Mar. 24th, 2015

ofearthandstars: (Unstoppable)
Today I had a short hour to go for a run, in between the time L. came home from work and the time in which he needed to run back out again for gate-duty at a basketball game. I took off on my usual 5.0-mile route. My left knee felt a little stiff at first, but being a dumbasseager to get out, I decided instead of stopping and trying to work out the kinks, I'd just jog slowly (albeit a little stiffly and painfully) until it warmed up. It did warm up within the first half mile so that it wasn't painful.

On the first half of my route, a dog bounded across four lanes of traffic to chase me. It was not a particularly large or vicious dog, and I stopped as I heard it give chase, which made the dog stop, in the middle of the road, on the eastbound side of traffic (right next to me). This being a rather major highway, I started to panic a little, and so I tried to coax him to my side of the road, since he was closest to me. I thought, somewhat naively, that if I spoke to him in a calm/sweet voice he might listen and quit barking. He looked at me confused, but continued to bark. His owner, who lived in a house across the street, began yelling at him to come back, but he appeared to ignore her. I changed tactics and began using a rough voice to try to shoo him out of the road (traffic is still hurtling towards us), and this worked...except he bounded back across the median and into the lanes of oncoming traffic, onto the westbound side. I screamed at him to stop, of course he didn't - and thankfully, thankfully the traffic on that side was paying attention and slowed down/missed hitting him. Although neither of us was hurt, the whole thing shook me up a little. I ran the rest of that mile much faster.

On the way back, I passed by his home again, and made a point to cross to the median, at least, to avoid catching his eye. However, I know that if he'd ignored traffic the first time, he might do the same the next time. :/ Thankfully his owner appeared to have taken him inside. It's the first I've seen of him.

Another house I passed, which has the world's tiniest fence (it is, no shit, probably 2.5 feet high), now has two rather large, slightly intimidating dobermans who like to run to the fence and bark at me. I'm fine with them as long as they stay behind the fence, but I cannot get over how short that fence is.

Right before mile 4.0, another dog, that I'm aware of and sometimes anticipate, came bounding down his lane to chase me. This dog is much smaller, and although he has previously nipped at my ankles (never broken skin), he tends to turn tail and run if I gruffly shoo him off. So we did that whole routine, and somehow I didn't trip over him before he turned and rolled and scampered off, barking at me as I retreated.

I never quite know what to do with dogs when I'm running. I was raised with small dogs, and I love them...but I'm also really allergic to them so have elected not to keep one as an adult. There's also the point that when I was about 11 years old, I was riding a bike down a drive when I was attacked by two boxer bulldogs, one that took a good meaty hunk out of my arm, the other a small hunk out of my left leg, both of which required a hospital trip. (Thankfully the owner was outdoors to call them off.) So, I have a love and respect for dogs, but also a pretty reasonable fear of what they can do to me. My main concerns with the dogs are 1) they don't get hit by a car chasing me, as I'm alongside a very busy highway; and 2) they don't bite me, preferably. I imagine that the approaches needed depend on the dog, but is it best to try to sweet talk a barking dog (appear non-threatening), or try to shoo them on? Do I just run like hell and hope that they never catch up (doubtful, I'm kinda slow from a dog perspective)? I do my best to not step onto their property (but god knows the dogs think the property extends into the road!), or to provoke them by any means.

Because I was in a hurry to get back home before L. left again, I ran a little farther than I usually would (I usually stop and do a cool down/walk about a third of a mile before the house, but this time I just kept going since it was so close to his departure). Turns out I was able to catch him right as he was about to back out the driveway and grab a sweaty kiss. ;) So, all told I ended up running 5.44 miles (with the aforementioned interruptions). It was the warmest and sweatiest run I've had in a good six months, and I was dripping wet and tired and made for a cold shower the minute I got in the door.

Surprisingly, my left foot (which has been hideously painful after the past couple of runs) has not bothered me since, but I did notice a little swelling/creaky-grinding/pain in the left knee. *sigh* I should have been a good girl and stopped to stretch that out a little more at the start. Meanwhile, I've iced it and took an NSAID. Hopefully it'll be feeling better by Thursday.

Oh, and my pace was 10:58/mile. :) Not too bad, for that distance, for me, with two dog chases.

"The Knowledge That...

...the atoms that comprise life on earth - the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson


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