I have taken to running with Silas. I’m a terrible runner. Terrible. I’m slow. I have short legs. But I like that feeling of smug virtuousness that comes from running, so from time to time I take it up.
In order to fit it into my schedule this time around, it’s just easier to do it with Silas. I’m at the park anyway. Two to-do items off the list at once, etc.
Finding the right park was tricky. I’m very lucky to have so many choices, but Silas is particular. Lots of them are too close to the road. Some allow horses, not dogs, on the trails. One doesn’t allow running (it sounds crazy, but it’s a good fit for that park). One of them closes the trails when they’re anything less than bone dry.
We’ve found a couple of reasonable options, though. The park that closes the trails too often is fantastic. Close to us, with a wide, flat loop of trail that stays out of sight of the parking lot the entire time. There’s also some more adventurous terrain, when/if we’re up to it. When it’s damper out, one of the “too close to the road” trails is workable, as long as I’m willing to go back and forth on one section.
I’ve learned some interesting things running with the dog. Or, I should probably say, jogging very slowly while he trots at slightly over his regular walking pace.
One: if I’m not walking he’s pretty sure I’m playing. It takes him a minute or two to establish that we’re still moving forward, rather than jumping around in a circle like a crazy.
Two: dogs who walk three inches from your left leg are annoying. I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve never done heel work with Silas. He has absolutely zero training for it. It just hasn’t been, and honestly isn’t like to be, a priority. Sometimes when I’m running, though, my pace is fast enough that we just naturally fall in side-by-side. I’ll get that classic dog position/attitude. Right next to my leg, attention on my face. And I’m constantly worried that I’m going to step on him. If he were fully trained to it, it might be okay. Since I can’t trust him to stay there without randomly crossing in front, it just makes me nervous. I’m much happier when he gets a burst of speed and goes on ahead.
How about you–do you run with your dog/s? Do you have any pro-tips for a beginner?