Monday, August 12, 2013

Choose Your Running Partner Carefully When Doing C25K

 I recently confessed that I have officially begun the “Couch to 2K” program. I also explained my running partner is our 1 ½ year old Heelie (Heeler/Collie mix) puppy.  She is my shadow. About 6 PM at night she starts whining. She’ll start pacing and go sit by the front door – our normal exit to go for our evening run. By 7 PM, she is just beside herself. She’s whining, and she’s talking with an occasional bark. If she sees me get my tennis shoes on, there is dancing in circles. When I start stretching, she is running through my legs in circles, attempting to lick my face, and doing everything in her power to wheel me closer to the door. I get through with my stretches, and it’s time to exit the building. Sunni (that’s her name, aka Big Baby) has on a choker collar and leash. For the first 100 yards or so, she’s pulling me until she realizes she can breathe easier is she slows down.  Then my Iphone dings and this bossy woman says, “Begin running.” She really is a bossy so-and-so, and while her voice might be pleasant, her message isn’t.

Now my dog is a mixed breed. She’s a heeler and a collie. Both breeds are very smart. Both breed are herders by nature. When the kids are in the back yard or anyone she wants to play with, she will come up from behind and wrap her front legs around them…literally wrap her legs around you. Goofiest thing I’ve ever seen a dog do. For the most part, Sunni has been an excellent running partner, but she is still a puppy, and sometimes we have ADHD issues…rabbit, black cat, squirrel. I run out in the country, so we have encountered each of these.  Typically, Sunni is to my right. The one time she caught sight of the black cat darting back into the woods it happened to be on my left. Yes, that means she crossed my path.

Now, I need to explain to you about my history or running and more specifically running with a dog. My first baby was a Shepherd-Chow-Heeler mix, and when we lived in Plano, I’d run her down to the park and let her play. On the way back, I could drop her leash and she’d stay by my side. One time Patrick decided he’d walk with us to the park and walk back. It was when we were returning that the calamity occurred. I told Patrick I would be running the last 100 yards with Kelly (that was her name), and I’d see him at the house because Patrick didn’t run. So, Kelly and I ran out the last 100 yards, and as I was crossing the street to our home, Kelly spotted Patrick who was already on that side of the street. When Kelly saw Patrick, she darted in front of me, wrapping her leash around my feet, pulling them out from under me. I went down like a load of rocks. My shoulder dug into the Texas red clay, and my head bounced off the clay. I couldn’t brace for my fall.

Patrick ran up with Kelly, laughing his head off, telling me to get up because the neighbors were out. I told him in no uncertain terms to not to touch me and to take care of the dog. Upon his return, I had managed to sit up and realized I was quite hurt. We went into the house where I tried to take a bath. When we realized the problem wasn’t getting any better, we decided I needed to go to the emergency room because  I couldn’t raise my right arm. He had to help me dress. I had put on a button-down shirt and had grabbed a pair of shorts. I asked him to pull the shorts up, and I began to move my hips side-to-side. Now, you have to remember this is early on in our marriage before children, so this whole concept of moving the hips to get the shorts over them was a new concept to him. In frustration, he told me I needed to wear something with elastic in the waist. I asked him to pull on the hem to take them off. As he began to pull, he asked if I was going to do the side-to-side hip thing. I told him, “No, that’s for when you put on the shorts. You squeeze to take them off.” I thought that was going to do him in right there.  We did make it to the emergency room and were told I had fractured the bone where the ball goes into the shoulder joint and that it looked like the tines of a fork. LOVELY!

So, here I am running with Sunni on these rural roads keeping her on a short leash when the black cat darts back into the woods. Sunni begins to bolt in front of me. I start losing my balance, but thankfully, I catch myself before face planting the roadway.

Should you decide to start the Couch to 5 K program, a word to the wise, “Choose your running partner wisely.” My daughter flaked out, and my dog makes the run more of an obstacle course for the unbalanced. But I guess I’ll continue to run because otherwise, this obnoxious dog will continue to whine, cry and talk to me until I do. She’s an excellent motivator. She’s relentless. She’s a good running buddy.

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