Running Bites

Last night Ben and I went to his work Holiday party at some fancy restaurant in Irvine. I would have paid attention to the name if I was a good food blogger or at least looked it up on the invite if I wasn’t so lazy. Oh well.

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This picture isn’t blurry it’s just how I look after a lot of champagne…IMG_3589 (800x600)

I started with a glass of champagne as everyone got there/met.

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Once we were seated the waiters brought out freshly baked bread. The smell was irresistable. Then, they kept refilling the basket and announcing, “Freshly baked bread!” when they set it down near me. Yeah, I dominated that thing.IMG_3566 (800x600)

I started with the salad, but stole Ben’s clam chowder because it was better.IMG_3574 (800x600)

For my main course I got the Salmon. It was good, but Ben got the pasta and it stole the show again!IMG_3575 (800x600)IMG_3581 (800x600)IMG_3582 (800x600)

Desserts were preselected so they just alternated giving every other person a chocolate or a vanilla-y mousse. I said a little prayer and chocolate was set down before me SmileIMG_3587 (800x600)

This morning I slept in for the first time all week (until 7)! Ah. I needed that. When I finally peeled myself out of bed I got ready for a run: clothes, food, shoes, bathroom. Not in that order.IMG_3600 (800x600)

I had 15 on the schedule but my legs have been dragging since Thursday. I cut it to 13ish and berated myself about it for a bit. Bah. I lost my running mojo. My last 3 long runs have been really crappy and all my runs this week were unpleasant. I’m frustrated because mentally and physically I’m in a funk.

I think I need a new goal to work towards AND a more well rounded training program. I am going to look over my new running goals and figure out a way to fight the funk.IMG_3593 (800x600)

In other news, I always think runners who “run in place” while waiting for the light to change are so weird. Really? You need to jump up and down on the corner because Heaven forbid you take 10 seconds of rest?

Well, today I realized I’m the weirdo when I used the stop light time to stretch. Re-enactment of a runner with no social skills…

“Don’t mind me, just doing some yoga poses along this public street…”IMG_3599 (800x600)

After the run I headed to Whole Foods for some detox juice. I’m hoping this cleanses me of bad runs…IMG_3602 (600x800)

And hot bar food!IMG_3604 (800x600)

I also hit up the hot dessert bar. I shouldn’t have, but I’ve also lost my healthy eating mojo lately? I don’t know what my deal is but I just want to eat junk and cut runs short. “Monica, get it together!”IMG_3607 (800x600)

To address the ‘Running Bites” title… I almost got bitten by a dog on my run today! Less than one mile into my run I approached a lady walking two dogs. One dog was on the grass and the other was on the sidewalk. As I got closer she didn’t move her dog from the middle of the sidewalk so I was about to step on the grass opposite her other dog to go around them. (She seemed lost in her thoughts, but it’s hard for me to believe she didn’t hear me barreling towards them, I’m not a Gazelle – you can hear me coming!)

Her sidewalk dog had too much slack on the leash and lunged toward my leg making contact! I screamed and leaped out of the way. She was not paying attention and my scream/her dog’s growl finally woke her up. I kept running a few yards before I stopped to check my right calve (adrenaline made me want to keep going).

It only had dog saliva on it, no bite. But, that is ridiculous. If your dog tries to bite people you should be paying attention when you walk them on a public sidewalk at all times! She didn’t even yell sorry or anything.

I understand not all dogs are nice, but if your dog lunges at people you need to control them on walks. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to try and jump out of the way of a dog on a leash. I’ve almost twisted my ankle jumping onto uneven grass for this exact reason.

I have dogs and I pay attention when I’m walking them. I realize when a fellow walker tenses up at the sight of my dogs and I pull them in a little closer to put that person at ease. I know one of my dogs likes to sniff little boys, so I hold his leash tighter around little guys so he is not able to reach them.

I understand mistakes happen and maybe she was lost in her thoughts with some pretty serious stuff, so I’m letting this one go. But the dog made mouth to skin contact and I needed to vent.

