I’m having a nightmare trying to achieve my 75 miles in January. I was blaming the school holidays but now the kids are back at school I’ve found another obstacle in my way – the dog!
I love my dog. In fact she’s still only a pup at 10 months old. My lovely chocolate labrador, Poppy. She’s intelligent and friendly and oh so energetic. Sounds like a great match for a runner but here’s the thing – dogs can’t go out on people runs until they’re a bit older. It’s got to do with their bones still being soft. Now you see my problem? I have an energetic lab who needs exercise and stimulation which are separate to my running. Bearing in mind that I have to carefully manage my physical activity to make sure I don’t overdo it (because of the mental health stuff) and I’m really stuck.
Sometimes I take Poppy out on a dog jog. This is 1-2 miles off lead where I jog slowly and she faithfully follows me around, leaping and bounding like the lunatic that she is. We both really enjoy this and it does tire her out but it’s not really proper training for me. Yes, it’s another mile or so logged, and it’s nice, but it’s been chugged slowly without challenge and does usually involve a poop scoop pause. Yesterday we did a lovely 2 miles so I thought we’d try and do a mile today. It was a fail. A huge fail.
Poppy is either a complete angel or a total devil. Today was a devil day. Off her lead she bounded away, ignoring my whistle. She has quite a reputation locally and it’s not something that I’m proud of; Poppy the jumping dog. I joke that she’s part kangaroo whilst wrestling her off of people, thoroughly ashamed of myself. She is just so social and friendly and wants to say hello and play with everyone regardless of whether you’re a chirpy terrier or a pensioner struggling with shopping.
I need to get control of my dog. I know that.
I’ll look into trainers (dog not running) and investigate classes but these will take time and money. I feel like such a failure. We did obedience when she was younger, which is probably why we do have those angel days. Trying to fit in running with so much dog walking is becoming impossible and it’s making me feel very sad. My dog deserves the best. I know that her behaviour is more of a reflection on me as an owner than on her.
Having done a dog jog mile this morning I had planned to go out and do at least 5 miles properly this afternoon. I’m sat here in my gear and truthfully I just do not see it happening. I’m beat. I’m trying to figure out if its physical (in which case rest) or mental (in which case haul arse off of sofa). I suppose it’s only midday. There’s time. Time to squeeze in another 50 miles this month? Well, that I do not know. We’ll see.