I search for topics to write about while I am training or right after I finish. Sometimes a song will inspire me and sometimes the trial or success I experience is my inspiration. This morning I swam 2,500 meters and it was a very good workout. I kept to all of the time splits I was setting and even exceeded a few. After I finished, I searched for inspiration to write and couldn’t find it. I had a 5 mile run scheduled this evening and figured I would find it then. I put on my layers and my reflector vest and headed outside. By 0.15 miles (according to my Garmin) I found my inspiration.
Before I start the story I am going to say the most important part – the dog is fine. This is not the kind of story any pet lover would want to be hanging on to the end. As I left my drive and started my run I was passed by a minivan heading the same direction that I was running. I turned a corner to go down a cul-de-sac and heard a loud howl, several howls. It was dark but the yard lights and snow illuminated the street enough that I saw the shadow of a dog and a blue flashing LED light close to the ground. I thought the minivan hit the dog and took off at 7:30 minute pace (according to my Garmin again). As I got closer I saw it was a little black terrier and she was fine. More upset than anything that the car didn’t stop to pet her. She was in front of her house and I got her to her family. After my heart came to a normal running pace I realized we put LED lights on our dogs’ collars along with ID tags, but do we take the same precautions for ourselves?
Until June 2011 I have to admit I did not. I have always run in the dark with a reflector vest. My latest one even has LED strips down the front and back. But I did not run with ID. Sure I have my phone with me when I ride and run, but that doesn’t help much if I am not able to use it. As for swimming – where do you put a phone?? In June 2011 I came within 10 feet of a teenager texting and driving up behind me while I was riding my bike up a hill. I heard the breaks and knew there was nothing I could do but pray and keep peddling. Fortunately he stopped before he met my tire. After that I got Road ID. There are two options: regular ID or interactive. I went with interactive. The plate has my name, a web address and 800 number telling first responders to contact and provide a serial and PIN number on the back of the plate. On the site you can enter all the information they would need – insurance, contact numbers, allergies, health conditions, medications, and a comment box. I like the box to enter information for when I travel and who to contact. Calling my sister in Akron, Ohio won’t help much when I am in Jacksonville, FL. Nathan also has the VITAband. I am a sucker for accessories, so I have this one too. It works very much like interactive RoadID but has a cool little feature that you can elect to have a debit card chip in the band to use at tap and pay locations. Good for when I am on the bike. Regardless of the one you choose, wearing ID when training and racing (or even walking a dog) is essential. Please look into it.
Good thing that the dog inspired me to write today. My 5 mile run in the crisp winter air was perfect. I loved every step, especially after running 12 miles on the treadmill Saturday. So even on a good training day, there is still something to share to limit our trials on the trails.