I've had a fairly low point in my training over the last few weeks. I knew it would happen when I started out on this journey and while having a Buddist "accept, acknowledge, right action" attitude and method for dealing with it it still hasn't made it any easier.
I don't want to be overly negative on this blog, but part of my journey has to be the acknowledgement that this isn't easy. It was never going to be and I think I probably thought more of my physical capabilities than I should have.
Perhaps I'd forgotten just how hard those mud runs were last year.
Perhaps I should have not tried to change my running style while stocks also training for my first marathon.
I get updates from my friend John who I'm running the marathon with and he's just doing one long run a week. No other runs! I'm thinking that that's not sensible but then he goes and knocks out 20 miles the other day and I can only just managed 10! I'm really chuffed for John and super impressed and I know that I shouldn't compare our performance let alone training plans but my competitive nature can't help but feel frustrated and a bit inadequate in that comparison.
Suffice it to say that I'm genuinely worried about being able to run the whole marathon (oh I'll still do the full distance but I might be walking the second half) but I'm feeling more positive as the event gets closer and I am getting more excited about the desert and refugee camp elements. And helping the refugees is what it's all about isn't it?
Anyway, I entitled this blog post "Dogs" for a reason.
I have recently re-discovered the location is did all my mud run training. It's a local nature reserve with excellent stone chipping paths, hills and I have a good 3.5 mile circuit. If you want to see what it's like, checkout the video I put together of John and I doing a Tough Guy training session around it.
Being a public park and an accessible and beautiful place to visit means that the majority of people there are walking dogs of various kinds.
I have nothing against other people's dogs, though I'm not sure I'm the dog owning type, and mostly their owners are diligent about collecting their waste and putting it away in the provided bins (which cannot be said of the horses and their riders who also use the byways in the park).
The problem I have is with a certain subset of dogs that like to challenge me, a runner, to a competition of "who's top dog".
Most dogs will generally ignore me as I run past, choosing to carry on what they were doing and in some cases actively getting out of the way.
|Image by Lemondridge on Flikr|
I've not been chased, bitten or barked at (well, in an aggressive way at least) but certain dogs, especially the bigger ones though that is not exclusively so, see me coming, work out where I'm running and then actively put themselves in the way!
Some of them are quite subtle about it and will change direction so that we would collide if we both continued in the same direction thus forcing me to change direction and go around them. Generally I don't mind this as they mostly do it with plenty of distance to let me change direction. By and large it is the smaller breeds that do carry out this tactic.
The most annoying type of obstruction is where the larger dogs (mostly labradors I might add) see me coming and, with a challenging glint in third cunning eyes, deliberately turn themselves to stand sideways across my path.
So far I've always been able to swerve out the way at the last minute and on one or two occasions its been the dogs owner, with a curse at the dog, who jumps out the way to let me through. I have benefited tempted to hurdle the dog several times but couldn't face the possibility of accidentally catching it with a shoe.
Any other runners out there experienced this sabotage by dominance challenging dogs and have any advice?