Today we ran 3 miles on our way to a 17 mile week.  This short course takes us down Vineland Blvd. to Ventura where we run west for about a mile and then turn right on Tujunga.  After we turn there the road tilts down to the LA River.  As anyone who has lived in LA knows the “river” is more of a series of cement flood control aqueducts that channel rainwater to the ocean. Unlike the song, it DOES rain in Southern California and when it comes its usually in heavy cloud bursts that fill the streets with small lakes fed by raging torrents.  City engineers long ago made sure that the drains of our roadways run to the hardened, flat, man-made surfaces of the LA River.  In non-rainy times, like most of the year, the river sits in its bed like an empty train rail waiting for a locomotive to give it purpose.

Recently, the bridge that crosses the river at this section of Tujunga was renovated.  As city bridges go, I guess you could call this one beautiful.  Its clean, the old crumbling railings have been replaced with a decorative composite cement balustrade and the curbing is raised well above the street to support a brand new sidewalk.  Running west on Ventura and then North on Tujunga puts us on the East side of the road as we approach the bridge.  As me, Brody and Elaine round the corner at the top of the hill we get a good look down it to determine whether its safe to cross the street to the west side.  Making our way across is essential as we need to do this in order to make the first left after the bridge to complete the three mile course.

This morning was trash day and that always means lots of extra people pulling their cans to the curb and the deep rumbling noises accented by high pitched beep-beep-beeps as the various trash trucks collect their plunder.  We ran down the hill and as we approached the bridge I could see a truck making its way toward us.  Brody is scared of these behemoths of the road so I’m always a little worried if he’s on the roadside of me when one passes.  He tends to lurch at them so I decided we had to cross the street before the thing got to the bridge.  This would put Brody, who runs on my left, on the river side and away from the ‘scary beast.’

We stepped off the curb and began to run across.  Brody could hear and see the truck coming and began to pull ahead of me.  As we reached the sanctuary of the new sidewalk we had to make the extra effort to raise our feet above it’s high curb.  As I went to do this, Brody cut in front of me and my knee slammed into the bone on his right-hind-end.  Now, he’s a 90lb Shepherd and that’s a big dog.  When my bone hit his bone the pain was instant and exquisite.  It was like I’d run into the corner of a desk.   I pulled him to a stop and made him sit but as I began to expel my venom at him the trash truck rolled onto the bridge drowning out anything I had to say.  Brody was unphased by the whole thing – probably thought I was trying to correct his cutting me off or that I wanted the truck to pass before we continued.  He just sat there, tongue hanging out, panting and looking at me as I clutched my knee.  The truck disappearing up the hill and around the corner.  Pressing on, we eventually got back to our workout.

This afternoon I have a nice bruise on the outside of my left knee.  It doesn’t bother me to walk on it so I’m not worried about running again tomorrow.  I wish I could say Brody’s butt was black and blue but he has a nice coat of fur covering it.  I think he knows he messed up though – he keeps putting his head in my lap as if he’s apologizing…

Here’s the latest on the Road Runners Marathon entry debacle.  Hopefully this is resolved very soon!!


tom lowe photo, llc

tacoma, wa 98406



Follow Us

Follow our activity on the web and get to know us.