Question: Thoughts?


  1. says

    what the heck! you could have bitten! how rude….seriously i would have double backed and said something. maybe i am too mean? but come on……..glad you are okay. you should not beat yourself up either-you ran 13 miles! i could only squeak out 6 since my half last weekend.

  2. says

    OK that is crazy….Maybe you should be screaming as you are approaching people with dogs “I am scared of dogs and an attorney, pull them in!!!!” LOL…they wouldn’t know any better.

    If you figure out how to get out of the funk please let me know. My father sent me a sweater for Christmas that is a 3x. I am not little, (I normally wear an XL) but seriously?? I just want to cry.

    And lastly, what is your food budget? You mentioned it not too long ago, and I am trying to get my finances under control.

  3. Michelle says

    I’m right there with you. My dog lunges at runners and I ALWAYS make sure she’s close and am constantly scanning for them. It’s irresponsible to do anything else.

  4. says

    I’d love to give her the benefit of the doubt, but as the owner of two dogs and a runner, I just can’t. If for some reason you can’t concentrate and are distracted you need to leave your dogs at home- it’s not fair to anyone. And if your dog is a biter, it should be muzzled or have on of those mouth lead thingies.

  5. Eleanor Burns says

    I have a lady in the neighborhood who can’t (or won’t) control her dog. When he attacks people she actually seems to be smiling. When I see her I sprint to the other side of the street. Lots of aggressive dogs in the neighborhood. Love dogs but I can’t stand irresponsible owners.

  6. Devon says

    Just had to say that the yoga poses at the stop light had me laughing out loud:)!
    Sorry abt the dog! I’ve had a dog chase me a little and it was definitely scary!!

  7. says

    Encounters like that are the.worst. A few years ago, my dog was bitten on a walk, and ever since she tenses up around new dogs -especially if there is more than one and she is on/they are off the leash. Anyway, a few months ago I was running with her and saw a lady walking two dogs toward us off the leash. Izzie (my dog) walked to the far side of the grass, near the street, which is her go-to “I’m uncomfortable and want to avoid this dog” move. The lady was not paying attention and allowed her dog to run up to us from half a block away, which resulted in Izzie growling and yelping (she’s so ferocious that she yelps to scare dogs away). When the lady finally got to us, I confronted her. I try very hard to avoid these kinds of interactions and I felt like she was being really irresponsible. But, rather than apologize, she told me that I did not understand my dog. Since she was wagging her tail, she was clearly comfortable with the other dogs. I honestly couldn’t even believe it. On the plus side, the adrenaline made the rest of my run awesome 😉

      • says

        Thanks :). You’re right, it can be really traumatizing when things like that happen. Luckily, Izzie is really good at “telling” me when she’s uncomfortable. That just leaves me to be very protective if someone’s not paying attention!

        • Lorin says

          I volunteer at a humane society and we learned that wagging of the tail does not always mean they are happy. It can be a calming action for the dog. Some dog owners are just ignorant and blame others of not knowing their dog or paying attention.

  8. A Running Journey says

    I normally yell “on your left” whenever I am coming up to someone who doesn’t seem to be paying attention (or is taking over the whole sidewalk). It startles them a bit – and I feel like Tea Leoni in Spanglish (:

  9. says

    Not cool! I used to be super polite “people pleasy” and all- but a few years in Europe really knocked some “just tell the truth”into me. I would have berated that lady for sure and probably threatened to call the pound. Look… I LOVE dogs- but watch your dog! Sorry that happened. You should have totally thrown a karate kid kick at her to scare her straight. ;0) just sayin’.

