Since my last encounter with a neighborhood dog about two months ago, I’ve been taking a slightly modified route to avoid “Abbey”, the dog who chased me that day.  This new route takes me through an alley and past three particularly mean dogs who make a point to growl,  bark loudly and do everything possible to vault or break through the 6 foot high chain link fence that separates them from the rest of the world.  There’s a fat one, who is by far the loudest, but quite lethargic and there are two other doberman pincers that can leap pretty high in their attempts to vault the 6 foot fence.  A standard chain link fence would not hold them.  Since I know they can neither vault nor break through the 6 foot chain link fence, I feel pretty safe taking this route.

Today, I began my workout with a light jog 100 meters down my street and made my turn into the alley.  Immediately, the barking started.  I looked over to the fence and saw the fat one in his usual spot up against the fence.  I knew that momentarily, the other two would come bounding through the holes in the screened porch to join him up against the fence.  When they didn’t appear, I knew something was wrong.  I looked to the end of the alley and the two rounded the corner from behind a bush, rushing straight toward me.

I quickly turned on my heels and ran.  I instantly pondered whether this was the best thing to do.  My brief bear training while in the smoky mountains this summer taught me to stand my ground even if a bear charges.  These were not bears, however and the whole thing felt like an ambush.  The fat one was just the lookout.  I tore down the street past Abbey’s house, hoping she’d be out to give chase today.  I figured maybe the Dobermans would be distracted by her.  No such luck.  I was moving pretty fast and I didn’t hear any barking anymore, but I could hear the very fast pitter patter of paws hitting pavement right behind me.  I wasn’t sure, but I think I dropped one of them, but the other one was fast.

I envisioned what would happen if I stopped, turned around and gave it a quick, surprise kick to the head.  I quickly decided against that.  One, I’d have to be sure I connected and two it would give the other dog the chance to catch up.  I went to full out sprint, kicking my pace up to the last gear I had.  Jack Daniels doesn’t have a name for the pace I was running.  It was “running the 40 yard dash, trying to make the football team” fast.  I kept telling myself that dogs are sprinters and the longer I hold the pace, the better chance I have of surviving.  Within seconds, the pitter patter of paws faded into the distance.  The dog couldn’t handle my acceleration and broke off the chase.  I slowed back down to “regular fast” until I made it across a busy street.  I glanced back and saw one dog standing about a block away with its head hung low to the ground.

I looked at my Garmin which showed a 62 second quarter mile.  So much for an easy warmup.

I walked for a while, then continued my warmup at a much, much easier pace.  Today’s workout  was planned as a bit of a hybrid speed workout/long run: 2 miles easy + 5 x 1200m in 5:15 with 1 minute rests + 7 miles easy.  Here’s the intervals went:

1200 m – 5:05

1200 m – 5:02

1200 m – 5:03

1200 m – 5:07

1200 m – 4:59

I started the 7 miles following the intervals feeling kind of winded, but felt better as I went along.  All in all, the workout was 13 miles.  I took a circuitous route back home.  I knew I didn’t have another 62 second quarter in me and the dogs had just had an hour and a half rest.


  1. First time visit to your blog. WTG outlasting those dogs, that is amazing! There is a dog that terrorizes me every day I run by his house. He is behind an electric fence and always stops short at the invisible barrier, but I’m just waiting for the day he decides to burst through it.

  2. nice. when dogs chase me i turn around and yell “go home” loudly and deeply. ‘course they aren’t dobermans… i don’t think i would stop for those.

  3. I am extremely scared of dogs! What I do is threw some small stones at the dog that is about to attack me. It’s the only way I know to protect myself from that dog who always attack me whenever he sees me passing by their place.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *