Tuesday, May 02, 2006

No Good Deed

I headed out for a six miler today. Weather was beautiful, I'd left work a whole half hour early and I felt good. The running gods, however, see days like this as a challenge.

The first mile went well. I was still a little stiff from a five mile race I did on Sunday but that seemed to get better with every stride. As I came around a corner heading into mile two, I saw a flash of white. A bird? A plane? No, a dog. This little fluffy shi-tzu (yes, shi-tzu) comes running up to me wagging his tail. So I stopped, looked around for an owner, saw nothing and looked down at the little thing. He just stood there, collar but no tag, wagging and waiting. I couldn't leave him. Thoughts of my little beast being passed up crossed my mind. So, I coax him up to my legs and try to pick him up. He jumps into my arms as if he'd done it a hundred times before and off we are into the neighborhood to look for an owner.

Thankfully, this search didn't last long as I came upon a neighbor who didn't own the dog but knew where he belonged. He offered to take him until the owners got home and I trusted that he was honest and not the Mile High City Dog-napper or something like that. So back to the run.

I tried to pick things up where I'd left off but I was distracted and out of the rhythm I'd settled into before. I kept going but missed the turn I'd planned on taking and ended up going up a huge hill instead. And then another. And then another. Okay, just a hill workout, I told myself. My calves were pissed, to say the least and I still had 3 miles to go.

Still, I kept going. I ran past what used to be an open space and saw they've started to build condos there (because we need more, obviously) and in case there was a chance at missing the construction, a few non-English speaking men decided to yell something out at me. I had The Stones playing in the iPod so I couldn't exactly hear them. If I had to guess though, it was probably words to the effect of "Hey, hot stuff! Where did you get those killer calves?" But that's just a guess.

So on I carried on to mile five still unsure if I was ever going to actually start feeling good. I was running and I wasn't in pain and my heartrate was steady but I felt bad. It's possible there was a seven ton plow attached to a large chain which had been placed around my waist and I was now turning the fields in the middle of July in blinding sun with no water. I shall now proclaim the new running nickname of "Tractor."

As I finally made it to mile six, I passed two little girls playing in their front yard. I saw they were eating cookies and drinking Coke -their mother, no doubt, is a woman that doesn't mind complete criticism, judgment and ridicule from others- and I was jealous. Part of me wanted to stop for cookies and Coke. And I wanted to tell them to give up the cookies and the Coke now or they'd regret it but I didn't. I just kept running deciding it was not my responsibility to teach them that lesson. They would learn it in college or soon after when their metabolism changes and their jeans don't fit anymore, just like the rest of us.

About two minutes before I would have reached my doorstep, I somehow managed to step in a hole and come mere inches from leaving half of me on the sidewalk. I can now go confidently into my audition for Extreme Running Idiots. Check local listings.

I'd had enough so I walked the rest of the way home. Maybe I should have just left that dog alone.


Runner Girl FL said...

I swear holes just open up under me and roots grab at my feet. Good job not leaving 1/2 of you on the pavement. And you never would have made it if you were worried about the puppy dog.

Bre said...

A puppy! Puppies are one of the few things that make my day spectacular no matter what else happens (other things include diamonds and carmel sundaes.)

As always, I admire your dedication - I would have found myself a puppy and then gotten the hell outta dodge!

GirlGoyle said...

I have to admire your persistance. Feeling stiff and taking the wrong turns and then finding the puppy would've been enough of an omen to persuade me to turn around and walk home making sure I take the road that goes past the ice cream shop. :)

Caroline said...

Cookies and coke? What ever happened to mlik and cookies? Damn capitalism!

justacoolcat said...

Don't you just love hills?

Now holes on the other hand are bad, especially for knees and ankles. Maybe if it weren't for the puppy you would have fell and broken something.