Dog Jog Blog
My memories of jogging, sprinting and cross country running are not good ones. I imagine being in pain, soaking wet, usually near the back of the pack and with freezing cold red raw legs. The joys of PE lessons in the nineties with ridiculous short shorts! I shudder just thinking about it. These happy memories (ha!) have helped me avoid ever going for any form of voluntary run until recently. I felt surrounded by people who loved running or at least had it as their chosen way to exercise. What was all the fuss about?! It seemed like people so easily caught the running bug and once they’d started they’d talk excitedly about organised runs they’d entered, new routes they’d found and of course let’s not forget PBs.
I’d dropped 2 stone, walked for miles each week and was feeling fitter than ever before. The dark nights were drawing in and the window of time that we could dog walk on a couple of days of the week was really small. “Let’s do a dog jog” were the words that left my mouth. WTF?! Who was this girl? And had she forgotten about the cross country running at school?! “Great idea” was the hubby’s reply. Oh god! But we both knew the dog would love it, so it was agreed. Twice a week we’d do a dog jog.
I donned my Nike trainers, bought when I started walking for extra exercise, some running pants (animal print of course) and a T-shirt. I was ready! We’re lucky to live close to woodland with great paths that are perfect for running and dog walking so Yogi, our Hungarian Vizsla can be off the lead for the full walk. Ideal not to have to carry anything, other than a poo bag tucked in my secret pocket of course. Hats off to the hubby who’s a regular runner, as he took it really easy on me and we did a slow pace the first time we went out. Yogi ran along side us, stopping every now and then for a sniff at something then a quick sprint to catch us up again. He’s trained to a dog whistle which is a real bonus as if he disappears from sight, a quick toot and he’s racing back through the trees to find us again. The route is 2 miles long and includes a hill which my goodness makes for a tough few minutes trying to figure out how on earth to breathe. My first thoughts were that I would have preferred a flatter route but actually the inclusion of the hill meant that I really had to stay focused and keep my breathing under control. I didn’t stop the whole way round and I was so proud of myself.
The second time we went out was definitely easier and after a few weeks I know we’ve picked up the pace. Ultimately the aim is to keep adding some distance and pick up the pace. Don’t get me wrong, at this moment in time I have little or no interest in organised events or achieving personal bests. However, what I do know is that getting out and going for a couple of runs each week is adding to my exercise and getting my heart pumping that little bit more. I feel fitter and I’m burning extra calories while also ticking a job off the list of walking the dog! It’s a winner all round.
I know there are loads of dog and running related products out there such as light up collars, special harnesses, running belts to carry your things in, etc. I haven’t invested in any of these yet so I’d love to hear if you have any specific recommended products you use.