Saturday, September 5, 2009

Running with Dogs...

My guest blogger's animal focus is usually the wildlife she spots on mountain bike trails. But now she is spending less time on the bike and more time with her dogs in a manner typical of an athlete...
MA Beagle.

Running with Dogs....
Hmmm, that sounds like a way out band or cult movie. But no, its the intricacies of running (with dogs).
I haven't been able to get back on the bike for a whole pile of reasons but mainly, I just don't feel like it. Also, I now prefer to ride my road bike for a change but that group has disintegrated and I will have to attach myself to others soon. Spring is here and I don't want to miss out.

So in the meantime, I am running. Carefully at first as I don't want a re-occurrence of the calf problems that plagued me before the Freedom Challenge. So I have built up oh so slowly. The upside is that the dogs have been able to join me with a slow build up in their fitness too.
I admit they have been under exercised and must be completely bewildered by this change in their fortunes. The problem is always leaving one behind. They just don't get it - "tomorrow is your day". So, after locking one hysterical dog in the house (to be let out once I have left), I head out with the other 35kg of dog muscle raring to go.

Nyx is pretty cool. Essentially a timid dog unless there is a gate between her and the "enemy", she jogs along without tugging on the leash. She's not much interested in the cacophony of dogs barking at us as we run past and is quite ladylike with her ears alert and neat foot action. But every now and then, she stops or swings in a circle to check on me and I have to do some fancy footwork to avoid being tripped up.

But Trinity, oh my. She stares down every dog as we pass, superior in her attitude that she is out there and they are, well, in there. She pulls on the leash until we hit the first hill and only then begins to slow down to a pace I feel comfortable with. I must admit to acting the dead weight to get her to tire sooner. She runs in a straight line with the occasional bound at some dog behind a gate, but a stern "LEAVE!" brings her back on track and we're on the way again.

This week, they have graduated to the 8km route which is interspersed with stretching sessions.But what a treat for them as this route passes the local river and I let them off the leash for a swim. They just radiate joy stretching their legs at speed and lunging in and out of the water. I swear I hear them laughing. Then it is my turn to keep jumping out the way to avoid have water sprayed on me as they shake their coats.

And then its time for the home stretch and the reunion with the dog left behind.
--Posted By Santacruzrulz to Dash For Freedom

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