I also run to feel alive. To remind myself I am a corporal being, that I have a body. To feel a chilly breeze on my bare legs, to feel sweat streaking down my brow, to feel my arms pump back and forth, to feel the soles of my feet hit the pavement, to feel my lungs suck in the air.-Run Like a Mother (Kindle location 179).
This afternoon I came home from work, energized with a plan in mind. As I approached my house after classes last night, I clicked my tripometer to zero and started mapping out a running route for today. I am still easing into it, but I figured that instead of a one mile run I would aim for a mile and a half.
The weather was perfect this afternoon, basically spring weather, and the ice had melted away, freeing my mind from worrying about slick conditions. Aside from occasional patches of packed snow, it was going to be easy to keep my footing on sure ground.
Then came the pug. Barely after leaving my house a woman was working in her garage with the door open. The dog darted out after me, and aside from one weak attempt to call her dog back, she did not do anything. So the dog followed me and followed me. I kept on thinking that anytime the dog would turn around as it realized that it was farther from home or as it got tired, it was a wheezing pug after all!
However, the pug had other plans. Rather than getting swept up in the moment, I was worrying about what I should do ethically with this dog that the owner did not seem to concerned about to get back to her property and care. I resented the dog and the owner. It kept on darting close to my legs. Its wheezing was pestering me. I tried stopping to get down to its level and tell it to go home. The dog could have cared less. I tried to cross the road and avoid the dog, but wherever I went, it went. Though it would slow down at times, it would eventually zing back forward.
I deviated from my route thinking that if I could just make some turns and leave it behind everything would work out, but no. Frustrated, I did an alternate route and wove home earlier than I had expected as we moved farther from our neighborhood. Worried that if the dog did stop following me that maybe it would not make it back home, I looped back. When I got to my house, I decided to talk to my husband in my yard for a moment. After all, I did not want to be rude with the owner about how I did not appreciate baby sitting her dog and having to change my route plans for the day just because she was too irresponsible to keep her dog in her yard. I could recognize how that would definitely be behavior that would embarrass and was a bit irrational since having her dog run off with someone else probably was not her idea of a blissful afternoon either.
The pug poked around in my yard, and soon after, I saw the owner walking toward my house with her leash. All's well that ends well.
And the pesky pug's name? Nike.
Tomorrow will be take two. If that garage is open, I will have to run in the other direction starting from my house. I've also learned my lesson to not continue with my run trying to ignore dogs thinking they will go away soon. I am determined to continue working running into my schedule, even when unexpected situations such as this come up. After all, as the quote from Run Like A Mother illustrates, the positive feelings from a run far weigh other obstacles that come up along the way.