I got off to a slow start on the early morning run today, which was fine. Might as well take it easy at the start, right? So, like I’m saying I’m just getting going, and then I look down one of the side streets here comes all these voices, flashing lights, and snarling. It was two other runners, all decked out with headlamps and talking non-stop, with their dogs, which were of some large ungainly variety and lighted as well. These dogs might not get tons of exercise, based on the sounds they were making. Remember the Nazgul’s steeds when they were chasing the hobbits out of the Shire? Like that sound. And their lights were directed this way and that as they galloped forward, as did the headlamps of the two chatty joggers themselves – presumably they were glancing back and forth at each other as they talked. The effect was as if there were several people with flashlights scanning the neighborhood street, yards, trees, and sky for something. Very distracting. And the talking! At this hour? What could possibly be important enough to require spoken words at 5:45 am, I ask. Of course, the timing was such that they entered my road just behind me and looked like they were going to run the same route. So I had to invoke the after-burners to create some distance. Which wasn’t too hard; their pace was on the slow side, probably due to all the equipment, conversation, and ungainly champing animals. But now my right heel is bothering me.