About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An accident waiting to happen

WARNING..."Do not attempt these techniques yourself without consulting a professional."

(Everything must have a warning label these days and running with your dog is no different)

If you saw me running down the street you would probably say, “Yeah, that’s an accident waiting to happen.” I’m usually dangerously tethered to my 3 four legged best friends. Canines were built to run just as humans were and as soon as my 3 see the shorts and shoes come out they know what’s up. They start to prance around with excitement and Lucy even starts to whine just like a kid in the supermarket checkout line staring at the eye level candy.

There’s no way I’m going out the door without 3 furry companions tagging along, but I don’t mind, as they need the exercise too. Running with dogs takes practice for both them and you. It may seem hard at first, but eventually the dogs will learn where to run in your “pack” and you will learn how to keep them in their place.

Make sure your dog knows how to walk on a leash before you try running. Follow the Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan’s techniques for proper leash technique and make sure your dog Is not running in front of you, but by your side. The key is holding the leash where the dog is only getting about 3 feet, so s/he will stay by your side. You may be able to give her some slack if she is not pulling way out in front of you.

Be careful when your dog gets distracted by another dog, cat, postman, etc. This is when an accident will happen especially if your dog is looking behind you. When this happens they turn their head to look and swing their back end right into your running path. I’ve stumbled several times, but never gone all the way down. I look at this predicament as good training for all those times I have to prevent myself from eating the trail while negotiating a rock garden.

I love running with my dogs as much as they love tagging along with me. In my pack, Lucy is the strong headed one always wanting to be out front. I’m constantly correcting her by giving a little tug on her leash. After 30 minutes of running she calms down and we settle into a groove. Sierra is very calm and just follows along behind Lucy on my left. Taz runs on the right and usually stays beside me.

We have logged many miles together including a 23 miler several weeks ago. They never run for that long in the summer though. I’m very careful to make sure they don’t overheat. Lucy and Sierra once placed 2nd and 3rd in the Texas Fix'em 5K in San Marcos, Texas. They were so excited at the start of the race that it was all I could do to keep them from pulling me down the track.

There’s nothing like hitting the trail with your favorite canine. They will love you for it and you will develop a special bond with your pet. See you on the trail.


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