speaking of running... did you know that i now have a personal trainer to help me with running? ha!
let me back up - i am not a runner. never have been, probably never will be. but, i've found that i actually do enjoy running as a form of exercise, especially when i can run outside. when i first started running about 2 years ago i could barely make it down the block. i started going out in the mornings with the dogs, and slowly the 3 of us built up our endurance and distance.
after a few months, mike decided that he wanted to run too and so we started running at night, each taking a dog with us. by then the dogs had already developed very different approaches to running. cooper (our pretty dog) ran like he does everything else - very gracefully and elegantly. he knows he looks good running. and reese... well, reese tried. we often compared reese's movements to eeyore, he was just kind of slow, never in a big hurry. and since i also run
like eeyore not so fast, it was kind of obvious that i would run with reese, and mike would run with cooper.
reese was my running buddy - when i thought that i needed to take a break, he was right there with me. i always felt that he thought that we were in it together, pushing ourselves to go further and go faster. we both kind of struggled, but in was ok. meanwhile, mike and cooper where off running miles upon miles at their super fast pace. (and looking good while doing it!)
after reese passed away earlier this year, the first couple of times out running this spring were weird. who got the dog? mike, being the nice husband that he is, seemed to understand that i needed a dog, and i started running with cooper while mike when off on his own.
and this is how i got a personal trainer. after running with me a few times, cooper quickly decided that he didn't like running with me. i am apparently too slow and am cramping his style. how is he supposed to look graceful and pretty when he can only manage to do this awkward run/walk while at my jogging pace? unacceptable. so he has taken it upon himself to "encourage" me to run faster. what does this mean exactly? this is what a typical outing is like:
- i do not get to warm up by walking a block, i do not get to stretch. we must start running the second i hit the bottom step of the porch. if i try to walk, cooper will start to freak out and run around me.
- once we start running, cooper will run out in front of me and yank on the leash, trying to get me to go faster. he's not really constantly pulling as much as he makes these very deliberate movements clearly telling me to go faster.
- if i still will not run at the pace that he would like, he will start to frantically bark at me.
- if he can see mike at any time, he will start whinning and barking at mike to come rescue him.
- if around other people, i tend to get embarrassed because it now appears that i am torturing this poor beautiful dog, because why else would he be all loud and freaking out??
- sometimes, we run in the park. the problem with running in the park is that cooper will try to find other (faster) people to run with instead of me. doesn't matter that he doesn't know them, if they run faster than me (and most people do), he will try to leave me to join them. he will actually turn around and run the other direction if these faster people run past me. he also tries to get their attention by barking at them. and if they are running faster with another dog?? game over. he becomes even more frantic.
- at this point i should note that if he runs with mike none of these things happen. or, if we are going for a walk, he does great! he knows how walk on a leash, he doesn't bark, he is so well behaved the rest of the time.
so what do i do? i start running faster. if i run faster, he doesn't bark at me as much and he doesn't try to leave me for other runners. of course, if i run faster that usually means i need to stop and walk every so often. this seems to be acceptable to cooper, but i only get about 30 seconds before he has decides that i've had enough of a break, and the barking starts all over again. it is really like he's my trainer. he yells at me and makes me feel bad about myself all in effort to keep me moving.
on the plus side, i've managed to cut about 2 minutes off my mile pace.