Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Desperately Seeking Shade

Desperately Seeking Shade.

And a ban on retractable leashes.

Day 16.

With my kids in morning VBS this week, I'm able to set out for my workouts an hour earlier than usual, though it wasn't much help today.

I tried to seek more established neighborhoods and roads bordered by trees in an attempt to find shade, but nothin' doin'. By 9 AM it was already 85% and 67% humidity and not a cloud in the sky. The sun was already high enough that it was well above the tree lines, so no shade. Nada.

My legs were carrying the weight of yesterday's workout, the full force of gravity pressing on me, the heat and humidity a total beat down.

It was a 4.5 mile fartlek run (Fartlek. Who came up with that word anyway? Is it an acronym? What is its origin?) and despite the eight 30-second sprints, my average pace/mile was a full minute slower than last night's brick.

The last 1/2 mile was in sight, the stretch of road fully sun-baked, the heat making the air above the pavement shimmer. I just. Wanted. To Walk. The motto I've adopted, "Go hard, or don't go at all," was completely out of my reach today, but I didn't quit. I kept going, my feet barely leaving the ground. I was never so happy to see a run come to an end. Ooooo, Cozumel. Hot, humid Cozumel. It could be ugly.

Pre-run: Herbal tea
Post-run: 8 oz Recoverite, water, ice on the feet and knees, and looking forward to breakfast.

But first, a word on retractable leashes.

Strongly dislike! Most people cannot control their dogs with these things. I once saw an elderly woman walking a huge dog on one of these leashes. (I am sure retractables were not originally intended for 90-pound Rotties.) When I ran by on the other side of the street, the dog started doing cartwheels. To her credit, the woman held on to the dog but could not under any circumstances have "reeled him in." If I had been within striking distance, I could have become the dog's marrow bone.

Today, I came upon a woman walking a little white ball of terror on a retractable leash.

I called out to the woman to let her know I was approaching; I don't like to startle anyone, or their dogs.

She didn't respond, so I cut away from the path at a 45-degree angle to make a wide arc around her and the little white menace lunged at me, teeth and all. Now, white girl can't jump, but she sure can manage a mean backward scooch when the occasion calls for it. A foot closer and that little dog might have had a piece of my leg.

The woman's reply as she pulled an ear bud from her ear? "Oh. I didn't hear you." Not sorry. Not oops. Not "bad dog." Oh.

Um, maybe try walking with your iPod at a volume that allows you to hear others around you? Or perhaps consider using a real leash next time? Or maybe getting a real dog?

(Apologies to all the little dog lovers out there; I'm sure your dogs are absolutely dear.)

1 comment:

  1. That's funny. (but not) This morning on my run I was thinking how I've been running the streets of Sykesville for 11 years now and been chased only three times by dogs - ones not on leashes. The last time was only a few weeks ago. I love dogs but hate when they are not properly restrained. Sorry you had such a tough workout this morning. I went early (6) and it was definitely muggy even then.