(Mis)Adventures in Running

I had quite the misadventure on my 4-miler this morning. Correction: 4 miler that wound up being 5.36 miles.

My run started with an encounter with an aggressive dog...... OWNER. I was semi-happily jogging along at my new 11 to 12-minute pace when a medium-sized dog comes barrelling out from behind a house barking at me in what appeared to be an aggressive manner. My immediate reaction was to say "Go Home!" in a firm voice. Ok, I kind of yelled it (twice), but I was slightly panicked. He was about 2 feet away from me before he stopped. I slowed to a walk and kept going, but kept him in my peripheral vision. I was already a house away when I hear, "Ma-am! Ma-am!" I turned around and saw a woman emerging from behind the house of the dog.
"He's wearing a shock collar. He won't hurt you."
"Oh, ok, thank you! He just scared me for a minute. Thanks for letting me know!"
and I begin to move on thinking, "Wow, the people are SO NICE here!"
"Yes, I heard you YELLING at him." This time her voice had changed a bit.
"Well, whenever a dog comes at me, I always say 'Go home' and it works every time."
(in a really snotty voice) She replied, "He WAS HOME!" Ouch.

I'm thinking: Oh, so this is how you want to play it. I have offended you and your lovely animal. How dare I run on this public street and how dare I yell at your precious mongrel who was running at approximately 100 mph toward me while greeting me with loud, vicious barking!

So I said, "I'm sorry if I inconvenienced you in any way" in a rather snotty, sarcastic tone (I'm not proud of it---not my best moment!) forever coloring her judgement of runners everywhere. (Sorry, guys!)

She said, "I KNOW," in an equally snotty tone.

Good stuff. I could have just apologized for offending her doggy, I guess, with ACTUAL SINCERITY. But, I don't feel totally in the wrong. If she had been out front, I wouldn't have spoken so sharply to the dog.

I spent the next several miles thinking about her. Maybe God was working on my heart because I felt bad. Where did I get off being rude to her, even if she started it? "Turn the other cheek," hel--lo?? She was probably feeling like I accosted her "baby." I suppose if my children were in my own front yard and someone yelled at them to "Go home," I might take it badly, too. Of course people generally wouldn't feel threatened by my children playing in the yard. (Well, maybe the 9-year old. Especially if he had a big stick....) So I prayed for her. (I probably should have prayed for me, too, to know when to keep my BIG mouth shut!)

Then I got lost. I have run in this neighborhood behind my daughter's preschool for the past 3 years. I guess I was so deep in thought that I lost my bearings. I finished my 4 miles and thought I was near the car. Then I looked up at street signs with unfamiliar names. Hmmmm.... I was out of water and needed to hurry home to start on some chores, but I had only a vague idea where I was. This is a neighborhood with no less than 20 side streets. I kept dead-ending or running into a busy road with no potential for running on. I kind of knew where I was and where I needed to be, just not how to combine the two. So I called my friend Amy. No answer. Left her a fun message: "Hey, Amy. I'm freaking lost. Talk to you later!" Then I called my husband. No answer: "Hi, Honey. I'm out on a run and I'm lost and out of water. Bye." (A little more dramatic.) Finally, after a mile of wandering around, I finally recognized where I was. My four-mile run had a nice little 1.36 mile cool down. It's all good.

P.S. I'm renaming my blog with this entry's title. I never write about my kiddos on here anyway! For my running right now, "(Mis)Adventures" fits!


lawmonkey13 said…
I like the title! But it sounds like the dog's owner needed a shock collar too! Good luck this weekend!
Terri said…
Okay I'm glad that I was not the runner who ran into her dog because I yell 'go home' in an extremely loud angry voice when a dog approaches me! Comes from being bitten by these precious babies. How could you know she had a shock collar on the dog?!?! And she was mad cause you yelled at her dog and she shocks him, hmmm. Something just doesn't jive. Okay enough of my soap box. I think you handled it with more grace than you think. Sounds like a really crazy run.
RunnerMom said…
Hey, Anonymous. The comments section is moderated. Contentious comments go into the trash can. If you are looking to debate issues, please look elsewhere. This isn't that kind of blog.