Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Running with Van Gogh

If you have looked around on this blog at all or follow me on Instagram @letyourcolors_run, you know that I love to run with my dog, Nebby. My family recently rescued another dog, Van Gogh, and I have started bringing him with me on my runs.

Van Gogh
Van's first run was a short 2 miler, and he did pretty good. He has no trouble keeping up with me, and his Great Dane instincts get him super excited to run fast. Since then, I have ran a 3 mile run with Van and, yesterday, 6.1 miles. He is okay but we have lots of work to do. He tries to run way faster than me and ends up pulling me so hard that my arms are sore by the time we finish. He goes crazy if there is another dog around, so much so that I have to stop running to settle him down and keep him from yanking me in every direction. Finally, he is super uncoordinated on the leash and often trips me and cuts me off when we turn corners. Van Gogh is deaf, which makes communicating with him somewhat difficult, especially if he is a few steps ahead on the leash. Our runs are not pretty and not always fun, but we get it done. Hopefully with some more training and lots of practice on the leash, Van Gogh will soon be as good a running buddy as Nebby is.

Final stats from our run
Yesterday was the day I ran 6.1 miles with Van. I had planned to take Nebby to our favorite trail and run two loops for 7.2 miles. As I was putting Nebby's leash on, my older brother said he was planning to take Nebby for a hike and would prefer if I didn't take her. Trying to be a fair (he had to work later, I didn't) and good little sister, I grumpily said okay and let him go. At first I just considered skipping my run entirely, but I knew I would be unhappy with myself and wanted to get my miles in. I didn't want to drive to the trail to run alone, and Van isn't ready for 7 miles. I decided to stay in the neighborhood and run 5-7 with Van depending on how tired he seemed.

Forced a smile after the run from Hell
It was miserable. Van pulled me so hard my shoulders ached by mile 1, he goes nuts when there is another dog around, and I was constantly tripping over him, especially turning corners. I wanted to drop him off and continue running without him, but no one was home to watch him so I just powered through. We finished with 6.1 miles, I cried for a while, and then showered and moved on with my day.

Today I ran completely solo. It felt good to be on my own and pound out some of my leftover frustration from yesterday's run. I am also stressed with final exams this week, and some other things in my personal life are bothering me. I was grateful for the chance to be alone with my mind and run as hard or easy as I needed to at any given moment. Hopefully with lots of practice and maybe a little organized training, Van will become a much better running buddy.

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