Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wes ran with me this morning!

I woke up this morning with an idea. After the dogs and I had breakfast and I had gotten an hour or so of work done, I snuck back into the bedroom and changed into workout clothes and my running shoes. Wesley noticed the shoes first and started following me around (more closely than usual) while I got the rest of my gear in order (I decided if I'm going to be walking them daily, I may as well wear my Garmin and rack up some trackable mileage). I waited until he went to get a drink from his bowl in the kitchen and then grabbed the leash off the coat rack and slipped out the back door, shutting the glass door behind me so he couldn't get out (yes, he can open the screen door). Xena saw her collar and leash as soon as I got out the door and ran to meet me at the side gate. I think she was excited to be the first one out for a walk (for once). Wesley was NOT happy (and let the entire neighborhood know), but I had a plan for him.

Walking with Xena makes me shake my head. For being such a fat lazy dog, you'd think she'd want to walk slower. Nope. She walks almost as fast as Wes, wears herself out, slows down for a couple steps, and then speeds back up again. She doesn't exactly pull on the leash, but she seems to do better when it's either let out all the way with pressure on it or I loop it up and hold her right at my side. Thankfully, she doesn't really react to other dogs, just kind of looks at them as she walks by. People on bikes is another story. If I see one coming, I instantly choke up on the leash and make her sit or she's bark and try to take off after them (not like she'd do anything beside slobber them up). She's big and strong enough that she could easily pull me over if she wanted to. She's a lab/ great dane mix. The best way to describe X is ... imagine an almost hip-high FAT dark-chocolate lab. She certainly has the temperament of a big goofy lab too. Her owner worries that her hips are starting to bother her in her advanced age, so a walk with her is a quick loop around the new development up the road from the house, about 0.7 miles.

By the time we got back, Wesley was raring to go. He threw an absolute fit when I took the time to get Xena some fresh water and ice cubes before putting his collar on him and heading for the front door. I always laugh when Wes and I first get outside. He goes absolutely SPASTIC like being on the leash is the absolutely coolest thing in the world! It normally takes him a couple minutes to decide he's ready to "walk" and heads down the driveway. Walking with Wes is always interesting. He's ALWAYS pulling on the leash and trying to go faster than I want to. I found myself wondering last night if it would help if I had 4 legs too. [Side note - this was when I began formulating the "idea" for this morning.] I've been letting Wesley have a loose leash and running fast as he wants on the last little stretch back to the house for the last couple walks and he's done well. I KNEW he used to "run" with his owner's daughter when she and I were back in high school but I didn't know how far, how fast, or anything other than this was when he was a PUPPY! So, today after reigning him in for the first 10 minutes or so, I loosened the leash and picked up my pace a little, to around a 11:30/mi pace. Almost immediately, Wes fell in line next to me, leaving slack in the leash! It was almost a mile back to the house and he handled it beautifully! I'm so excited! :D

I'm hopefully going to try this little experiment again tomorrow and see how it goes. I probably won't run Wesley much further than a mile since I'm only here with him for 2 weeks and I don't want to push him, but I'm thinking a morning run with Wes before going out for my OWN run (or doing yoga or a Jillian Michaels video) sounds like a great way to start my days! The dogs seem to love it too.

Seriously, what are these dogs going to do when their momma gets home next weekend? lol.

After wrangling Wes into the house and getting him some ice cubes (he seriously sat in front of the freezer until I did), I went out for my own run. It was my first time really running outside the immediate neighborhood and adjacent park. And sans-iPod (for safety reasons). I wasn't really sure of the mileage so I picked a block and told myself I could walk at any point after 3 miles if I got tired (since I'm technically back to training for 1 more 5k before increasing my distance for a possible fall half marathon). I wanted to use the run as a scouting expedition anyway, paying attention to curb widths and how heavy traffic was on any roads I ran on or crossed, deciding which roads would be safer to run longer distances on. I forgot my water (*smacks forehead*), but I felt comfortable with the pace I set (which surprised me ... 11:10, 11:03, 10:40, and 10:03/mi pace for the almost 1/2 mile). I even accidently inhaled a bug at one point, which had me gagging for a couple seconds.

Over all, I was really happy with my morning. I just need to be more careful about sunscreen next time because my acne meds make my skin more ... vulnerable? ... and my face is currently a bit sensitive. Oops. I really need to find a wicking visor or hat too. This running in my favorite ball cap isn't helping with the forehead acne at all, as much as I love it.

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