Sunday, July 31, 2011


So, it is summer and we are all seeing signs for detours right? Road work is going on all over the place. Everyone hates a detour. You're driving along your normal route, doing great, and you have to get off and go another way. Most of the time this is nothing but an inconvenience. Sometimes though, you end up seeing or doing something great and wonder why you've never come this way before.

My running has taken so many detours this summer (metaphorical and actual) that I barely even recognize it.  Have you ever had a new road built in your area next to the old road? You drive on the old road while looking at the new one being built. Then the new road is done and you get to start driving on it. It's all shiny and new and exciting, but you still look over at where the old road was and kind of miss it. Eventually you have to look really close and concentrate to see the old road. Why am I rambling about this, you ask? Well, my running detoured off of the road it was on and hit a dead end for a while. Whoever laid out the detour did not plan well! Then I got back to running, but I was suddenly on a new and different road. The trouble is, I didn't have a chance to prepare. I totally missed  the new road being built. When I got on this new road I kept looking and looking for the old road and I can't find it. I guess I need to learn to deal with the new one.

The worst part about this new road is that it is completely different than the old one. The old road was paved and even and covered with glitter. I loved that road. We were good pals. The new road? It is gravel, filled with potholes and hills. It hates me and I can't say I love it very much. It keeps twisting and turning and challenging me. I've had to make peace with this and learn to deal with it. I'm running less miles on this road and have learned I had built up endurance on the old road and need to rebuild it on this road. Now that I have realized this I am so much happier.

Enough of the metaphorical detours. Lets talk about the physical ones. You have all heard me complain about the heat endlessly. And btw, I blame the heat for this new road I'm on. Anyway, due to the heat (and something else that is more than you want to know) I've been running at night. This can be challenging in my tiny town as I have to run back and forth and past the same houses multiple times. Unfortunately, it is also frought with dog issues. I've been running in this area long enough I've gotten to know the dogs and their barks. A few days ago I was running and heard a different bark. I slowed down because it really didn't sound very friendly. Or small. In fact, it sounded mean and large. Well, it was dark so I couldn't tell where it was. I ran slowly for a bit until I saw it. It started coming toward me barking agressively. I wasn't hugely concerned because it was at a house with very good owners that always come out and control their dogs when I run past. Except no lights were on in the house and no cars were in the drive. Oh crap. I promtly turned around and started running the other way. Faced with a choice of fight or flight I will never fight. I'm a wimp. This caused me to have to change my route. I had to run on a gravel road and got to meet a new extremely annoying cute little black dog. It chased me for an entire block nipping at my heals. On my way back by a man was outside with a million five little dogs that were doing their business. He didn't have a shirt on. I think he was shocked to see me. Also, since all five dogs chased me and he had to chase them I don't think he liked me very much. Scratch that little detour off my list.

Last night I attempted to run 6 miles in town. No easy challenge. I had so many dog issues I gave up at 5 miles. I couldn't see the dogs and I was running in parts of town I had never run before, so I didn't know if they were mean or not. They would come running out and I would turn and go the other way. This caused me to just run back and forth in some well lit areas which was less than pleasant. I would have a new running plan in mind, run into a dog and have to change it again. I just finally gave up and went home. I'm trying to adopt a new zen-like attitude about these kinds of detours. So I only ran 5 miles instead of 6. At least I got out there, right? I am trying to quit looking for the old road I used to run on and be at peace with the new one. We will see how it goes!

Update from my last whiny post: I'm going to continue training for the trail race. I don't have to register until September, so I will re-evaluate at that point.

Happy Running ~Mel

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