The Road Less Traveled

No post yesterday but I did run. A 4.5 mile tempo run. Tempo runs are runs that start and end slowly but in the middle you gradually increase the pace to whatever is relevant to one’s training. So I ran about 3 miles at 5k pace. I have no evidence of this run as I took no pictures. THis type of run requires me to stay focused on running.

Today though, different story! Gus and I headed to the other side of the valley for a easy 3 mile run. We took a little path right at the get go we hadn’t taken before and it turned out to be a great route. I think I will just let the pictures talk.

I have made this last one before but I had to do it again.

 

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The Road Less Traveled

Running with Gus

Today’s run featured a mellow 4 miler. Nothing really exciting or noteworthy to say about it really. So I think I will write some about running with dogs. I frequently run with my dog Gus as you may have figured out by now. Running with Gus has it’s pros and cons. I love having his company but it does make me run a bit slower and it does take some mental energy to deal with keeping him in line so to speak. Gus and I have spent a lot of time training how to walk and run nicely on the leash. By nicely I mean he can’t pull me, can’t be biting on his leash, running from left side to right side and has to stay focused. A tough job for a lab puppy but we have come a long ways. All of his training has been done with the positive rewards philosophy and clicker training.  In my opinion, there is no other way. It works. So to train Gus to run with me he has had to learn to loose leash walk and heel. Loose leash walk means he doesn’t have to stay glued by my side, he can be a little ahead or behind, as long as he isn’t pulling on the leash. I ask Gus to heel when a car comes. We run against the direction of traffic and so Gus is on the shoulder side- my left when cars pass. None of the roads I run on have decent shoulders, so Gus must be tucked just behind me when cars come.

 

Cars were very distracting for Gus, and at first he would lunge out at them. I broke him of this by getting his attention with treats and making him keep eye contact with me while cars pass. He was taught to “watch me” at the very beginning of his puppy training. This is a very important thing for a dog to learn because if they are focusing on you ,then you have their attention and not something in the environment.

Good boy Gus!

So at first, there were tons of treats given just to make it thru a walk or run but with time he has learned what I have wanted him to do and sometimes he gets treats,which continues to reinforce the behavior and always gets a good boy. We are still learning and of course he isn’t perfect 100% of the time, but we are getting there.

Something I highly recommend for walking big dogs that like to pull is the easy walker. It is a harness that attaches to the leash in the FRONT. This type of harness gives you tons more control vs a neck collar or a harness that attaches in the back. Neck collars can actually cause damage to a dog when they pull excessively. Also, both a neck collar and a clip in back harness encourage a puller to pull more! It is some sort of instinct to pull against the leash that is trying to pull them back. So the easy walker prevents that from occurring. Here you can see the ring in front where you attach the leash.

I have read tons of material that says not to exercise a puppy too hard or on hard surfaces etc….and so it has been hard to figure out just what is too much for Gus. Gus is an extremely busy dog. He is the most active lab I have ever had and we need him to get as much activity as we can delve out. So I have decided that there really is no alternative for our sanity ,he has to go out on runs. Honestly, the pace he goes at while I run is more like a fast walk for him so I have a hard time seeing how it could be bad for him.

 

 

 

Running with Gus

8 is Great!

Yesterday was supposed to have been my long run day but I couldn’t run yesterday because friday I did some poly metric exercises and they made my hamstrings so sore I could barely run up my drive, let alone 8 miles. So, today I did the 8 mile run. I wasn’t sure of a route so I just decided to start running and have Brad pick me up wherever I stopped. He offered to drive me 8 miles from home and then I run back, but there was something about setting out not knowing my exact route that appealed to me.

My first photo ops were these 2 little cuties:

 

Just call me the cow whisperer, these brown beauties had me confused with  that guy that comes around with the truck and feeds them.

Completely random but I am a Leo so I do like this sign and yesterday I read that Regulus, the brightest star of the constellation Leo spins so fast that it has an oblate shape.

About 4 miles into the run I had a decision to make. I could turn around and run the same route back  home, or I could choose between 2 different routes .One of which, was running along the highway. THere is a path that is separate from the highway but runs right along side it. So while you do escape the danger of being hit, you can’t get away from the noise. I opted to run along the highway. Ugh. I know. I decided that it would be good mental training. I did have to run on the highway for about 1/2 mile before the trail started and that wasn’t much fun.

Huh, this truck isn’t from around here.

There was this pretty purple mailbox though.

Along the paved path I was happy to find these words of encouragment!

I ended up averaging 9:36 per mile and actually did run one 8 minute mile while on the highway. I think the noise and such was making me a little frantic. It was a great run all in all and look what was on the side of the trail exactly where I stopped!

 

 

8 is Great!

Plugging Along!

Today’s run was standard issue. Nothing fancy, just a runabout in the hood. 3 miles of pavement, cows and Gus.

Gus decides to have a sit while I fuss with my phone.

I kinda like cows especially when they are young, they are so curious!

They ran along the entire fence with us. Oh, and then there are these birds. Brewer’s Blackbirds. They are extremely territorial this time of year and don’t hesitate to bomb you. Brad was hit in the head by one last summer.

Plugging Along!