Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Trail Goddess Hits the Road

Other than one incident, I had a very good run today. I ran to "town" and back. I take one back roads to town, and then return home by another back country road. I do have to run a bit on my own road that I live on, this is a blind curve. I try to get through this quickly either up or downhill. There's no room on the hillside and a narrow berm on the other side. Luckily, there's only two miles of this.
I haven't been on this route since early spring. It's always interesting to see the neighborhood. There's a new Amish family in the neighborhood, they were just going off to church when I ran by.
This is a nice little valley. I love this setting:

This run felt really good to me because I have realized I have progressed as a runner. I felt very strong all through this, until the last 4 miles, which were out in the sun. At spots where I used to start getting tired, I wasn't tired at all. I was even running some of the shorter hills.
Just past the bucolic valley, I noticed a cow in the road. Actually, a calf. Oh good grief, now I'm going to have to stop at the farmhouse and tell them their fence is breached.
As I walked toward the calf, I scared him/her, and the calf ran ahead of me, and managed to squirm itself back through the barbed wire and was reunited with the herd. So, skills as a cowgirl not needed, I continued on my run. I was really having nice endorphins happening; I had good music on the iPod and a beautiful route to run.
This road leads to a very good sized hill, and I started up it.

The scare

I was almost to the top of the hill when a big Rottweiler came out of a field and bounded over to me. This happened in like three seconds. He was huge. His head came up to about my waist. He probably weighed as much as me. And he was barking.
It happened so fast I couldn't reach down for a rock-I wasn't putting more body parts closer to the dog. I also knew I couldn't show the dog fear, because they can smell that chemical. So I got my cojones out and gave him my standard dog greeting "hey buddy how are you doing" and kept walking uphill. Now the dog was behind me and right on my heels. I kept going. I kept waiting for a chunk of flesh to be ripped off me, but I figured forward motion was better than a confrontation with a dog heavier than me.
He left me at the edge of the field. I kept going. Once my heart moved out of my throat I was able to breathe again. After that, it was a very non-eventful run to town.

I stopped at a gas station, bought some Gatorade (yes I can finally drink Gatorade with no ill effects) and headed for home. This is the only part of this loop I don't like; I'm back on the state route where the drivers go about 70 MPH and don't give you any space. But I turn off it soon and head back up some hills. I found this Nathan bottle along the way, and I could use all that liquid about then! The last 4-5 miles are not in the shade, and I started to fade a bit here with all the heat and sun. I really should run this route in reverse, because the first road is all shade and the second road is mainly sun.
It really was a good run for me. The Garmin said 18.5 miles in 3hours 57 minutes, and I didn't stop the watch for the screwing-with-the-camera or the gas station stop. The ice bath afterwards was refreshing; only other running thing to do today is get my stretching in.
The post run pic.


Sensationally Red said...

Your Rottweiler incident raised the hairs on the back of my neck. I did an article a few years back on running safety with a side focus on how to handle dogs...most stuff I read agreed that it's best not to "stare" down the dog, as this is viewed as confrontational to a dog, nor are you supposed to use a high squeaky female voice--best to sound low and male and tell the dog, "Go home!" or something to that effect. Pepper spray has mixed results on dogs since it must penetrate the fur. I remember also, that if a dog does attack, try feeding it a part of your clothing or if all else fails, roll up in a ball and pray for the best. I'm always worried about dogs. Your road run sounded just beautiful--you live in a great area. Seems like I'm always dodging traffic on my road runs.
Those ice baths are just the bomb...I'm a believer!!

Sarah said...

Pretty area! You are brave to run on those roads with little shoulder. Glad you survived the scary dog incident. I have a hard time hiding my fear, but fortunately don't run into too many dogs in the city without their owners. Nice run!

Kim said...

The dog thing happened so quickly. There really wasn't time to think. He came out of a field where there were campers set up, which I had never seen before. I'm hoping he was "just visiting".
It really was common sense to not get afraid and let the dog know it. I was just glad to get by him and continue on my way.

Mike said...

AWESOME post. I really enjoyed it. I would love to run down there with you, minus the shoulders, minus the pooches. Let's find or blaze a trail!

Josh said...

Sweet run! The dog must have known you were the trail goddess. So you aren't supposed to stare it down? oops, I would have been eaten alive!

Jack said...

Beautiful place to run, even though its a road. Thanks for the dog tips ;-)