Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Run in Which I Ran 8 Miles and Met 4 Dogs

Today was my longest run yet since Nolan was born (hopefully I'll be able to keep saying that the next couple of weeks!)  Saturday is my normal long run day, but I ended up being sick on Thursday so I pushed my run from Thursday to yesterday and my long run until today. Thankfully I was only running 3 days this week so I was still able to fit all my runs in.  It really went great. I am super happy with how my training is going. I feel like my body is slowly getting back into it. I'm trying to be smart and I seem to be keeping all injuries at bay. :). I am so much happier when I can run. I would give up an awful lot of things in order to be able to run.

The weather was lovely for running, though a tad bit windy. However, I have realized in analyzing my best runs and races, I often do well in inclement weather. I pondered this for a good 2 miles on my run and think that for some reason I am able to be more mentally tough when I face adverse conditions.  I felt strong and didn't feel like I was working too hard, although I probably ran a bit hard for a long run. I also had a two minute walking break at mile two where there was a dog and a  four minute walking break at mile four when I encountered three dogs. 

They were not mean, but a bit unsure of me until I stopped running. I live in a rural area where people do not often restrain their dogs and all of these dogs encounter very little foot traffic. I pretty much know what houses have dogs and if they are a problem, however, I have never encountered dogs at this house before so it threw me a bit off guard. I don't completely dislike dogs, but I am a bit wary of dogs I don't know. I did a quick search on what to do when you encounter an unrestrained dog while running and they pretty much all said the same things:
  • DO cross the street or swing wide, putting more distance between you and the dog. You don't appear to be as big of a threat to their property then.
  • DO stop running.  Stand still or walk slowly. A dog loves the chase and by stopping, most of the excitement is gone. Most dogs will prove to be friendly albeit overly excited, but if one tries to jump on you, turn sideways and use your forearm to push it down. Another option is to turn around and slowly (so they are less likely to chase) head back the way you came. The dog is most likely protecting its property and really just wants you to go away. If you keep going in the same way you were go slowly without looking back. The further you get from the dog, the more you can pick up your pace.
  • DO stay calm and speak in a happy voice even if you are faking it ("good dog" "nice puppy" etc.). You can also try cues such as "sit" or "stay" or "go home".
  • Also consider removing your hat or sunglasses so the dogs realize you are just a person.
  • DON'T shout or scream at the dog.
  • DON'T make eye contact or stare at the dog. This can be seen as an act of aggression.
  • DON'T throw anything at the dog, again, it can make the dog feel threatened.

Spring is certainly coming. Everything is starting to turn green! And there were some pretty dark clouds that made everything look greener. Fortunately the rain held off until after I was done and then there was a pretty cool rainbow. I saw other people's pictures on Facebook and others had an even cooler view. Well I would show you the picture of the rainbow too, but my computer is being wonky and won't upload it.  So you just get to see the grey sky. Sorry.

After I got home, I refueled with Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries (Thanks Runner's World for the idea!) and a small handful of almonds and then had a taco for supper. Now I get to enjoy the *mostly* quiet house. (My oldest two are *supposed* to be in bed and Donovan is out on a call.) I think Nolan and I are going to catch up on Parenthood...

Do you ever encounter unrestrained dogs? Any tips to add?
Favorite foods to refuel with?



  1. Just found your blog! I actually had a little terrier chase me down a road and nip at my ankles once. I think I ran a 5:20 pace to get away from him! Great blog!
    I have an 8 month old so I know about running with a little one in tow- it's hard!
    Emma @

    1. Running with little ones is hard! But it's necessary to my sanity :) It is so scary to be nipped at! I had a dog try to bite me and left a bruise. I walked and cried the rest of the way home.

  2. Congrats on your longest distance so far post-baby! Dogs are my biggest fear on a run... I haven't had to deal with it here, as we're in an urban area, but my parents live out in the country and it makes me so nervous! Glad to know I should slow down, and not run faster. :)

    1. I love everything about running in the country except the dogs. I'm always on high alert every time I approach a house.