Sunday, March 04, 2007

There are idiots ….

… and then there are complete morons. Remember when you where a little child and your parents taught you how to walk a dog. What did they teach you? 1) always keep the dog on your left; 2) move to the left when approaching another person with a dog. And why do we do this class? Because it keeps the dogs separated. Correct (at least this is correct in North America; I’ll admit that I don’t have a clue what is correct on other continents). Now fast forward to this morning.

I decided that root cause of the significant problems I experienced with my quads during the Carlsbad Marathon were due to lack of hill training. I run almost exclusively on flat terrain, with only 50’ to 100’ elevation change. Therefore, running in hillier terrain should be my ticket to overcoming severe thigh burn (or burn out). So this morning I headed over to the only hill on of any significance that I can reach by foot. Running the 2 miles over to the hill was uneventful (although I did get to chase down a slow jogger) but my trouble soon begin once I left the pavement and hit the trails.

First, you need to keep in mind that trail running in the hills around Phoenix really means running on very narrow, loose rock strewn paths cutting through the desert. The loose rocks make the footing difficult and it is necessary to step off the path to pass someone or to let another runner / walker pass as they approach.

3 miles into my run, I’m feeling pretty good and my black lab is picking his way through the rocks and only banging into me every 30 seconds or so when I saw a couple (about my age) each walking a large dog and approaching me on the narrow path. As I got within 20 feet of them, I stepped to the left off the trail to let them pass. At the same time, the man (you knew it would be the guy) step to his right dragging his dog directly into the middle of the trail. I dodged to the right to avoid running over the dude and our dog’s leashes became entangled.

Instead of apologizing for being a complete moron, this idiot starts yelling at me (using language I won’t repeat). Now there was really no harm done. His Golden Retriever was about as docile as my Black Lab and each simply waited for me to untangle the leashes. The moron continued his verbal onslaught and didn’t even bother to loosen his grip on his Golden’s leash. I quickly untangled the dogs and calmly statred to explain why I moved to the left and why I expected him to do the same. Needless to say, my inner peace didn’t sooth his savage nerves and he only ratcheted up the verbal abuse. I turned and looked at his wife. The poor women was staring a hole into the ground and avoiding, at all cost, direct eye contact. The moron must have realized that he wasn’t going to get me to react and commanded his wife to get moving. Remarkably, I ran across several other dog walkers who seemed to understand the rules of the trail and didn’t getting into any more verbal jousts.

Overall, this was a much better week than last week. I got in 5 runs of 5, 5, 4, 10 and 6 miles for a total of 30.7 miles for the week. Monday is a rest day and then I start back into the Pfitz training schedule with a 7 miler on Tuesday.

I hoppe your week goes well.

20 comments:

Blaxabbath said...

You shoulda thumped that punk.

Journey to a Centum said...

Don't you wish you could have come up with a quick witted snappy reply to shut the foul mouthed trail hog up? Let's face it, what more be said than sorry. You obviously accidentally ran into the actual owner of the trail.

I don't run with my lab anymore because she's too old to keep up but I've decided to just stop running when I come across hikers with dogs and hikers in general and just walk past them. If they see me coming and step to the side I'll keep running and thank them on my way by. Unfortunately not everyone gets it.

Keep working those hills! Especially the long downhill sections to build up those quads. If you run a hard hill run I advise folks to do as I do and take a 20 min ice bath to chill my legs down. I ran 17 in the mountains yesterday, took an icebath when I got home, and pounded out 5.5 this morning with a friend w/o and advil.

Neese said...

egh that story just makes my stomach sink. unfortunately he's probably seething right now thinking you were in the wrong.. you just cannot change stupid people and have to take the high road in cases like this, and it certainly sounds like you did.

Dusty said...

I feel bad for the poor woman who has to go home with them. Glad you didn't let him get to you and yell right back - maybe he'll learn something. What a jerk!

Rose said...

It's amazing how many dog owners don't know the first thing about dog etiquette, let alone training. Luckily, his dog didn't share his personality. Good luck launching back into Pfitz this week.

Irene said...

The guy should take lessons from his dog! I hope you have happier trails ahead. ;)

miss petite america said...

i'm impressed you remained so calm. jerky people always rile me up.

congrats on a great week of training. i have no choice but to run hills where i live. it's a curse and a blessing.

Anne said...

I don't feel sorry for that wife...she helped make that man the bully that he is. Glad you took the high road.

When I lived in coastal Carolina, I did hill work on bridges or highway overpasses. And we have those rocky trails too...they can be brutal!

DawnB said...

Nice job this week Phil looks like you are getting right back on track nicely!!!

Bapp said...

Stupidity - difficult to explain why, but usually easy to identify when you see it. Good luck with getting back into the Pfitz.

Ewen said...

I feel sorry for his wife - and his dog! Luckily most of the trails we run on over here are nice and wide. Also hilly - our standard 'flat' run has a 110 metre elevation difference, but it's quite easy to get quad testing 300 metre climbs.

Well done on the 10 miler and coming Pfitz resumption!

Thomas said...

You're back on the Pfitz wagon? What are you training for this time? Or should I have paid more attention?

J~Mom said...

Sorry about the moron. UGH! Glad your mileage is back up and back to training!

Thanks always for the great advice. You are right about that two mile run...why did I stop? I have to get it out of my head and out of my conditioning! That is one of my main goals for after the half so you can fire a training plan at me anytime. :>) I want to focus this summer on increasing endurance and eliminating the need for walk breaks. Then I want to train for another half later this year.

Josh said...

I've a 12lb Yorkie so he's no good to run with. He's always on a leash but I have trained him to move to the side and sit when runners come by.

Keep at those hills!

Shane (mississip) said...

Well Phil, I am finally getting back in the groove. Thanks for checking in on me - sorry I didn't get back with you but I explain on my blog. Thanks for the encouragement!

Yvonne said...

aha, you bring up something that has annoyed me for quite a while, but i didn't want to annoy you dog owners by bringing it up on my blog.

many people in manhattan walk their dogs with them on one side, the dog on the other and the long lease stretched right across the sidewalk. just how is that safe or considerate?

Jamie said...

If some folks were any dumber, you'd have to water them twice a week.

Congrats on hitting some good mileage!

Laufenweg said...

what a yo-yo!!

olga said...

I am really at awe of your calmness with that...must be the run hormons:)

stephruns said...

Stupid people are everywhere..even on the trail!

Great training week:-)