The plan this morning was to drive my car to the car dealership for servicing and then jog home. I spent a good deal of time online last night plotting out the route I would take so I could get an ample amount of walk time before and after my run. I had it all figured and had decided to shorten the walk time to 3 minutes between my two 8 minute runs. I was going to need to have my pepper spray with me this morning as I would be going on the street where the loose dog had scared me once before (which I haven't jogged past since).
So, off I went this morning, dropped the car and started on my way. First obstacle: a road that appeared to go all the way through neighborhoods on the map did not, and I had to turn around and find another way through. No problem. I can handle that! I ended up heading back up a way further to a cut through I've taken many times. As I made my way out, about 2 minutes into my run, a HUGE German Shepard rounded the corner all alone. I stopped dead in my tracks and watched. In an instant, the dog darted in my direction and started toward me barking. Shit! I forgot to grab the pepper spray. I turned and ran toward a driveway and came around the back side of someone's SUV. The dog stopped on the other side of the car, watching me, growling. I was ready to jump on top of the car if I needed to when an old man came around the corner. I yelled to him and asked if this was his dog and he said, "yes, don't worry, he won't hurt you." The hell he won't. I have had far too much trouble with animals in the last few weeks and this was the final straw. I just unleashed on this guy. I started to yell at him that if he has an animal that would chase someone and growl at them, then they are capable of hurting them too. I told him that if I had a phone, I'd be calling the police. He apologized, but that was not enough for me. I said that everyone thinks their dogs are the nicest and would never hurt anyone, but dogs do hurt people. Dogs, no matter how much we love them, are animals and are therefore subject to erratic and unexpected behavior and THAT IS WHY THEY HAVE LEASH LAWS!!!!! "Get your dog on a leash!"
He dragged the dog off by his collar and I took off running, my body surging with adrenaline that I didn't want to waste. Boy was I pissed off. I ran for 6 more minutes at a very fast speed and then slowed down to recover a bit. I didn't want to walk a full 5 minutes again, so I shortened it to 3 minutes and then started running again. This time, that last eight minutes was really good. In fact, I ran a little more than 9 minutes. I had decided to forgo the podcast this morning and ran listening to my audio book (it is a really good one and I've been listening every minute I possible can). The segments are long enough and I've done this enough times now that I know when I need to check my time. When I looked at the clock at the end of my run I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only had I finished, I had surpassed my goal! A great feeling to have just before the 20 minute run. I feel very encouraged and actually excited for this. I think I'll enjoy it. I hope so anyway. But today's run melted my doubts away and has lifted my confidence. Saturday morning, I will run for 20 minutes without any walking and for the first time since this all began, I feel very sure that I CAN DO IT!