I changed my schedule of long runs (if I have a long run at a particular week, that is): Mondays. This is to make way for other activities that may suddenly pop out of nowhere within the week.
I realized that my friends pick no particular week night—if we’re in the same neighborhood, we’re bound to meet up somewhere. When surprises in the office occur or stress beats us out, alcohol would start calling our team name. Meanwhile, Sundays are for family. Saturday mornings, on the other hand, are reserved for long sleeps that would normally commence Friday midnight; Saturday nights are for Anticipated Mass, visits to my brother and his family, and/or meet ups with my friends.
Monday nights, on the other hand, are usually empty and uneventful, making them perfect for long runs.
It rained last Monday. But by the time I left the office, the streets were almost dry—no excuse for me to cancel a run that I’ve been thirsting for. I tried to tidy up my stuff while I digested dinner; changed into my running attire; read Eclipse; fell asleep and woke up a little past 9PM.
I thought for a moment if I should run as planned. I wanted to get more sleep. But I was already in my running gear, so I got up from bed before I changed my mind again.
Back to bed?
After a kilometer, I still hadn’t shaken off my drowsiness. I wanted to sleep instead, but I ran further from the house, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to end a supposed long run. I sprinkled a few walks early into the run, still fighting the urge to go back to sleep and trying to ignore nature’s call. But when I reached 2km, I had no choice but to go back to the house for a bathroom break. So I took a break and hydrated before resuming the run.
At about 4km, I was enjoying myself. So I decided to keep going and finish 8km (haha, which is long enough for someone who only runs 6-10 miles a week) that night.
Bite me not
I turned to one corner. Abandoning the run-walk routine, I was running easy at 6’40”-7’02” pace. Across the road and about a few feet away from me was a man who was out for a walk going in the same direction as I was. Then I saw him holding something with his right hand: It turns out he was out for a yosi break.
I outpaced the man who was leisurely walking, then I heard him command: “Stay on the left side.” I realized—too late—that he had canine buddies—the toy kind, unleashed.
I could have slowed down, had I known that I was sharing the street with dogs. But just seconds after I heard the firm command, a dog—who, I suppose, had no sense of left and right, or was just plain stubborn—turned right and toward me. Seeing me running, the dog probably saw me as a threat, barked and ran after me—until I halted.
“No. Stay,” I heard its human friend.
The dog obeyed, with the canine’s nose just an inch from my left leg that I could feel its breath. For a moment, I thought the dog would be stubborn again and bite me. But to my surprise, it stopped the moment the man said “stay” and didn’t move nor bark at all.
I still stood there, immobile as the dog—and shocked at another brush with a barking dog. When I realized that the dog had no intention to bite, I looked behind me, at the man who gave the order that redeemed me. But I didn’t smile. Li’l doggie might think I’m being aggressive if I show teeth (with wires at that!).
“Sorry,” he said. “Don’t worry. They don’t bite.”
The dog, being good to its human friend this time, left my side. And that’s when I, too, became mobile again, waved at the man, left my spot and walked away until I reached the end of the street.
I ran a total of 8km that night, unharmed, but just jolted from a barking dog. This is the second time I’ve been chased by a barking toy dog during a run. At least they’re just the small ones, and not as heavy as an adult human. Assuming that they’re healthy dogs, the worst they could do is give me a tiny scar, as opposed to a life-threatening situation if I faced a big dog.
Cheers to more miles!