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Running With Molly

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Molly has become increasingly difficult to run with.

The Position

It’s not like I’m running all that far (8-10 miles) or that fast (~8:30″/mi) or that she’s that old (4 years in June), but she’s lately begun to lag as far behind me as the leash will allow, which means that I’m literally pulling her along the trail.

I think it happened over the winter, when I would break trail (in snow) on the mountain. Occasionally, while she ran in front of me, I would slip and fall, and this alarmed her. Now she lags behind as far as she can when we’re on the trail, and this is frustrating.

I’ve run a few times this summer without her, and, frankly, it’s been nice. I’m significantly faster (i.e 4-6 minutes on 5K, 9-12 minutes faster on 10K). I have less to worry about. I don’t find myself frustrated because I’m dragging something along behind me. But I miss having her with me. If I could run with her off-leash, it would be different, but our city has stupid leash laws with no allowance for certain days of the week off-leash on the trails.

I’m thinking that I’m going to run without her more often. It’s not like she minds; she just goes back to sleep with Shelley.

But I feel bad. This is something that we have done together for years now, and I want to take it away from her–or me.

I’ve been trying to train her to run in front of me, but she’s too slow even then, and I wind up kicking her feet (whether intentionally or no), which makes her reluctant to run in front of me. The trail is often too narrow for us to run side-by-side.

I really want to run with my dog. But I do not want to drag my dog around on the mountainside.

I don’t think I’ll run with her on my 10Ks anymore. This is partly because she is so slow and partly because it’s heating up and I worry about her. But I also think I’m going to cut back on my weekday 5Ks with her to 2-3 times a week.

We’ll see.

[Update: I just ran my 10K loop without Molly in 55 minutes. I ran it Tuesday with her in 1 hour 13 minutes. In other words, I’m nearly 20 minutes faster on 10K without her.]

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Written by srogers

June 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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