out of my car and walked over to where I start, which is just a matter of a few steps.  I took a quick glance around to see what I would be dealing with.  I noticed a dog with its owner in the distance.  At this point is when I always hope that the dog is on leash.

I hit start on my watch's stopwatch and off I went.  I need to run around the trail 3 times, as it is a 2/3 mile loop.  The first thing I noticed was that it was windy.  I am not sure how windy it was, but it was windy enough that it was hard to catch my breath as I ran north and I was still running against the wind as I ran east.  These are the first two directions of my run.  The north and south distances are the longer ones.  I would say that they make up about 1 1/2 of the 2 miles.

It is hard to explain the difference between running against the wind and running with the wind.  Even though it was a gentle wind, there was still the resistance of it against me.  I don't think I would have realized the resistance, except for when I turned south and then west, it was much easier to run.  My breathing got easier.  I didn't have to try to suck in the air.  My legs didn't have to work as hard.  I wonder if I would have appreciated it as much if I had started my run going east and then south.  There is a clear difference, when running, between when the wind is at your back or coming directly at your face. 

I have to admit, I prefer running outside, far over running inside.  Treadmills are what I started training on, back in June 2009.  I trained for my whole first half-marathon on the treadmill.  There is such a difference between running on a treadmill and on a hard surface.  I will run against the wind happily, over running inside.  I think it might help with lung development :) I enjoy running against the wind a lot more than running in the snow though.

As I ran, I discovered the dog that I had initially seen in the distance, was not on a leash.  Those realizations tend to slow me down.  I don't want to get that close to a dog without slowing down and trying to figure out the situation.  As I got closer, I realized that it was a young yellow lab.  It seemed to be well-trained, as it stayed close to its owner.   I still went slower passed it, just to be sure I had correctly accessed the situation.  Thankfully, I had.  This dog was on the north part of my run.

As I continued running, and rounded the east, then the south, the closer I got to where I would turn west, I made another discovery.  There was a woman with a dog.  This dog was obviously not on a leash.  Once again, I slowed down.  As I got closer to the dog, it seemed like an old dog, but I couldn't get a good sense of it.  The owner was leaning over, feeding some other dogs through the fence.  As I neared, the dog let out a bark at me.  I slowed to a walk and then once I got passed it, I continued to run.

I was happy to get passed the dogs.  I was even happier that on my second and third times around, the dogs were not there.  I don't know for sure why people think it is okay to let their dogs run around without leashes.  It has always been a bit of a pet peeve of mine.  

My worst dog encounter was when I had my daughter in a baby carrier, and I was kind of doing a slow jog, a couple of dogs ran out from a house when the owner opened the door.  I heard a lot of barking and turned to see a dog not too far from me.  I turned my body away from the dog, so my daughter was the furthest away.  The dog jumped up and bit my arm.  If I hadn't had a coat on, I am sure it would have broken the skin.  If I hadn't turned my body, it would have gotten my baby in the face. 

Do you have any pet peeves about running outside?  

1 comment:

  1. I still think running in my pet peeve, but I will get over it ;)