|Ike and Bailey know how to run|
Yesterday I ended up postponing my run until the evening because I was lazy and didn't get out of bed in the morning. Both dogs desperately needed exercise, having been holed up all day while I was busy doing very important research. I decided to split them up and take Bailey for the first part of the run, then swap her for Ike for the last 6 or so miles. It would be ideal to run with them together, but that is an impossible task. Their running styles are not at all compatible (Ike likes to run very fast and Bailey is in it for the experience -- i.e. she's slow).
Separating them was not an easy task. Bailey was forlorn to leave Ike behind, and frankly Ike was mad at me. He loves running with me and knew that that was what I was doing (every time I touch the sneakers, he knows). He cried at the door and the Garmin was taking an extensive amount of time to sync. Finally, Bailey and I were off and we ran two laps of a nearby park. Overall, Bailey's running is improving, but you wouldn't have known that from yesterday's experience. She wouldn't budge from her slow and steady 10 min/mile pace and was totally resistant to any efforts on my part to speed things up. In fact, every 5 or so minutes, she would just come to a complete stop and refuse to move as I tugged the leash. So I would stop too, and watch her sniff the air, sniff the grass, and watch some stranger walk by. After about a minute, she seemed to be over whatever it was that initially brought her to a halt, and we would resume our steady plod. A few weeks ago, we ran 4.3 miles together (her personal distance record) and she seemed much more motivated than she was yesterday. Sometimes she seems to really enjoy getting out on a run with me, and other days she just seems uninterested. I can't say I'm not disappointed; I would really love for her to be a constant running partner. I wonder if this is the universe preparing me for the possibility that I will have human children that reject recreational running? That might be a rough pill for me to swallow...
While I don't know whether Bailey loves the running, I know she loves ME! Yesterday when we were on our run, I tripped over my own feet (actually on a wooden step at the top of a rough and steep trailed hill) and went down hard on my shin and hands. Bailey immediately came over to revive me and lick me back to health. My face, hands and shin were thoroughly checked out before she felt safe having us continue. Glad to know she won't leave me for dead if something serious happens. She knows who buys the peanut butter in the house.
Ike, unlike Bailey, has thoroughly made up his mind about running, and he loves it. As soon as he got on the leash yesterday, he took off at full speed like a sled dog. I've found that trying to reign him in is more effort than its worth, so we typically do some or most of our runs on trail so I can let him off the leash. Instead of fighting with him, I usually run hard and fast when he is on the leash, and then take it easier on the off-leash trail sections. It's like a surprise tempo workout!
This morning, I ran solo because I wanted to do a route that had no off-leash sections. Ike knew what was going on as soon as the alarm went off and was really annoyed at me when I shut him in the bedroom and left without him. He's back at his house now, so tomorrow morning it will just be Bailey and she doesn't seem to notice me in the morning. She is a late sleeper.
So that is probably more than you ever wanted to know about the time I spend running with dogs. However, I love them both and running with dogs is a lot of fun and I think it is funny how different their personalities are. And for illustrative purposes, here are a few pictures from their adventures in the park this weekend:
|Ike enjoying a juicy stick|
|Ike chasing Bailey. She probably stole his stick|
|Bailey shaking it out|
|A brief moment where both are still; Ike is concentrating on the stick|