This is part of what makes the Friday runs with the dog so enjoyable. Or rather, what would make them enjoyable if the dog had any interest in running.
The first few times we went out on the roads, she was excited. She really seemed to enjoy the workout, and she was much more calm throughout the rest of the day. The last couple runs we had, though, she didn't seem to like it. I thought it was the weather, but this week, the weather was great. It was sunny, and the temperature was finally solidly over freezing again. Really, it was a great day for a workout.
We got stopped by a couple stoplights at the very beginning, so we didn't catch any kind of pace until a quarter mile in or so, and by then she had figured out what I was trying to do. And she wasn't having it.
She did a lot of grass-rolling, her general sign for "I'd rather be sitting still." When we were stopped at a traffic light at the bottom of the hill (about 1.5 miles), she stopped, looked at me, and flopped on her side.
Part of me was just worried that she didn't have the energy for this, but she didn't seem to be tired out. She wasn't panting, and when she got started, she could keep up with the pace without any problem. It just appears like she's not interested in jogging as an activity, and would much rather be doing something else. Anything else, really.
It really started to bother me on this particular morning. I try not to let it get to me, since it's more important that I complete the miles than that I run them quickly, but it can get frustrating. What had once been a fun activity for me and the dog is now beginning to feel like a chore for both of us. I'm hoping that in the coming weeks, as my mileage decreases, that she'll be more excited to do shorter, faster runs.
As of this Friday morning, though, she didn't get excited about working out until over three miles in. I worry about what other people think when they see me running and a little pup jogging behind, doing her best to look pitiful. It's important that she get her exercise, and since she's not trained enough to go to off-leash parks yet, running is her best bet. Our dog trainer recommended getting bikes, but if she's lagging behind on a run, will she be able to keep up with a bike? Maybe I'm just not fast enough for her. I suppose that's a possibility, too.
It'll just be a wait-and-see situation with this. There are a few things that absolutely must happen, and we will make them work together as best they can.
Our dog must get more exercise. I must continue my training. So, for now, the dog must run with me, and I'll just make sure to keep it consistent and (hopefully) enjoyable for both her and me.
In other news, I've been watching the ten-day forecast with great interest for the last few days, watching the general trends in an effort to anticipate race-day conditions. Then, yesterday, February 20th finally showed up on the ten-day forecast, and for an hour or so, it looked good. High of 71, low of 55, cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. Perfect weather. A little too perfect.
You see, the ten-day forecast is never accurate. It's usually off by a day or two, so if the perfect weather was on the right day, it's actually a bad sign, and the crappy weather surrounding that day is more likely to show up. By the afternoon, the signs had changed. As of right now (Saturday afternoon), it looks like this:
72/51 Rain Showers
Unpleasant. And therefore, perfect.
46 Degrees / Sunny
45 Minutes, 9 Seconds