Tuesday, March 13, 2012

That Last Turn Home

It started out with excitement no matter where we went.  Going outside?  Yippee!  For a run?  Super excited.  Then it became, "Oh, we're only going for a walk".  And "Oh, but that was only a short run".  Ok, so maybe those weren't the exact words Tucker might have been saying in his mind, but I can assure you his body language tells all.  And I think he's become a bit of a spoiled runner dog, what with marathon training and all.  He's become a little mileage maniac!

All runs start the same - extreme exuberance as we start out in a near sprint before I slowly hold him back from dragging me down the road.  His form starts with pushing off his front 2 paws, before slowing to what would appear to onlookers as a fast trot.  Usually, each paw moves individually.  Except in the case of squirrels...dreaded squirrels.  So once we are out on the trails and running as usual, he finally falls into his standard pace, which varies between being slightly behind me (usually on hills), to just even at my side, to pulling the way in front.  When we are running, all is good in the world for both of us.

I might be happy, but I ain't goin nowhere
Given my increase in total volume from marathon training, my regular easy runs had increased from a typical run of 4-5 miles to upwards of 7.  So it had been interesting to see how Tucker had been able to handle it.  Given it was winter, I think it was pretty easy for him.  With a few warmer days thrown in, I've noticed a significant drop off in his ability to run, so we usually will cut the run short if he is dragging.  And now that I'm recovering from the marathon, we haven't run at all yet since the race.  So he is back to being a depressed dog when we "only" go out for a walk, even if some of the walks are 2 miles.

But once I started my taper, I started noticing a trend.  Once we made that final turn toward home and it was clear that the run was ending (clearly prematurely for Tucker's taste), he would stop like a rock and not want to go one step closer toward home.  And now I've started noticing it on my walks too now that it's nice out.  I need to find an alternative route to see if he still reacts the same way.  Gotta keep experimenting to see if I can outsmart him!

1 comment:

B.o.B. said...

he is too cute. and obviously, a very smart guy.

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