  10. Dynamics says

    I was walking my daughters dog and there was a dog loose in a front yard. I thought the man looked at me but I still yelled, HELLLLOOOOO. You could see his brain and body trying to react. It was quite funny actually. He thought my dog was mean and tried to grab his. Thank goodness I said, no, no, no, mine is fine is yours!! We stopped and played/chit chatted and all was good. I like “a running Journey’s” response to yell something so they have no excuse but to see you. If that dog had done that to me, I would have asked is he had tetanus shots, OMG, LOL, I mean shot, LOL, I cannot even spell that word, Rabies and pulled my cell phone out and pretend to dial and say…I just got bite by a dog!! Hopefully scared the bejezus out of her. Glad you are okay!

  11. s says

    wow, uncool, although maybe she was zoned out or something. here in dc i once got scared by a huge dog that someone was walking and when i gasped they actually were like “wow…” as in “wow, i can’t believe my dog is scaring you.” granted, i don’t really like dogs, but i find that every once in a while i meet a dog owner that is completely crazy… lol.

  12. says

    Pretty dress!

    Oh my gosh. I hate seeing dogs when I’m running. My dog would never bite someone, but whenever I’m running with him I put him on the opposite side of anyone approaching. It’s just good manners. When I used to run in the DR, street dogs would chase me sometimes. I would be soooooo scared, but usually people in the street would chase them off for the poor little white girl. lol.

  13. Catherine says

    Firstly, love your blog. Just found it a week ago and read every day now! Have you considered your funk might be due to over training/fatigue? The same thing happened to me while I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I had a very sane training schedule and was doing great, feeling great, looking forward to and enjoying my runs, and then I started to feel less psyched about my runs and less awesome on long runs that weren’t even longer than I had run during my training. It took me a while to trace it back to my accumulating a few too many thi (building a 100 sq. Foot paver patio three days before a 17 miler, then something else the week of a 19, lots of work commitments, getting up earlier and earlier). Every thing you describe fits with classic signs of over training (not looking forward to runs, fatigue, hunger…).

  14. says

    At my last apt there was this girl who was always smoking and taking her little dog out. It would nip at my ankles every time I jogged by and she just blew smoke at me. Both equally annoying!

  15. says

    My dad was attacked by dogs and shattered his wrist years ago….probably one of the subconscious reasons why I don’t want a dog myself.

  16. says

    During my last two runs I’ve run into a woman with a dog that she never reins in. The dog always lunged and luckily I see it coming and move.
    A few weeks ago one dog actually jumped on my leg and I screamed at the lady walking it ‘get your dog off me’ and she didn’t even react! I just don’t get it.

  17. says

    Sadly I haven’t had very many good experiences with peoples dogs while running. The funniest one was when this woman’s little shih tzu came running after me in the woods, I almost stopped to help her catch him, definitely not threatened. The scariest, almost got the police involved, was when I was coming in from a run (mind you my driveway is a long gravel one with only two houses on it, mine and my neighbors) and my neighbors un-neutered male pit bull comes barreling out of the house barking at me and growling and jumps up and grabs my arm. It’s the only time I’ve ever been terrified of an animal. And of course no one was around.

    I think people just think that it’s the runners fault for getting in the way. I experience the same thing with people who are walking on the sidewalk, or on trails, as if we’re supposed to find some non existent way around them instead of them simple staying to one side to share the path.

    • Catherine says

      I found a lot to dislike about this piece. Here is the comment I posted there, fyi (sorry for the length):

      “I think the author’s acknowledged determination to “kill” cardio has led to some overblown claims. In spite of being used as the proverbial straw man for this argument, running/cardio is not necessarily a problem–just a ridiculous amount of it.

      Case in point:

      Buried in the piece is the claim that “after a month—or three—of cardio surpassing the 20 hours-per-week mark,” there are measurable consequences to fat burning that would surprise most people. For the non-runners among you, let me translate that into miles run. For a moderately slow runner (someone who runs a 10 min. mile), 20 hours of running per week would be 120 miles per week. For a very slow runner running at over 65% MHR (about 12 min/mile), 20 hours per week would mean running 100 miles. 20 hours of running per week is an average of almost 3 hours a day.

