Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dog Day Predawn Run OR Let's Play "Will This Freak My Dog Out?"

It's funny how when I started this blog, every morning run seemed to warrant a thoughtful and insightful post. Then it becomes routine. Write a post? Meh.

And sometimes things happen.

Today's run was just 3 miles. (Did I say "just"? Yes, I did.) I figure that even though I'll be working on intervals for the longer runs, continuing to do at least 30 minutes of continuous running is still important for my brain; by establishing a habit of a continuous running session, I can tell my brain to keep going when it tells me that I'm tired on a 3 minute interval. (Seriously, I have to think this way.)

So I'm chugging along, thinking about my Facebook page, my work schedule, my training schedule, what I dreamed the night before ... It felt so natural. There was Flow.

You know what you did. Mom.
I get to the halfway point, and I see the sprinklers spraying over my path that I had encountered on a previous run. I decide to go through since it will probably be refreshing. At this point, I forget that my doofy, derpy dog may be a troublemaker at home, but she is a chicken-heart in the Real World.

Things that scare Luna:
  • Small dogs that are aggressive and/or stand their ground.
  • Car rides.
  • Apparently, sprinklers.
As I start through, she moves away from the spray. I pull her through sprinkler #1. When I reach sprinkler #2, she's hiding behind a bush. I call her and give a yank. She pulls the opposite way. Her collar pops off, and she quickly trots ahead of me. I know that if I chase after her, she will dash away in a panic. I call to her, give commands, try to keep my voice calm and low (again, if I yell, there's a chance she will panic). 

Things that I am thinking:
  • What if she panics and runs away? How will I get her back?
  • If she runs away, I'm going to be late to work.
  • Dammit, dog, I was making good time! Now I've got to correct my Runkeeper!
Thankfully, she pauses after we have safely passed the sprinkler line (aka Killer Hissing Spray of Death), and I'm able to wrangle her into the collar again. I'm able to return to my easy pace and keep it up for the rest of the run.

What I learned:

  • When dealing with most creatures, including myself, keep it calm. The yelling thing only makes me feel better for a little while; however, it doesn't ultimately help the situation.
  • I can keep up a pace. I can return to a pace. This is what runners do.
  • Run around the sprinklers, not through, when I'm with the dog. And check her collar too.