Although my blog is based on “reading and running” I haven’t talked much about running here yet. So I thought I would dip my toe in the water of opening up the discussion about running… as it plays a big role in my life. It’s the activity that keeps me sane, connected, and feeling strong!
There was a point that I ran ALL. THE. TIME!!! I ran every race I could enter… pretty much it was quantity over quality. But as I craved some quality in my running life I realized that scaling back on the intensity that I ran was important, and it allowed me to enjoy the run, and so many other aspects of my life.
As many of you know already, I love to run with my dog, Mellie. But recently she hurt her leg, so our runs have been less frequent and I have really missed them. She’s the one who gets me up and out the door most days! I thought I’d share with you the top lessons that she has taught me about running.
- Patience is a virtue. Teaching Mellie to run was not an easy task. It’s not like one day we just put a leash on and we never stopped running. It took time and effort to get her to become the ultimate training partner that she has become.
- What you ate last night shouldn’t stop you from today’s run. I have seen my dog scarf down a pound of butter, and the next morning jump off her bed to go for a run with me. For her, all that matters is that she loves to run (and that day may require multiple bathroom breaks… see Lesson #4).
- Time is irrelevant. Whether we go out for 20 mins, or 120 mins, she still is wagging her tail, just loving life. The numbers don’t matter, just getting out the door to move is what is important.
- Bathroom breaks are almost always required. Mellie and I have both had babies… most days we need to take multiple bathrooms breaks. Some days more than others!
- A quick stretch before a run feels great. When she knows we are heading out for a run, the first thing she does is jump off her bed and does a quick downward dog. This made me think… how would I feel if I did the same thing. Turns out, pretty darn great!
- Hills are hard no matter who you are. Tall, short, muscular, lean, it don’t matter…. hills are hard, and I see this in her when she slows down as we approach a hill and tucks in right beside me as we start to climb it!
- Bragging rights are clapped back at. Whether I did a long run, a hard run, or workout, she doesn’t care. She still expects me to get up and get her out the day after. Whether I’ve run multiple marathons, or not, she doesn’t care… her sitting beside my running shoes is a way of clapping back at me the days I do not feel like running.
- Drinking water after a run is always a good idea. The first thing Mellie does when we get back is demolish her water bowl. She has motivated me to drink a little more myself.
- Everybody is a runner… it’s not a label. Imagine if you took your dog to the dog park and it just sat still… that doesn’t happen. Every dog is a runner… I’m not saying every human is a runner, I’m saying that every human can run, and being a “runner” is not how we identify dogs… so why do we feel the need to identify ourselves as a “runner”?? We run. Period!
- Run with a wild heart. Listening to your body, and running how it feels good is the best way to run. I watch my dog run and she is all over the place, noticing the squirrels, the bunnies, and sniffing everything. Imagine if we all just stopped to enjoy the run… that’d be pretty awesome, right?!?
Anywho, this is really a tribute to my wonderful dog and the lessons she’s taught me… she’s pretty great, even though some days she drives me crazy! I look forward to sharing more running stuff in the future, and hope you enjoy it.