      100-120 miles/week?? Seriously? That’s what you are saying is the problem? For whom?

      Most non-elite folks training for a marathon run 30-50 miles/week in their peak training phase, and I would bet my year’s salary that the “skinny fat” women running on treadmills at gyms who are unfairly derided in this piece for being so stupid (and unappealing in their “softness”) are likely running somewhere between 15 and 30 miles per week (max.). Only the most elite, exceptional runners are able to get their bodies to anywhere close to 100 miles/week for a sustain period of time (the 2-3 months mentioned in the article with the 20hrs/week claim).

      And yet…in his response to a few well meaning commenters here, the author dismisses them like just more of the stupid and uninformed for saying he’s not talking about elite runners–that exception doesn’t prove the rule. Really? Then why would the author say that it’s the misguided 20hrs/week (or 100-120 mile/week) runners who need to get a clue?

      Why not just craft a positive message about staying active in ways that challenge your body in multiple areas unless your real agenda is to put down other extreme approaches to justify your own?”

  18. Rachel L says

    Monica, since you left your comments prompt pretty open, I would like to say that I think you should turn of your auto links to “work,” “Ben,” and “fancy.” It’s especially distracting when it has nothing to do with the context, as in your first sentence about Ben’s “work” party. The “work” in this sentence has nothing to do with your link.
    I am a fan of your blog and will continue to read regardless, but I just wanted to let you know my opinion. I hope you’re not offended.

  19. says

    I laughed out loud when I realized that “cleanses you of bad runs” you were not referring to the juice clearing up your stomach flu issues. Too funny!

  20. says

    I’ve been out in runs where dog walkers don’t pull in their dogs and it’s annoying. The vast majority of times, the dogs are pretty well behaved. Once on the Santa Barbara pier, a dog jumped out at me. It didn’t bite me, but it did hit me. The owner, an older man just laughed. I was soooo mad but kept going to the end of the pier. When I turned back, I tried to be polite but indignant and said something like “an apology would’ve been a more appropriate response than laughing, SIR!”

    You’re right, if you’re out in public with a dog you should be more conscious of your surroundings. Glad you didn’t actually get bit.

    • says

      I’m glad you said something on way back, I was kind of kicking myself for not saying anything at all to her. I was on a busy sidewalk and hate for it to happen to someone else too!

  21. JC says

    When I was walking my dog many years ago a large dog that was off its leash came and attacked mine. When I saw and screamed the dog stopped and I covered my little dog with my body. The other dog was just standing and looking at me. Then the owner came over and said for me to get up and walk away which I would not. My pup never lost his fear for big dogs. This could of been a child that large dog jumped and tried to bite.
    Glad you are ok and did not get hurt. As for the funk how many miles do you run a week? You seem just so active between the work at the gym and running. I wonder if you are doing too much activity?

  22. Jessica says

    Oh, I love your dress! That’s really pretty and you look fabulous wearing it.

    And as for the dogs – that simply happens, I never got bitten though.

  23. says

    “but I’ve also lost my healthy eating mojo lately? I don’t know what my deal is but I just want to eat junk and cut runs short. ”

    Tis the season! You’ll get your mojo back, but hey, winter is here, holidays are here, and a little break here or there is fine, too (consider it the stop light and maybe stretch instead of running in place like the crazies? hehe…nothing wrong with a little break so long as you keep up the running/eating healthy later).

    And I can’t believe the woman didn’t even yell sorry! That’s ridiculous.

  24. says

    Wow, if a dog touched or bit my leg, I would have jumped and screamed! A few years ago, my cousin was walking in her neighborhood and a nice looking golden retriever [the same kind of dog she has] passed her, she pet it, it bit her, and she got rabies! WTF?! People need to take care of their pets and get them under control- or maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to have one!

  25. says

    I did a whole post on running etiquette and what idiots some people are, especially on public running tracks where there are a lot of people. People are so inconsiderate – hope your okay from your dog encounter!

