how to out-run a dog


The other day I had been having one of those days. The type of day where, although you greatly appreciate the community you are a part of, you just want to curl up under a rock and be left alone. Needless to say, I thought a run would help lift my spirits.

Then I was chased by a dog.

I am by no means a dog-hater. I actually really like dogs. Well, I did. I’m not really sure anymore. Part of me really wants to get a St. Bernard. I think I watched Beethoven too many times as a kid. But another (increasingly growing) part of me is hugely afraid of dogs. The bigger, the scarier.

You see, two years ago (holy cow, is it really 2012 already? It took till almost March for me to figure that out!) I was bit by a dog. Everyday, on my way home from work, I had to walk past my neighbor’s house and their dogs would run at me. For awhile it was mostly annoying, but one day one of the dogs got overly protective and bit my knee. I had to call Animal Control and it developed into this whole thing (the owners refused to believe that their dog did anything).

Since then I’ve been super cautious around dogs. I don’t think I ever really quite got over it. Yet, I still want a St. Bernard (of course, my dog won’t be a biter).

Back to my “No-Good-Very-Bad-Day”. As I said, I just wanted to run and clear my head. I even went out without my phone or a watch. When I started out, my neighbor was taking her dog out and hooking him up to his chain. The chain broke, and the dog tore after me. Thankfully, the owner yelled at me to stop running and don’t move (T-Rex can’t see you if you don’t move), the dog came to a skidding stop next to me, jumped on me a little, then got distracted and ran off. My neighbors were able to corral him back inside and I continued on my run. However, it shook me up a bit and I wasn’t able to enjoy the run as much as I wanted.

I looked around for a bit of advice on avoiding dogs and even checked with the local animal shelter. Here are a few suggestions for how to avoid run-ins (ha) with dogs.

1. Don’t run. You’d think you could just run away, but in reality, you probably can’t. If you run and/or scream the dog may think you want to play chase.

2. Turn to the side in an unthreatening position and don’t make eye contact. Facing the dog can seem threatening and turning your back to him may encourage chasing.

3. Wait a couple of seconds before trying to get away. Lots of time dogs will simply bark for a while, then get bored and move on. At that point you can start backing away (but still don’t turn your back to him).

4. Take your shirt off. If the dog lunges at you, give him something else to bite besides your arm. Give him your jacket, or shirt, or water bottle, or a stick. Get something between you and the dog as fast as possible. Paul suggested spraying the dog with your water bottle (he’s a biker and that works pretty well on a bike).

5. Contact Animal Control. If you are bitten by a dog, you have the right to report the dog to Animal Control. Many states and cities (mine included) require you to report dog bites. For more information on what to do you can take a look here.

If you’d like more advice, you can check out WikiHow, or check with your local animal shelter. Runner’s World has some good advice as well.

Anybody else have dog chase stories or advice? I’d love to hear them!


winter games

Please note: I think I should point out that although I do encourage having fun while running, I am not encouraging anyone to run on ice. Please be careful when running in slippery weather!

It might sound a little silly when I say that I like to play games while I run. Well, I do. It keeps me motivated and gives me something to think about when the run gets long.

It had snowed before one of my last runs and that gave me a chance to try out a new game. I call it “Slippery Sprints”.

I’ve mentioned before that I appreciate it when people take the time to shovel their sidewalk. However, this game only works if you live in a neighborhood with somewhat lazy neighbors. My neighborhood is a bit like that. About half the people shovel in a timely manner, and the rest (Paul included) hope that the sun melts the snow before they have to deal with it.

Anyway, the game is simple: whenever you see an snow/ice patch ahead, sprint to it. When you reach the snow, slow down to a careful jog or walk to avoid falling. Then repeat as you see fit.

There’s really no exact science to the game (that’s why it’s a game), so I don’t recommend doing this in place of real speed work. It’s just a way to pass the time. And it’s kind of like being a kid again. Don’t even try to tell me you didn’t see how far you could slide on the ice as a kid!

How about you? Are there any fun “games” you like to play when you run? I’d love to hear about them!


as promised…race update!

Race: Red Flannel Run 2012

Date: February 11, 2012

Place: Des Moines, Iowa

Cost: $25

Event: 3 mile

Pre-race training: I trained for 4 weeks prior to the race using this training schedule that I found here. I had to take about a week off because I was sick, but otherwise I stuck to it.

Race number: 4th total, 3rd 5K

Route details: Mostly flat through the downtown area. Here is a map. 

Weather: COLD! Although it’s been a very mild winter, the day of the race was by far one of the coldest. The high for the day was 26º, but it felt like 3º (it was probably 10º out during the race). It was sunny  and that helped tremendously! I was a little glad it was cold, because the only red flannel I own is a heavy coat, which I wouldn’t have worn if it was much warmer.

Thought’s during the race: “Holy cow, that girl is wearing shorts!” “__ done only __ more to go.” “Keep a steady pace, don’t try to out-do yourself”

Thought’s after the race: “Let’s go home where it’s warm and take a nap!”

Pros & Cons of the race amenities: I really enjoyed the race and over all I have mostly positive things to say about it. The race took place at the YMCA and since it was cold out the post-race stuff took place inside the gym. The organizers were also nice enough to let Paul and Kiddo hang out in the gym during the race (I didn’t really think that would be a problem, but I asked anyway). There was also a lot of food after the race.

My only cons about the race were that although I signed up in advance by the time I picked up my packet they were out of small shirts. This only bothered me because I figured that signing up (and paying) in advance should save your shirt size. I ended up getting a medium, which really isn’t too big, so it wasn’t a big deal. Also, I didn’t receive an email reminder until the day before the race and I have yet to receive any information on where to find the results or pictures (I actually had to Google the results myself). That’s not a huge deal, but it would make my life a little easier if I was given a heads up.

