This morning did not go to plan exactly. Despite ensuring last night that my alarm was set to the right time, set to a.m. and was turned on, I was not awoken at 6:35. By some stroke of luck, my husband happened to open his eyes and see that it was almost 6:50 and woke me up. It seems that the radio station dial had been messed with and the volume turned all the way down. I have a little 23 pound suspect who gets her hands into everything these days, but since she doesn't speak yet, the questioning will have to wait.
I dressed quickly and dashed out the door, forgoing my usual stretch session and got right to the 5 minute walk. I stopped once or twice to stretch my calves and shins, but my fourth week 2 run came upon me quickly. I was not as loose as I normally am, so I wasn't really hitting my stride right away. I took a new route today to keep it fresh and it did not take me long to regret it. In the middle of my first run interval, I watched as a huge black do came running out of its yard toward me barking. It stopped advancing me when it was about 10 feet away, but kept barking and growling. I was paralyzed with fear and was completely unsure what do do. I moved slowly along, keeping my eyes on him always. I was doing kind of a side step trying to keep as much distance from him as I could while still trying to get away from him. The barking never stopped and I was so afraid that he would lunge at me. As I reached the corner of the street, I noticed a man who I shall call Cletus standing in his driveway watching the encounter with a sort of stupid grin on his face. I asked him if he was the dog's owner and he said no, but not to worry, the dog was all bark, no bite. He actually said he thinks the dog is funny. "Real $#*#$%ing funny," I said as I kept moving further away from Cujo. Once I made it to the next corner and was able to get off the street and out of site, I began running again, just trying to get more distance, but looking frequently over my shoulder. As opposed to my last canine encounter, my confrontation with Cletus and Cujo left little to laugh about.
I backed up my podcast and went back to run one and continued on my way. Adrenaline was pumping now and I was beginning to get back into stride. I will not allow myself to skip the stretching again because I felt tight through most of the run. And since I wasn't dying at the end of my run today, I will prepare to move on to week 3 on Saturday. In the meantime, I think I will go ahead and pick up a small can of pepper spray to keep with me on my runs. I can't be that vulnerable again. If people can't be responsible animal owners, then I will have to do what it takes to be protected. I hope I'll never need to use it, but I know I need the peace of mind.
Though I am nervous about keeping up with the next level of the program, I need to keep pushing forward if I am to make progress. As many of you have shared with me, this program is not the same for everyone. If it takes me longer to master a week, that's OK. If I struggle with a workout, it doesn't mean I've failed. What is important is that I keep up with the routine, I make exercise a part of my life, and I get my body healthy and strong. C25K isn't a race to a finish line, it is a map to better physical and mental health. So each day, each morning that I rise to run, I will cling to my new mantra: I CAN DO IT!