Friday, May 20, 2011

A Dog Bite and Learning to Run Without Music

(After a jog at the New River-Fall 2010)

Back in the fall, I started incorporating some jogging into my workouts.  I would walk 5 minutes and then jog 2.  Eventually, I increased my jogging so I was able to run a 5K in April.  I am pretty proud of that accomplishment because I have never been a “runner.”  In fact, after I did a half marathon with R back in 2007, I swore off running.  I said that I hated it too much to waste my time on it.  But after I started to lose weight, I started getting curious about running again.  I wondered if it would be easier since I wasn’t carrying around so much weight anymore.  I wondered if it would be more enjoyable.  I knew that it would be a higher intensity workout and I would burn a lot more calories than walking therefore, it would be more efficient as far as time management/maximum calories burned.  So I decided to give it a try again.  That’s when I started with the walking/jogging intervals.  I started very slow but I realized that I could increase the running amounts pretty quickly.  Before I knew it, I was jogging 10 minutes and walking only 2 or 3.  I loved the calorie burning results.  Immediately I was addicted to seeing the calories add up on my HRM! 

One thing that really got me through running was being able to listen to my i-pod.  I love listening to upbeat music that I wouldn’t normally listen to.  I never really listen to Missy Elliott or other hip hop and rap artists unless I am running and working out.  In my day to day life, it’s not really my kind of music.  I am more of an Indie and folk rock type of music listener….much more mellow music.  After reading BitchCake’s blog and hearing her talk about how much she loved to run to the Girl Talk album, I downloaded it off the internet.  (It’s free, by the way!)

However, about a month ago when I was at my parents’ house, I went jogging through their neighborhood and the neighborhoods just outside of it.  I took the route that I always take and I was listening to my workout mix while jogging.  I guess I had the music up so loud that I couldn’t really hear anything else around me.  I turned my head and before I could do anything, a dog came up and bit my leg.  Luckily I had pants on, but it still broke the skin and I had puncture wounds from its teeth.  The dog kept barking at me, but I started stomping my feet and yelling at it and it backed down.  The dog was not a breed that is typically associated with attacking people, it just seemed like a mutt that wouldn’t be too aggressive.  However, that wasn’t the case.  That dog did NOT want me around!  There was a man working in a garage close by where it happened but he wasn’t willing to help me figure out who the dog belonged to.  He just kind of threw up his hands like, “Leave me out of this, lady!”  So I went home, and since I was staying with my parents, my mom freaked out (of course)!  On our way to the urgent care doctor, we drove back through the neighborhood but the dog was nowhere around.  The man in the garage said it was his daughter’s house that he was working on and he did not know who the dog belonged to.  So we headed on to the urgent care where my mom was certain that I would have to get the round of rabies shots!  Luckily, I just had to get a tetanus shot and I had to take a round of antibiotics to fight off infection.  Apparently, according to the doctor, rabies is very uncommon in the United States because of vaccinations.  However, it is still a common problem in other countries.  He seemed more concerned with infection than anything else.  So I got my tetanus shot and the antibiotics.  I really didn’t want to take the antibiotics but when I mentioned not getting the prescription filled, my mom flipped out like mothers do.  She said that if I didn’t, the bite would get infected and I would most certainly have to get my leg amputated!  My mom is very dramatic!  J 

The next time I ran was inside at a gym, so I didn’t have to worry about dogs biting me.  I listened to my music as usual and it was not an issue at all.  But shortly after I got home, I went out to the New River for a jog.  This was when it set in that I really was affected by the dog bite.  I was all of a sudden scared of every noise and was constantly looking over my shoulder for a dog or other animal.  I was listening to my i-pod and that scared me even more because I couldn’t hear any external noise.  So I took my ipod off and haven’t used it outside again since.  It’s probably not the safest thing anyway with cars and other noises that I really should be able to hear when I am working out outside. 

So now I am learning to run without my ipod.  It’s been difficult.  Music is such a motivator for me.  Upbeat music gets me moving and pumped up.  But I am starting to get used to it.  Rather than getting upset, I am trying to look at it as an opportunity to hear birds, nature, traffic that could be dangerous and other noises that I should be aware of.  It’s not such a bad thing!  Now that it’s spring, I hear lots of birds and I can monitor my breathing as I run.  I am more in tune with myself now that I am running without music.  I guess music is a distractor as well as being a motivator.  I was distracting myself from everything around me.  Now I am in tune with my surroundings and it’s good to be in tune with all of the great sounds of nature. 


  1. Hey there! I recently became a follower of your blog! My name is Laura and I found you by searching "weight loss and running" or something of that nature!

    I had a similar episode about 4 years ago. The dog belonged to a neighbor and had bitten other people before. He took a chunk out of the back of my leg while I was out for a walk. A local cop witnessed the entire event and went to court on my behalf (she was charged--for the 8th time--with letting her dog run loose). They did not make her get rid of him or put him down even though he had a history of killing people's cats and biting others.

    I still to this day get scared around dogs. It has affected me for the rest of my life! I also had to do the tetanus and antibiotics and the judge made my neighbor pay for all of my doctor bills.

    I only run on the treadmill at the gym and I can't imagine running without music! :)

  2. Laura-I am sorry you had a similar experience! I hate being intimidated by dogs's so frustrating!

    I am now following your blog too! :)