Post-race celebration: The race happened to be during nap time, so we had to hit the road pretty soon afterward, but as I said the food was pretty good (bagels, yogurt, fruit, breakfast burritos, Powerade). I ordered some pizza as a reward, but it wasn’t very good (that’s what I get for getting the $8 pizza in the shape of a heart). Oh well. Then Kiddo and I took a much needed nap. Later, after Kiddo went to bed, Paul and I enjoyed a glass of wine.

Final time: 29:52 (10 minute miles!)

Ranking: 201 (out of 2000+), 33rd in age group

Run it again? Sure, maybe not next year, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

How about you? Any fun races coming up?

(image source)

a few race photos

I will post more on Monday about the race today. Until then, here are a few photos to hold you over. Unfortunately, it was too cold for Kiddo to be outside, so the only photos I have right now are before and after shots. That’s still fun anyway, right? Enjoy!


That is all for now…I need a nap!

news, galore

There are a few new things happening that I’d like to draw your attention to!

1. I have updated the layout. I think it reflects a bit more of my personality and looks much fresher. The gray background was a little dreary, so I decided it was time for an update. The new layout should be easier to read, search, and is all around happier. Hopefully things will look a bit sunnier around here!

2. With the new layout, I have added a new KIDDO page. This page will take you to my month-by-month Kiddo updates, pictures, and video links. So, if you’re more interested in Kiddo updates, head there. In general I’m hoping this will break up the “Today my run was <insert adjective>, here’s a picture of the Kiddo” monotony. I am currently working on the first few monthly updates there. Done! I’m also going to start a “monday memories” series. It should be fun!

3. You can now follow runbobbierun on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! Just follow the links below.

                                                                 Follow Me on Pinterest

4. Along with the new layout, I have updated my blogroll (on the right). I narrowed down the list to include the blogs I enjoy reading on a regular basis, which is why most of them aren’t running related. Like any other normal person, I have other interests besides running! I’d go crazy if that was all I thought about all day :)

5. Lastly, I am planning on posting new updates on Thursdays. This doesn’t really affect you as a reader, I just wanted to put that information out there so you will know when to expect updates. Currently, I blog whenever I feel like it, but I think this will be better all around!

That’s all for now…I have a 5K tomorrow, wish me luck!

tread lightly and don’t forget the tissues

It’s cold out again. And slippery. I don’t have a whole to say about my runs this past week. Oh, except that I ran 4 miles the other day! Otherwise, I’ve just been keeping up with training and it’s been going well (just uneventful). My 5K is coming up on Saturday, and I’m starting to look forward to running for running’s sake and taking a break from training.

I do have two things to mention. First, I’d like to thank the people who shovel their sidewalk, even when there isn’t much snow. I’ve started making a game out of running between the shoveled/un-shoveled houses, but it’s not exactly ideal. I very much appreciate when sidewalks are shoveled. I’m sure my fellow sidewalk runners feel the same. It’s dangerous out there.

Secondly, I wanted to express my appreciation to those runners I have crossed paths with these last few days. Especially when it is cold out, I get a huge boost of energy when I see other runners. The other day I did a simple 2 miles and I really wanted to stop around mile 1. I had dropped my tissue and it was cold and I just wasn’t having fun anymore. Then I saw two other runners and I was encouraged to keep going.

Anywho, that’s all for now, here’s the Kiddo!

sicky don’t run

This was how I spent my week. Curled up next to the humidifier desperately trying to feel better and sanitize my hands each time I used a tissue. Needless to say, I haven’t run since Wednesday (and I probably shouldn’t have gone then either).

Since I was mostly out of commission all week, I don’t have a lot to report. And since I missed almost a week of 5K training I will be essentially completing a couch-to-5K in about 2 weeks. I strongly believe that anyone can run a 5K, so I’m not worried. I just won’t be shattering any world (or personal) records any time soon.

Although my week consisted of mostly napping with the cat and watching The Daily Show, I did manage to make some homemade brownies. We spent a good chunk of our grocery budget stocking up on $2 Chuck at Trader Joe’s the last time we drove through Des Moines, so we have been a little short on the snacks around the house lately and I was craving something chocolatey. I don’t normally post recipes, but these are just too good and really easy to make!

  • 1c butter
  • 1c cocoa powder
  • 2c sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2c flour
  • 1/4tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1c chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350º and grease a 9×13″ pan.

2. Melt the butter and mix it with the cocoa, sugar, and salt.

3. Add each egg, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

4. Add the flour, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir well. Mix in the chocolate chips.

5. Pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Yum! (I’m going to sneak off to the kitchen for another).

month 4: plateau?

Happy 4 months Kiddo!

Although, there have been some new milestones reached this month, it’s hard to think we haven’t hit a plateau. Things seem to happen at a snail’s pace sometimes and it’s hard to know the exact days/times when new milestones have been hit.

For example: Kiddo definitely smiles more (especially at Paul now) and he can grab his toys and play with things. However neither of these things happened overnight, so it wasn’t as if there was an instant change.

One thing that was an instant change was rolling over. Kiddo has rolled from Tummy Time to his back. Even despite a super low camera battery, I was able to catch his second roll, and you can see it here.

Oh, another thing that changed this month was napping. At the beginning I was fine setting him in his swing to nap. However, he would never nap for very long and would be fussy all day. So I decided we’d work on napping in the crib whenever he seemed tired. After a few weeks of winging it, I finally set up a nap schedule for him that seems to have worked out well.