To say I’m not an “outdoorsy” person is an understatement. I do everything I can to hide from the sun. I don’t know how to swim. I’m petrified of animals.
I enjoy the sweet, sweet indoors. If it were up to me, I would never run on anything but a treadmill. (I suppose it actually is up to me, being that it is my life.)
Even though I’m not much for the outdoors, I like challenges, interacting with the running community, and medals.
Usually, I barely even consider half marathons to be outdoors. I know they are, but city streets are often blocked off, thousands of runners are on the course, and I don’t feel as though I’m super exposed to the elements, I suppose.
This was a small half marathon, through a bunch of residential streets. It was the first one where I saw a runner with his dog in the race! As far as I could tell, this was not a service dog – just a man, wearing a number, out for a 13.1 mile run with his pet.
I passed numerous houses with dogs. Luckily, I couldn’t see most of the dogs, and I could see the owners. So, I figured I was safe.
As the back of the pack thinned out, there were areas where I couldn’t see other runners. Not long after I passed one of the last sets of volunteers, I came upon an area by a narrow street in the middle of a woods-like place. I heard super loud barking. My head darts in the direction of the noise.
To my left, there’s a fence. Behind that fence are two very large, angry looking dogs. I can see their faces, because they are coming out from over the edge of the fence. They’re not struggling one bit to have their face completely visible. I was going to take a picture for you, but I was too terrified of having my face chewed off.
My heart stops for a moment. I look around. Is anybody out there who can save me if things go poorly through here? Are the owners around? …I really hope I don’t lose my Achilles tendons today.
I highly consider making a break for it and running as fast as my short legs can carry me. However, I think that’s going to make the dogs want to chase me, right?
Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go by very slowly. I won’t look at them. I will walk as far, far away, on the other side of the street as possible. Here goes nothing.
As I’m walking along the other side of the street, I hear them barking. Their barks turn into a low growl. Uh oh. I don’t think that’s good.
I start to get scared that maybe I’ll turn around and a dog will literally be right behind me, having jumped the fence. Although, I’m pretty sure I would’ve heard them jump over the fence, right?
I just keep walking. Slowly. One foot in front of the other. I finally turn a corner. I can’t hear the dogs anymore. I look around – no dogs in sight. Sigh of relief! I’m still alive!
But I have something like 6 or 7 miles to go… Aye, aye, aye.
(As I’m done talking about dogs for now, let me leave you with one last clip from Friends.)