Tonight’s run was done under pleasant conditions: 21ºC, sunny and a light breeze.
Little did I know the four-legged doom to come!
The first thing I notice when I get to the park is a lot more dogs than usual, most of them gathered in the southeast corner of the field. It looks like some kind of training event. I am a bit wary at the sheer number of our canine friends. I don’t worry about being attacked by dogs or anything like that, but in the park they tend to run and play and not pay attention to where they are going, much like little kids.
I set off. My starting km is average but I seem to be clicking along fine. Around the 4K mark I hear something above the ELO playing on my iPod and a guy goes jogging past me on my right. The nerve! He also has silver hair. I don’t care if he’s only 22, it rankles me. I make a mild effort to catch up but he keeps inching ahead. I opt to bide my time and merely keep pace until I can pull the ol’ tortoise and the hare routine.
At just under 5K I am coming out of the southwest corner of the path. I spot a pair of small dogs playing just off the path to my left. That’s fine. They’re not in my way. I jog by them and think nothing more of it. A few moments later I glance down and spot fur at my feet. This isn’t good. There is no time to register anything else over the next couple of seconds, the events just happen and my body reacts automatically. My feet catch on the dogs and I tumble forward, my hands going out to catch my fall. I hit the ground with both palms and my left knee. I get partway up and look back to the dogs, which are already off playing elsewhere, oblivious to the events. “Stupid dogs,” I mutter, but what I’m really thinking is “stupid dog owner” and then my eyes meet with one of them. He stands there and looks at me blankly. I am still hearing ELO but his lips aren’t moving.
I decide the run is more important and get back up, resuming my pace without even stopping to brush the dirt away.
A short time later I see a little kid on a bike ahead of me, standing squarely in the middle of the path. He looks to be making a wobbly attempt to move forward. I can see where this is heading, especially as the front wheel of the bike starts turning in my direction. I shout, “Look out, kid!” as I give him a wide berth. My run is being partly fueled by anger at this point.
Later still a woman is crossing from the field, across the path, to the street. We are on a direct collision course. She remains utterly oblivious to my approach. If I had been inclined to, I could have easily blindsided her and knocked her down flat. Instead, I loop around her and mutter something about paying attention. Original I am not.
I finish with a time of 54:29 and an average pace of 5:26 — my best 10K since April! The extra zest of being miffed has clearly given me an extra boost. Despite this, I am hoping I do not trip over any more dogs in the future. I’d rather get my extra boosts through things like inspiration or divine providence or something.
Chart (red denotes running in especially warm conditions, green denotes cramps during run):
|km||Aug 11||Aug 7||Aug 4|
Bonus shot of my grubby hands after the run: