Tag Archive for running with dogs

Total of 5 miles this morning – tried a few new things this morning – felt good!

Not too long a run this morning but still pretty good – I tried out a few new things that seemed to work pretty well for me.

First off I went for a 4.5 mile run without music – I had my phone and headphones with me but I wanted to see how I would do without music pushing my energy level up. For the 12 hour Lemming Loop, I have been thinking about running for the first while without music so that I can save the music energy for later when I need it. Basically just enjoy the first part of the run as wander through the park. In theory, this would have me go out a little slower at the start and have more energy for later. But first I had to check to see if me running without music was even going to work (it has been a while since I ran longer distances without music).

And overall I would say that it was a positive experience. I seemed to have a bit of a clearer head and was surprisingly focused. My pace was strong and steady through the whole run and I finished up feeling fairly energized.

I’m not exactly sure why it went as well as it did but I suspect a few things:

  1. My playlists are in need of refreshing – I have used the same playlist for a while now and, as I think about it, I realize that I have been listening to it through some pretty rough runs. It is possible that I am equating the songs on the list to the tough runs and it is messing with my mindset during the runs. Time to refresh the playlist!
  2. The playlist does change tempo here and there so it is possible that my pace is getting messed up as I go from faster to slower songs and back again. Speeding up and slowing down can tire you out and that could be impacting my runs lately too.
  3. I was able to pay attention to what my body was doing better and was able to run at a steady pace and effort because I wasn’t as distracted by or relying on the music.
  4. My mind was able to wander in a better way – I could concentrate but I could also think about other things and as I worked through issues in my head, the run seemed to get easier rather than harder. Mindset thing here.

I will be trying it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke but I suspect I am going to have to put in some regular scheduled runs where I run without music.

The second new thing I tried was to run with both of the pups at the same time. Up until now I have been trying one at a time to get them used to running with me (and for me to get used to running with them). But this morning I decided I should try with both together and see what happens.

Overall, it went well. There are some behavior issues I will need to work through with one of them (pulling mostly but the same one has had some dog aggression issues and both issues are probably related so we are working on that).

On their own, one of the dogs (Arrow) did not want to run because he wanted to be where the other one was (this is not the puller). The puller (Sven) has been a puller since the first run but like I said we are working on that – but man does he ever want to run! The non-puller Arrow loves agility games like fetch but the puller Sven just wants to run.

But having them together went well – Arrow ran a steady pace to keep up and didn’t do anything crazy, just a nice smooth run. Sven tried to pull but he wanted to make sure he was in front but he also wanted to unload and fly. Sven has the most work to do here to get him to pace with me.

We have also seen some dog aggression from Sven, and this being Saturday morning there were a bunch of dogs out. I came prepared for that – I had both pups sit and pay attention to me and fed them treats as a distraction. I did let them move around a bit when the other dogs were near but I had them on short leashes and corrected or distracted whenever Sven started to get wound up.

That went better than expected as in the end I didn’t get any of the growling or nasty barking that I half expected. I guess the training is starting to work but it is an ongoing process. In the end we covered a half mile but it was a good start.

Yeah, so, long story short – not big miles today but several positive things occurred! I’ll take that.

4.14 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill – good solid push after a slacker week.

Tonight was a good solid speed work out – alternating 8 mph periods with 9 mph periods. Finished out 30 minutes with 4.14 miles on the treadmill. Definitely a solid run. It felt good to get moving as I really haven’t had a good running week at this point.

I gave myself a 0.2 mile warm up at 4 mph and 6% incline to stretch out the legs before resetting the treadmill and doing the run.

I also took a 5 minute at 4 mph cool down walk after the run.

I used to do warm ups and cool downs all the time but fell out of the habit – I need to start doing them regularly again. The warm up meant I didn’t spend much of the start of the run working the kinks out and the cool down left me feeling more energized and yet still relaxed after the run. All positive things!

As a bit of a recap for this past week:

I posted about a 10.5 mile run and then another 0.5 mile test run with dogs after on Saturday.

On Sunday I did 13.1 miles on the treadmill practicing run / walk cycles of 5 minutes at 7 mph and 1 minute at 4 mph walk. I need to practice the run / walk cycles more as we are only about 5 weeks out from the 12 hour Lemming Loop and I will need to be doing quite a bit of the cycles in that event. I had planned to go longer but it was getting pretty late and the treadmill broke me mentally. I used to be able to do 20 milers on the treadmill but apparently that wasn’t in the cards that night.

Monday was a planned rest day.

Tuesday, I had some running around to do and didn’t get my run in. Getting to be a common theme…

Wednesday – I decided to take a second crack at running with the dogs – I took Sven out first and he was excited to go…in fact too excited. On Saturday, he ran very well with me with only minor pulling but he kept pulling and trying to lead on this run. He also kept trying to cross in front of me and tripping me up. By the end of a half mile run he was better but I could tell my form was way off. I then took out Arrow and he wanted to go hard too…for about 50 meters…then he kept trying to drag behind and not go. I kept coaxing him to go and we would get going and it would be ok, but then he would drop and sit again. We also had a bit (friendly) pooch who was off leash come bounding up and I wasn’t sure how he was going to react. So I had him sit and he did very well and kept under control (positive points there). But it was a struggle to try to settle into a pace with him as he just kept wanting to stop – basically he just wanted to run free which was not going to happen.

Basically I saw hope for running with both of them but I think in the Sven may be the real runner – the one that enjoys it. Arrow wants to chase Frisbees and balls instead.

I am still playing it by ear but as I watch their personalities, I suspect that my goal of running with both of them together may not happen. They are just too different. I might give it a short try on the weekend as a test.

Anyway, long story short on the dogs is that my legs and back were messed up after those short runs because of the bad form and being pulled in every direction. That blew off any hope of a run on Thursday as I was still pretty messed up.

Tonight’s run (Friday) ended up being a test to see if things had straightened back out…and they had. So, there is yet another thing I need to watch out for while running with the dogs – I need to maintain my form no matter what they are trying to do!

10.5 miles this morning followed by 0.5 miles with the dogs. More thorough recap of my runs this morning.

I got a bit of a late start this morning as I had to wait for some lightning to pass and then needed to confirm that I wasn’t going to get caught out again by the next storm like happened a couple weeks ago.

After putting out some speed last night my legs really weren’t interested in more speed today so I figured I would go slow and steady. There was a good bit of mist as I got going and I figured it should be cooler but I was wrong – things did get pretty warm out there so deciding to stay at a slower steady pace was definitely the right move.

I ran 10.5 miles in 1:44:36 in the end – based on what the gps stuff is telling me I kept my pace strong and steady the whole time. Nice.

As I finished I quickly checked the radar as it was starting to get dark again outside but since it seemed like the bad stuff was holding off for a bit longer we strapped the harnesses on the dogs and decided to take them out one at a time to do a bit of running together practice.

I have never run with dogs before so this is going to be a training experience for me as well as the dogs. Because of this I decided that running with one at a time to start would help me get trained as well without getting frustrated.

We have 2 male dogs (both now fixed) – Sven born on Christmas Eve 2014 and Arrow born on New Years Eve 2014. Sven is the more dominant (not that Arrow is quite ready to let him be alpha) but also the more laid back (and perhaps lazy) so I decided to start with him as I figured Arrow is the faster and the most likely to really want to run and I could give him more time if I ran with him second.

Sven did excellent! He tried to lead a few times but was easy to pull back into line to let me lead. He never tried to cut me off either. Definitely more work to get him fully under control but when we were running he showed no sign of stopping to catch scents or to mark – so that is a very good start.

I paid extra attention to his gait to see how he was running so I could how hard he was working to keep up and how hard he was working. It looked like between 5.5 – 6 mph he was at a light trot and then he would break into a gallop at just over 6 mph. So he should be ok at my standard pacing lately.

I ran him for a half mile and he seemed very pleased with himself when we were done. A positive experience all around. Excellent.

Now for Arrow – I had to pull him back in pretty good right at the start because he wanted to fly but I got him back under control. I fairly quickly had to switch hands with him as he wanted to be nearer the side of the road. Nice that each dog by default wanted a different side – should make it easy to train them to run together later.

Unfortunately, we were weren’t far from the house when someone started using a nail gun and spooked him. He cut in front of me and then turtled and I had to leap him to avoid tripping and face planting – almost pulled my quad. I calmed him down for a minute and then tried to go again but he fought and only wanted to pull away from the direction we had heard the sound. I tried to calm him again and then tried once more. He wanted none of it – so I turned him toward home and he ran well with me back toward the house. Too bad that he only got maybe 0.1 of a mile but I didn’t want to force him and have him be upset every time we try to run.

So I will try again with Arrow and he should do better – he is a very accommodating and eager to please dog so he will get there, but it may take some time.

Looking forward to continuing the train with them – it should add an extra interesting element to my training!