Monday, November 07, 2005

Marathon III Training - Day 1

So tonight was my first training run for Marathon III, 17 weeks, 6 days to go ;-) It was a cool 13C/55F as I left the house about 16:25, and a crisp 9C/48F when I returned 1:23:50 later. I ran the first 7K of the 14K/8.7M run with an average pace of 5:33/K (8:56/M). That was about the last time that I could see the time on my stop watch, it was getting too dark after this point. I finished the second half of the run with an average pace of 6:17/K (10:07/M). The colder temperatures and darkness slow me down considerably.

We all love dog stories, I have for you tonight. Shortly after the halfway point I turned right and started cruising down the path. This part was in the forest and the sun had retreated behind the tree line. I could still see a little ways in front of me and what I saw was a person walking three very large white (or light) dogs. I also saw another person coming from the other direction with two large black (dark at least) dogs. What I couldn’t see was any leashes (it was too dark for that) and the next thing I heard was all of the dogs barking, growling and generally trying to tear each other apart, mixed with a couple owners yelling at the dogs and each other.

So I did what any good Jack would do:

Jack be nimble
Jack be quck
Jack jumped onto another path and beat track outta there!

I mean how stupid could these dog owners be? Even I could see what was going to happen, and I was a hundred meters behind them, yikes!

Anyway I may have run a little more than 14K as it took a little while to get back on my path as I ended up in the middle of the woods and it was really dark there! Luckily I have good orientation in the woods, even at night – a result of many years of night training in the military (in the days before night vision goggles became standard equipment).

I remember a lieutenant that I used to drive around the first year I was in the army that couldn’t find his way around in the daytime – at night when we drove around with reduced lights (blackout drive) he was downright dangerous:

“Sir, I think we just drove off the post”!
“No soldier, I’m sure we are on the right road!”
“But sir, I just saw some cows!”
“Are you trying to correct me soldier?”
“Ahh sir, there’s a barn and a farmhouse...”
“Just turn around, do you know where we are?”
“Yes sir, I live in the trailor park just down the road from here!”
“Then find a way back to the right road before someone sees us!”

Hehe, this really happened by the way, while I was at Ft. Knox, Kentucky in the early 1980’s :-)

Gosh it feels good to be training for something again!

Dogs can make for some interesting adrenaline-enhanced sprinting. Good running to you!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Good luck with your training. I love dogs, but not the big ones and like you I often steer clear or change course.
I think I need to pick a run - lately I've felt like I was drifitng rather aimlessly with my "running", which has turned mostly into walking. Wish you lived closer so you could sic those dogs on me! :-)
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