It was dark. My headlamp lit the way on the SEPTA line with Irene and Brittany ahead of me as I listened to their conversation. We were in the last mile of the run uphill to the starting point, and I was relieved that we were almost finished with the run. My legs were tired, and it was an effort to pick them up to avoid kicking sticks and rocks on the road.
Out of nowhere (it’s always out of nowhere), I hear a guttural, wet growl to my right. Twice. The dog’s muzzle must have been pressed into the opening of a chain link fence or between the slats of a wooden fence. I couldn’t see even when I turned my headlamp to the right–no green eyes glowed, nothing but darkness.
I took off sprinting uphill and passed Irene and Brittany and muttered “dog” as I passed them. I had no idea I had that kind of speed, and uphill no less, but if the dog really were loose and not behind a fence, he would have caught me. The chart on Garmin shows the spike in heart rate and my cadence. 190 beats per minute? I thought my max was around 185. Nope. Not when there’s a dog involved. Brittany and Irene knew something was going on because I dislike hills and would only sprint up them if I had a really, really good reason.
So, thank you, scary dog from behind a fence, you showed me that I do have speed when and if I want it.