Running The Hills

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(Tired pups after our morning run.)

Up until this morning, I’ve been playing it safe and running at the track. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t intimidated by the hills in my neighborhood. Every single step of the way is either an incline or a decline – I don’t think there’s a flat stretch to be found until I get into downtown. But, seeing as how it’s just not practical to drive 5 miles to get a run in, I just need to get over it.

My other fear is that I’m kind of a chicken when it comes to loose dogs. A huge Rottweiler chased me when I was 10 and walking home from a friend’s house and since then, I’m skittish about big dogs running up to me on the street. North Carolina does not have any leash laws, so a lot of people let their dogs run free. Not cool. I’ve only seen a couple around our street and while they seem friendly enough, the last thing you want is to run down a random street a mile from your house and have a dog feel like you’re threatening their territory.

As a defensive maneuver, I decided to take my dogs for a run with me this morning. They’re short, but they’re loud and it would be very rare for a single dog to approach a “pack” (since there are two of them and one of me). Once I get to know all of the neighborhood dogs (near and far), I’ll be a lot more comfortable, but for the time being, I’m perfectly comfortable nurturing my paranoia.

So, we set off on this brisk morning to check out the hills. Man, are they brutal for my Florida trained legs. Once you add in the elevation of 3000 feet, we were all panting after about a mile. We wound our way through the streets and only did about 2 miles total. I didn’t want to push my legs too far since sore hamstrings and shin splints are common hill ailments and also, the dogs aren’t used to running for any sustained period, so I didn’t want to push my luck. You see, Nona has a tendency to simply lay down in the street when she gets tired and the last thing I wanted to do was carry her 35 lb. bulk back to the house.

Needless to say, we’re all going to be much stronger runners after a month or two of this.

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