This morning, I got up at 5:00 to get a morning run in. I got up, got dressed, strapped on the heart rate monitor and forerunner, and trekked downstairs to leave. My dog saw that I had on my “weekend hat” and quickly got up from her doggie couch and bounded over to me. My weekend hat is a Mizzou visor that I usually put on first thing in the morning (in order to avoid fixing my hair) and then I usually take the dog on a walk. She recognized the hat and sat with pleading eyes looking up at me expectantly.
“Crap, I don’t want to take her” I complained to Rick “she ruins my running form.”
More pleading eyes. Long sigh. “Oh all right, you can do my warmup with me, then I’m dropping your butt off so I can work on my cadence.”
Rick smiled, he knew I’d give in.
I strapped the dog on the leash and headed out the door. Bunnies and squirrels were everywhere and she happily jumped and sprinted at them all, pulling me with her.
“Zone 1 Piper, I have to do my warmup in ZONE 1!” I pleaded as I tugged on her leash. The dog, simply stated, just doesn’t know how to pace herself, nor does she care, she would run full out if you let her. Oh I taught her how to heal, and she does fine when we are walking, but for some reason, all bets are off when we run. This is why I never take her. My shoulder was aching after being pulled and yanked for the first mile and my heart rate was borderline zone 2-3. I was getting ready to complain and tug on her again when she suddenly stopped, squatted and took a poo. Luckily, I had brought a poo bag, but now, I had to deal with the dog and a bad of turd. AGAIN, this is why I don’t usually take her when I run. I bent down to scoop and feel more tugging and yanking on the leash. I look up and she’s rolling in something. I groaned knowing that means she’s rolling in something dead, but upon inspection, I didn’t see anything.
We take off again, the dog happily leaping at rabbits and me, trying to contain a full bag of goodies. She finally settles into a nice pace and I notice that my heart rate has settled into low zone 1. Perfect. We manage to jog quietly for the next ten minutes and then she squats again. I look down at my forerunner and see that we’ve only gone 16 minutes into the run. She has taken two poo breaks in 16 minutes. I didn’t have a second bag, so I decided that I would come back for it later. Right now, time to drop her off at home and work on my strides.
I passed her off to Rick and ran back out the door. Free at last. I start working on shortening my strides and working on my cadence. I count my footfall on one leg for thirty seconds and come up with 49, which means that I am getting in 196 steps per minute. I do this several more time, each time trying to quicken and shorten my stride, while still trying to keep my heart rate down. The next couple of times I come up with about 200 steps per minute. I was just about done with the run when I remember the poo on the other side of the park. I am a good neighbor and I always scoop, so I ran back and grabbed another bag and proceeded to look for the pile. I found it, scooped, and headed for home. By this time it is almost 6:30 and there were several people in the park. I get more then a few odd stares as people see me running, no dog, but with a bag of poop. I was very glad to be done with that run.