Yesterday I ran in my first race since hurting me knee during my last half marathon, the Tail Chaser 5K which benefited the Roanoke SPCA. People were encouraged to run with their dogs and I considered taking my Yellow Labrador, Trooper; unfortunately, Trooper isn’t the word’s best (or fastest) runner. I’ve tried on numerous times to take him running but it’s a miserable experience that entails him running at full speed for 1/4 of a mile then suddenly sliding to a stop to sniff a flower or nibble on some deer poop. Attempts to restart him are met with great resistance and if required, he will resort to going dead weight in the grass whilst looking up with a “You can’t make me” expression. So as you can see, if I had any chance of finishing the race, Troopie had to stay at home.
As always, when the race began, I started off too quickly. I had promised myself not to be competitive because there was no way I’d set a PR. I was simply there to test out my leg and enjoy myself. Nonetheless, I constantly looked at my Garmin to see how I was doing and felt irritated with myself when my pace slowed. By mile two my legs felt awesome but my lungs were talking about a boycott.
Running with dogs proved to be treacherous. Dog fights were breaking out, dogs were zig zagging around like lunatics and I even caught a Golden Retriever trying to cheat! I kid you not! At the turn around his human ran to the end but that shaggy cheat cut corners and skipped some cones. I called him out on it but he shook his head and tossed some slobber my way. Punk.
The good news is that I finished under 30 minutes so I’m proud of that time. It wasn’t a PR but it was a good run for me. The more I run the more confident I become in my fitness level which will be vital on the mountain.