For the first 18-years of my life, I lived in a house with at least one dog. That experience began in Australia with a gentle giant, a Great Dane named Duncan. Fast forward a few years and the contrast couldn’t have been more exaggerated as I found myself in a completely different world, enjoying dogsled racing in Canada’s barren north.
Since those early years I’ve slowly came to the conclusion that I’m not a dog person. It’s not that I don’t like them, but the urge to have a canine in the house has constantly been outweighed by the necessary upkeep.
Last Sunday, 2k kilometres into a planned 10k tempo session at Elk Lake, I was shocked to find a German Sheppard/Golden Lab gnashing at my right leg. Okay, he was barking loudly but the teeth were mere inches away. While this was going on, the owner was shouting at ‘me’, trying to reassure me that the damn dog wouldn’t bite. Not the comfort I was looking for.
What came next was far from thoughtful, as all I could muster were two loud, often linked words, “f’k you”. Again I was told that the dog wouldn’t bite, and again my vocabulary was left wanting. In the end the dog didn’t bite, the owner got an earful, and I ran the following kilometre at 5k pace rather that a controlled 10k tempo.
The (interrupted) session was to build on the previous weeks 5k where I ran a controlled 18:35. My goal was to hit around 37:50 (approx. 3:47s). As the markers around the lake are a tad off, I wasn’t too worried about the splits but instead concentrated on a smooth steady effort (37:22), splits as follows: 3:37, 3:23, 3:54, 3:34, 4:00 (18:31) 3:46, 3:50, 3:56, 3:55, 3:22 (18:51)
Yesterday, under some much welcomed but rare sunshine I returned to the Lochside Trail to run another timed 1,500m (duplicating a session I did two weeks ago). This time around I split the 1,000m in 3:22 and finished 4:59, 10” faster than before. All signs pointing in the right direction.
Enjoy the weekend, and watch out for those dastardly dogs!