Feb 25, 2008

runs with dog

at least, i am trying to run with dog. this is mabel. we used to run together all the time. and it was great - cause she is fast as hell and she could run forever. she never wanted to stop. the perfect training partner. our short lived running romance ended the day we were running in the park and a cyclist rode by us - too close and too fast - mabel freaked out and ran in front of me, then stopped dead in her tracks and because we were literally attached at the hip by her leash, i fell over her and the two of us were a crying jumble of runner girl and dog. and even though i was the one with bloody hands and knees, she was crying more than me. i tried to run with her after that, but every time we went out & got passed by a car or a bike, she would freak out & stop dead in her tracks. and because i was always on some sort of prescribed run and pace, i'd spend more of the run pissed off at her for stopping and messing with my mojo. so after that, i'd gear up for runs and ignore her excitement when she saw me put my running shoes on, and i would leave her home. my husband said that she'd just watch out the window and whimper till i got home. after a while, when she realized i wasn't going to take her anymore, she just stopped expecting it.

well. i figure now that i am not on any sort of training schedule, prescribed paces or mileage (and that is still a hard pill to swallow - i hate the willy-nilly lost feeling it gives me ... ok. moving on) it is the perfect time to try and run with mabel again. so we went for a little 3 mile run tonight. and for better or worse, this pathetic 3 mile run in which i had to stop 4 times for either my knee or my skittish dog was the best run i have had in two weeks (since that hilly mofo of a marathon).

i spent much of the run either talking to my knee, or my dog:

to my knee: ooh! look at us. wow, we are doing great. omg. thank you. do you see how nice this feels? don't you get it? it could always be like this. omg. this feels great. i feel great. i love running. this is going to be a good run. oh thank god. its all fixed. we're all better. maybe we can do 10 miles tomorrow and feel normal again. see how happy we can be when we work together? ok. whoa. what are you doing? i hear you. we were doing so great. didn't you feel how nice that was? oh for the love of god, what are you doing? why do you have to mess with everything? pleasepleaseplease. stay with me. stay. with. me. ok. fine. we'll walk.

to my dog: good girl! good girl! this is fun. you are doing great. come on. come on. (approaching car) goodgirlgoodgirlgoodgirl. see! not so bad! you're fine. you're fine. its ok mabel, its ok. its just a car. there. see. you are okokokok. good girl. good girl. see. you like this? maybe you will run on the trails with me someday. oh this is good. you're doing great. ok. its just a car. you want to just stay behind me? that's fine. just dont trip me and run in front of me. ok. that's just another runner. oh, gosh, i wish i could run that fast right now. ok, see. you're fine. goodgirlgoodgirlgoodgirl. what? wtf? there's nothing there! no car! what! why did you stop! for the love of god dog, lets go. you're fine. ok. fine. we'll walk.

despite the stop and go and go and stop, we rounded the corner home - running & happy. i for one, had a huge grin on my face and perhaps mabel did too - i'm not sure. despite the fact that i ran 3 measly miles and had to stop 4 times during said 3 mile measly run, the stops to walk were short, the running intervals were longer and the pain in my knee was more of a dull ache than a pain, and there may be some promise in mabel if i don't take her down the busiest street in town. it was still the best run i have had in two weeks. things are looking up. a little bit. there's still an undercurrent of lost-ness. there's that whole sick sad thing at being blue over no schedule, no exact date of any race or goal on the horizon. but still. things are looking up!

if anyone has any advice on how to run with your dog -
bring it on!!


Anonymous said...

No advice - we've got cats - but, wow, Mabel is a pretty pup! :)

Sarah said...

You should call a local dog training company. They have all kinds of advice on how to teach our running partners to not freak out. It helped me!

Nancy said...

Run. Mabel. Run. Ahhhhhhhh she is just too sweet. So sad that she whimpered at the window for you. How could you?? :D

I hope she can go on more runs. How fun.

house on hill road said...

can't help you with the dog running partner. but thanks for helping me figure things out last night.

RunToTheFinish said...

Glad things are slowly getting back on track... maybe working with Mabel is just what you need to give you a running purpose.

Gotta Run..... said...

You story has broken my heart. i can just picture her at the window as you leave.. hoping...praying that you will come back for her. And the picture... that was just to sweet!!! Lord girl.. you are killing me!!

Have you ever watch the Dog Whisper? We tried a lot on our dog and was amazed how what he teaches work!! I even think he has cd's for sale as well.

Keeping hanging in there! You will be setting your alarm for 4am runs before you know it.

monicac2 said...

No advice on running with a dog, but how about an intermediate/advanced (improve your time) 5K or 10K training program - or even a half marathon? That way, you could follow a schedule, maintain your general fitness, but not have to run as many miles. You could make it a short-term thing - say, a 6 or 8 week program, with a shorter-distance race at the end. Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

Mabel looks like my Murphy!! Way cute!!You need the dog whisperer....

Nibbles said...


Sorry, I have a kitty who enjoys doing sprint intervals down our hallway, but no dog. I really like monicac2's suggestion of signing up for a 5K. Maybe a program like FIRST, with three days of running and two of XT, would help you come back from your injury even stronger by emphasizing muscle groups that running neglects.

I got a heel lift in my shoe at PT yesterday and can already feel the difference! Your blog has been an amazing inspiration as I struggle with problems similar to those you've fought in the past.

And by the way, even though I've never liked dogs, I think Mabel is adorable!