Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Running in Circles

Unfortunately, over the past few years I've lost my teenage metabolism and grown to a much larger size than I had ever expected. The weight really does just sneak up on you. I didn't realize how big my love handles had gotten until I started working out and they started going away.

Yes, I've started working out. Gary and I got a gym membership and I've actually put in the effort to use it unlike past gym memberships. But hanging out in the gym is not always ideal. It's really hot and often smelly and it always feels like someone is watching me workout. I also have this puppy at home with an endless amount of energy...

Now, I come from a family of runners so I've always felt like running should just come naturally to me. It doesn't. I'm incredibly slow and I get shin splints and I tend to get bored (I mean the treadmills at the gym have TVs. I can watch as many trashy vh1 reality shows as I want). But as I was watching JD viciously chase his tail and considering a trip to the gym, I decided to try running again. Running with the pup.

A few months ago we purchased a "gentle leader" in a last ditch attempt to find something that would help with JD's relentless pulling on the leash. We had already tried body harnesses and face harnesses with no luck because they either didn't fit or just weren't an effective design. So when PetCo came to town, the "gentle leader" was the first thing I looked for. A friend had recommended it to me last summer, saying it calmed her golden retriever way down and made her a lot easier to handle on walks.

I swear this thing is magic. Before, I couldn't walk JD without coming home with red fingers and scuffed shoes. Now, I can walk him with no problem. A skinny piece of material wraps around his nose, but is loose enough so he can open his mouth and pant or chase balls. Then there's a collar part to go around his neck. The leash attaches to a metal loop hanging down from the nose piece. So if he pulls, his head gets pulled back and he has to look at me and watch me say, "no."

Anyways, walking with him had turned into a joy and now I was considering running with him. I had visions of bloody knees, broken teeth, and being dragged down Riverside Drive. I also had visions of cars squishing him or me or both of us. But I hooked him up anyways and we took off. And he did so well! He stayed right by me at a nice trot (my running speed is like fast walking for him) and was great motivation to keep going because he definitely wasn't ready to stop. He has a bit of a zig-zagging problem, though, so we had to stop a few times to unravel, but the trip was well worth it and he was pooped by the time we got home.

So JD is my new running buddy and as my lung capacity slowly gets better and my blubber slowly starts melting away, we run for longer and longer. I don't want you to think I'm neglecting the other dogs, though. Max is a beagle. He doesn't run unless he wants to run. He would probably just sit down and look at me like, "you're going to have to drag me." Crimson would probably love to go on runs, but he has back problems and will get really stiff and rickety. So we're sticking with park/beach/around the block walks for those two.

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