    Over the summer, a lady had her dog off the leash where of people were running and the dog was just running around like crazy. Seriously?! That’s a great way to start a lawsuit.

  26. Catherine says

    You are such a nice person because when that happened to me and I ended up in some bushes because the lady was not strong enough to control her dog, I dropped the f-bomb as in WTF, go lift some weights, or get a smaller dog! Glad you are okay!

  27. says

    We definitely try to keep our dogs close when we are out on walks and encounter other people (and other dogs). My HUGE complaint is about children who are not taught the proper way to approach a strange dog. They come running and screaming at our dogs, which gets our hound all worked up. I have SCREAMED at kids to stop and not approach the dog. He wouldn’t mean to hurt a kid but he is a big dog. I have also profusely thanked parents when kids ASK if they can see the dog or put our their hand for the dog to sniff.
    If I have to keep my dog on a leash, I think kids should be on a leash as well. LOL!

    The Kidless Kronicles

  28. says

    Oh my gosh, I absolutely HATE when people cannot control their dogs! Just the other day I was walking my dog (little cockapoo) around the block when we passed by a house where a guy was raking leaves with his gate open. All of a sudden, a big golden retriever comes barrelling out of the yard barking and coming right towards us. I start trying to pull my dog away but it was too late and they started growling and fighting with each other. I started screaming and pulling on the leash. Eventually the guy comes over, I accidentally drop the leash, my dog runs away safe (just scared). It was terrible! Definitely one my scariest dog experiences yet. 😕

  29. says

    That would make me SO mad! That is just not cool at all. I love dogs, but some people need to learn the temperaments of their dogs and not put them in situations where they could hurt other people.

    I have to admit that I do keep moving at stoplights. If I don’t stretch or move in some way my heart rate plummets and it’s way too hard to convince myself to get going again.

  30. adrianna says

    holy eff, thank goodness you are ok. i always tense up w/ dogs in my path, and really think people should do like you- pull em in close. some people are afraid, and some dogs arent nice and/or are unpredictable. i am not trying to lose a limb or get rabies. walkers of dogs should pay just as much attention as we have to running…so i dont faceplant.

  31. Lorin says

    At least you still did 13! That’s awesome! And yes, if that was me I probably would’ve freaked out and yelled or something at that lady…I’m glad you are okay though. Whenever I run and I see dogs, I just walk because I feel like running at them is threatening and I rathre just slow down a bit and if not, I just get WAY out of their way. Still, you made that effort and her dog STILL jumped on you, not okay.

  32. says

    1. You know how sometimes women’s health magazines say to have the waiter hold the bread basket so that you can maintain your girlish figure? Those make me laugh so hard.
    2. I’m with you on the running/eating fail lately. I’m gaining the holiday weight, except it’s not because of Christmas cookies and eggnog, it’s just because I’m eating a ton of regular, available year round crap.
    3. That’s complete BS. That woman is a total idiot and she should have had her dogs under control. I’m terrified of dogs and things like this really frighten me. You are 100% right in your comments.
    4. You described your dog as a pedophile, and it made me laugh. Just sayin.

  33. says

    I’m terrified of getting chased/bitten by a dog when I run. I don’t know if it would work for a runner, but I’ve been on a bike and seen another rider get rid of a yapping dog with a squirt of his water bottle. I guess a flask is pretty small and it might just make him mad, but I really don’t know.

    Sometimes it amazes me how hard we are on ourselves. 13 miles is NOT a fail. And not in 2:09. I envy you. I’m trying to build a base and did 9 miles in almost 2 hours today and felt good. Long, slow distance.

    I’m sure soon you’ll have one of those runs that’ll undo any of that negative running stuff…find your favourite path and go there ASAP?

  34. says

    first, your dress is beautiful! and i love champagne too :) 2nd… i agree with the whole dog situation.. it is scary. i’ve had some close calls too.. now i just go onto the street if there aren’t any cars coming.

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