Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Outrunning a Beagle

Had a successful day.  It started with a slow leak in my front right tire.  That was not the successful part.  I plugged it (the hole is near the sidewall) but it continued to leak.  I had a great idea and put in a second plug.  Still leaking!  I noticed at this point that the sidewall was starting to bulge.  Those of you that know how I drive (it wasn't that bad Stephan - at least we where airborne over the herd of deer) will realize that a weak sidewall in one of my tires is not such a good idea.  Off to Cookstown wreckers, to buy a tire!

Yes, I drive what is arguably a sports car.  When I told Jack at Cookstown that I needed a 215/45 R17, he just smiled and said "good luck".  So I looked through their huge tire selection.  Some came close - 205/50 might do in a pinch.  So much for buying a pair!  Then I noticed a 215/45 R17.  Hmm.  A Michelin, same as on my car.  Model?  HX MXM4.  Really?  With quite good tread.  I brought it to the office, where the salesperson looked at the tire and commented that it was brand new.  That hurt.  Perhaps I wasn't going to get such a good deal.  Canadian tire sells them for $235 (tax in).  My price?  $90.  Okay, I'm happy.  Off I went to Honda's workshop, to flip the rubber and balance the wheel.  For free.  One perq of being a former employee!

The beagle?  I am training for the Can50 50K on October 11.  I have left it too late, but am hoping to cover enough ground in the next 4 weeks to appease the training gods.  Good luck with that!  My wife Lee Anne used to run a tricky 15K while I was working in Tokyo, which we subsequently named the Tokyo run.  By substituting some epic trails for a few road sections, the syncopated Tokyo run becomes a hilly 12K with almost no cliffs.  That last part is a hint to those who have run the Creemore Vertical Challenge...  After 1.5K of trail and about 1K of road, I stumbled upon a beagle, who I assume was protecting his territory.  There are 3 results from an encounter with a dog on a farm road.  1.  (The best):  It barks at you, then goes back home.  2.  It attacks you, then goes back home.  3.  (This is awful, so prepare yourself) It follows you.  For miles.  I learned several things from this encounter.  It is very difficult to outrun a beagle.  I suspect that the beagle in question is used for fox hunts.  As in, it lives at or near the Toronto hunting club, in an upscale section of Mulmur (where, incidentally, they have a 1.5 to 3 million dollar real estate range) and is used to running for - oh, 3-4 hours?  I tried the usual endeavours, such as stopping, pointing back along the road and yelling "GO HOME".  It would lie down (this is good), then when I was 35 meters away, jump up and continue to follow me (not good).  This went on for 8K.  I tried other venues, which in retrospect do not seem overly intelligent, such as racing up the escarpment (perhaps beagles have trouble running long uphills?  NO!).  Eventually I resigned myself to running home, then (hopefully) finding a phone number on the beagle's tags and calling the owner.

The last part of the Tokyo trail run follows the last 2K of the CVC.  There is a T intersection about 1.5K from the finish line where runners turn left and encounter 2 short cliffs.  Just before the turn, I realized the beagle was not in sight.  Would this be simple?  I veered around the corner and brought the pace up to top speed.  Into the bush I flew (okay, probably only a 5:00/K pace), up and down the cliffs and eventually home.  No sign of the beagle!

Hopefully the dog finds it way home.  I assume it will, as I last saw it about 1.5K from where I first encountered it.  Conversely, there are many coyotes in the area around the T intersection.  Ah!  Such us life!

Dig Deep!

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