Some of you out there may be asking, "So are you still running?" The answer: Yes. I'm still kickin' it about 4-5 times a week. Still not using the Garmin, still taking it day by day, still changing routes up, somedays with the iPod, somedays without the iPod. Actually, David and I will participating in a 5 Mile Poker Run next weekend. So things are going well. In addition, I believe I have a new running partner.
A week or so ago, I started to have a light bulb go off. I read an article on a blind runner who runs with a guide dog. I could only think, "I'd love to run with a dog." Then I was talking with my coworkers at work about trying to get our kids more exercise and they encouraged me to take them out for more walks. Once again, leading me to the thought of taking a dog along for my runs. I couldn't help but hesitate knowing that running with a dog wouldn't just happen. It'd take time and patience. So, who do you think was the best candidate out of all of our kids? Not Lily. Poor girl loves a good walk, but she's a block walker and that's her limit. So that leaves Spencer and Viking? I'm going to say that most people would think it's Spencer, since "he's the runner." Some may be surprised though......Spencer is a sprinter, not a long distance runner. He's good for about 1/2 mile then he crashes. That leaves me with Viking. For those of you who have never met Viking, he's a version of me in a dog. Always on the go, always focused on something. When it comes to playing ball, you will tire before he does. He loves exercise and would benefit from burning off some extra steam.
I've taken Viking out for a run, but never tried longer distances, and never alone. I gave it a whirl this week. We did 2, 2 mile run/walks together this week. When he started going slower I gave him words of encouragement and walked a bit, until he got his second wind, then we'd run again. Mind you, as with any dog, he's a pleaser and if it weren't for me making him walk, he would've tried to keep running, just to keep me happy. Let me tell you, Viking's an athlete. I knew he'd do well, but he did absolutely awesome. He doesn't pull, he keeps up, he's not sniffing all around, he keeps his eye on the prize, and he keeps me company. I'm sure most people would think of me as insane, but I talk to him throughout the run, telling him, "good boy!" or "let's make it to that sign, then we'll walk." Basically all the self talk that I used to do when learning to run. Heck, I still have to self talk sometimes. I must say that I'm not currently receiving the intensity of my runs, since I'm not running the entire time, but I'm getting in the distance and duration. And in the end, I think it's worth the "step back" so that I, along with Viking, can move forward. I'm excited to keep this up to see where it goes.
When I get back from our run I then take each of the other dogs out for their shorter walks. Each of them gets their own time to get out and enjoy the fresh air. It also gives us that bonding, one on one time that they, and especially me, need. Not to mention, it keeps me moving longer.
So we shall see what happens, I may just have a daily running partner. One thing's for sure, I never have to worry about him standing me up.