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JogBlog: Week 7, Day 1

December 14, 2009

My dog doesn’t like me.

This morning my husband wanted to jog with me. He’s one of those people who can just decide he’s going to go run 2 miles and then go out and do it, even if he hasn’t done any sort of training for the event. Sigh.

So, we got up and got dressed for the weather – not too bad, about 46º and no particular precipitation or wind to deal with – and headed to the park. This time we took our dog, Brody. I have never tried to jog with Brody before… he likes to go to the park to run off-leash on the back trails, and there are sometimes animal control officers patrolling the paved track where we run, so I just don’t usually bring him when I’m going on the track since I don’t want to deal with his leash while jogging. ANYWAY, we thought we’d give it a try… it was Glenn’s idea, so he was in charge of holding the leash and keeping the dog in check.

It was damp and the sun was just barely up when we got to the park. I cued up the podcast and did a little stretching, and then we started our warmup walk. Brody was off leash while we were walking. That was probably a good idea, to let him burn off some energy right away.

Once again I was hoping to make it at least halfway up Big Nasty Hill (BNH) before the cue came to start the 25-minute run… but of course the run actually started right at the beginning of the incline. Glenn put Brody back on the leash while I started to slowly plod up the hill, and then he ran to catch up with me near the top. Show-off. 😉

Really, starting out on BNH isn’t that bad. It’s later on when I’m already tired that I really don’t like to face that obstacle.

So we crest the hill and start to get into a nice rhythm. I am a little concerned that jogging with someone will make me try to go faster than I should, so I am consciously trying to stay slow and steady from the beginning. We plod along and I’m only half listening to the music today. I know that there aren’t a bunch of cues to listen for today since it’s one long run, although I do kind of wonder if Robert is going to jump in now and then to offer moral support along the way.

I look over at the dog as he trots next to Glenn. Brody is very confused. He keeps looking up at us as though he is waiting for a signal to run. Why does he have to endure all this trotting when he is built for speed? Glenn is keeping him close, trying to get him used to the idea of keeping pace with us instead of running willy-nilly through the woods like he usually does.

As we passed the lot where our car was parked (and where we started our warm up walk), Glenn said “one lap!” and I laughed and said “I wish.” He chuckled. I was only counting laps from where we actually started running.

Around 3/4 mile or so, I realize that I haven’t heard from Robert yet and I’m still wondering if he’s going to pop in at any point to tell me how well I’m doing today. On the (so far) two other days that I have done long runs, I’ve always had a bunch of other cues to listen to in the podcast as Robert told different groups when to walk and when to run… and even though I wasn’t following the cues, I was still listening to them, and was able to count down minutes as well as keep a pretty good estimate of the pace I was running in my head. Not so much today.

We rounded the back corner of the track and started the gradual ascent to BNH. A Siberian Husky appeared with his owner just then, causing Brody an even greater amount of grief over his state of restraint. He pranced next to Glenn just like the dogs do on those AKC shows on TV… not that we’ve ever worked with him as a show dog. He whined a bit, asking if he could be let off to play. I whined a bit, wishing I didn’t have to run up BNH.

As we finally got to the base of BNH, lo and behold, Robert pops in very briefly and says that we are about halfway through our run. Halfway! Well that’s good I guess, but (a) I still have to run up this hill right now, and (b) if this really is halfway, then I know that I am running a bit more slowly than I did on Friday. Not that I have ever been Mrs. Speedy to begin with. It’s a little bit disheartening.

I decide not to care. I’m out here doing it, right?

We get to the top of BNH, and I have that minute or so of fatigue where I want to stop and walk for a bit. But Glenn is there with me, and Brody is already quite upset that we aren’t going very fast, so I just keep going. And of course it gets a little better then, because we are on the nice part of the track now.

We cross the place where the track intersects the main drive and I blurt out “are we proud of me yet?!?” and Glenn agrees that yes, we are all very proud of me. I am not sure if he is even breaking a sweat or breathing heavily. Sigh. A little later he says that I am “in a groove,” and I remind him that this is the easy part of the track… it’s that hill that complicates things!

Brody is just enduring it all right now. He’s so over this whole keeping-pace-with-the-owners thing.

I start to wonder if the second mile is going any faster than the first one. I really have no way to tell. I’m not feeling particularly tired right now… things are going along smoothly. But I think ahead and I start to dread the finish. Because if my pace has remained fairly steady today, then I might be heading up BNH right at the very end of the run.

We start to head toward BNH, and Glenn asks if our second mile pace was faster. I said I don’t know, I’m waiting for Robert to say something. I don’t know if he’s going to just announce the end of the run, or give us some sort of countdown, or what.

We get to the base of BNH, and I know we have to be getting close. Then Robert finally chimes in and says we have one minute left. Argh! I pant the news to Glenn, and then put my head down. Must. Finish. Climbing. Hill.

Glenn, of course, says “one minute!” and trots up the hill with the dog. And he says something encouraging to me, like “go!” But all I’m thinking is, why does this hill have to be so difficult?

Just a little past the crest of the hill, I hear Robert say the run is over. “We’re done!” I yell to Glenn… and I stop running and let out a few groans as I try to catch my breath.

Really, why does the end have to be so hard? It seems to me that I can be doing OK, having a reasonably good day running at a nice pace, steady breathing, etc… but then when it gets to the last minute, or the last hill, or whatever… suddenly I’m barely able to finish. I guess it’s all psychological.

Anyway, we did our cool down, and with a few minutes left on our way to the car, Glenn finally took Brody off the leash to let him run again for a bit. He took off and ran a huge zig zag pattern ahead of us, then kept looking back at us as if to say “see? THIS is how you run.”

So the total running distance today was just slightly over 2 miles. Not as far as I ran on Friday. BUT, I think I felt better, or more in control, for the majority of the run today. So there’s something to be said for that. Perhaps having company made it easier? I’ll have to continue to test that theory.

If Brody can stand it.

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4 comments

  1. What sort of dog is Brody? I ran today as well. 10 miles in a thick fog. I felt terrible like I was breathing through a wet sock, but I got it done in 1 hour 33 mins.


  2. Way to go Laura, I am sooo dreading this week. I find 25 min really hard. Do I sound whiny, because i feel it. Tomorrow i will have to do it. We are going out of town this weekend and then next week travelling so not sure what schedule iwill be on.


  3. I wish my husband would run with me. I do run with my dog and I love having him for company. He’s very good on the leash and I feel safer running in the dark with him by my side.


  4. I can SO picture your Vizsla running that zig zag pattern and looking back at you!! They do love their people don’t they!! Great job, BTW.



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