Our Lady of the Trails

Stop it Lady. Just stop it right now. You're too much.

Sup ya’ll.  So as I mentioned, I’m getting dangerously close to enjoying running.  In large part, I enjoy it because it’s getting easier, but what I’ve really enjoyed lately is the thrill of exploration.

Since my weekday running is less serious than the weekend stuff, I get to take Lady along.  For those who haven’t met her, Lady is a ball of energy in dog shape, enemy to all frisbees, and runner extraordinaire.  Once we are safely across Stanyan and into the park, I let her run free, and she will spend the first 30 minutes dashing about like a crazy person, sniffing and sprinting and chasing birds like a cracked-out squirrel with delusions about its size.  She’s an inspiration to all runners, because she can do it faster, longer, and will enjoy it more than you.  Guaranteed.

What I have been doing lately is taking Lady through some of the lesser-known regions of the park.  I spent most of my time along John F Kennedy Drive when I first started training, but now I am taking any and all manner of paths and twists and trails and turns, exploring botanical gardens, redwood forests, lakes, pine trees, and polo grounds.  Lady, who can’t seem to focus for more than a heartbeat, consistently will take the wrong trail, realize her mistake, and sprint full-tilt to catch up to me, only to over-run her target and end up on the wrong trail again.  The look on her face as she pounds the ground to catch up is indescribable.

The net result is that Lady poops out in about the time it takes me to get back home, and we both lie docilely on a giant bean bag, panting and sweating respectively.  The difference is that Lady is ready to go again twenty minutes later, while I will be frying up sausages or microwaving potatoes.

If you’re considering getting into running, and you have a dog that is under reasonable voice control, and you have trails accessible, then by all means do it.  You and your pooch will thank each other, and that’s a promise.

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3 Responses to “Our Lady of the Trails”

  1. Aww! It sure changes the experience of running or hiking when you are not doing it alone.

  2. Aaand here’s where I get jealous. My pathetic pooch, whether it be due to his laugh-worthy short legs or his more-than-unimpressive attention span, can’t even keep up on a TWO MILE RUN. No joke. Oh, and we have no recall on him, either. So, I only take him running if I’m feeling up to the challenge of dragging Amos on a leash behind me (physically exhausting and MADDENING)… which isn’t very often, I must say. Glad you have a trooper of a running partner!

  3. I think of myself as her running partner, not the other way around…

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