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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Aster the Disaster: running with dogs

Aster the Distaster
Last night I was all laced up and ready to set out for a pedestrian 4 mile recovery run. As I walked toward the door our oldest Siberian Husky Aster howled and whined to me, pleading to get hooked up with this excursion.

When Aster runs with me, she generally falls behind pretty quickly- after her initial JV jump start where she typically drags me down the driveway against my aging stiff sinew's wishes, she usually reaches about 600m and peters out.

An Evening Run
But last night I was able to get her attention and reign her back a little as we sauntered down our driveway, partly for her benefit and mostly for mine. Rebuilding mileage has me cracking open a new exoskeleton for the initial half mile of each run these days. I keep thinking, believing that eventually this period will end and I will progress to "an easy10"... that does still happen right?

With the warm up done I was happy to see that the little girl was settling in to her trot/ jog. Her internal drive prevents her from really easing into a pace that behooves her until reaching exhaustion... then it's a drag fest to make it home- me pulling from the front and urging her to a few speedy steps.

Without a watch I was unsure of our speed last night... just slow and very cozy steps! We reached the first real climb at mile one which goes on for half a mile gaining a couple hundred feet. Upon reaching its apex I could sense that Aster was about ready to turn home... 3 miles would be her fitness limit.

...You Wanted to Come Along!
Warm Winter Evening
But- The Sean had four on the books for the schedule and so onward we pressed... she was unsure about this but I swore to her that 1) this next part was all downhill and 2) there is a creek at the bottom where she could rest and swim.

With our deal struck we meandered down the winding country hill reaching grassy fields.

A few minutes at creek side and with whetted tongue and paw, Aster's spirit was again ready to go. Now back up the hill half a mile... (this was the trick she hadn't seen coming). She trooped onward though and handled things well through the final climb into 3.25 miles even if her tongue was dragging a wet streak on the pavement! I could tell she was having fun and the cool temps made me more comfortable with wearing her out a little bit.

Community Watch
The "finish line" is a community watch sign which sits neglected, miles from civilization and shot full of holes and it marks my cool down toward home. Aster was bushed after our "race" to the finish line and I would guess we took about 10 minutes to cover that final 3/4 of a mile, a great chance to soak in the winter's evening air and calm feeling that set in with a successful easy run.

Arriving home in the new darkness of the night Aster headed for the water bowl, the scraps of baby dinner on the floor and then plopped down for the night of quiet sleep.


  1. Dogs, they never learn how to pace themselves. Probably why we've never seen one win a marathon amirite?

  2. Too funny - "community watch sign which sits neglected, miles from civilization and shot full of holes"

    Enjoyed reading about your run with Aster. I would run 3 miles with our lab which loved to run. He has passed, and now I have two labs which do not like to run, but enjoy watching me run around the quarter mile track around our pond.

  3. Awesome view of a fun time! Very cool! And spring is right around the corner!

  4. Reading about Aster running made me wish for a run with Guinness. Running with Scuttlebutt just isn't the same. :)

  5. Great that you can go for a run with your dog like that. I am busy training our one pup to start running with me.


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