Before we were going out for 3 mile runs. At first she completely pooped out the last mile. Then she was strong throughout. Then she wanted to keep going, so today I tried her at four. She didn't complain, she didn't slow, and when she did have to do her, err, dog stuff, she barely stopped to sniff first, just pulled off on the grass then got right back on the sidewalk. I have a good feeling she'll be ready for five.
Lizzie has been beyond brave in dealing with the loss of her sister and my best friend Gigi. I can tell she's depressed, so I'm trying to keep her tired, and running works wonders for both of us. I couldn't help but smile as she lay in the middle of the carpet sound asleep as I was getting ready for work.
This article in Running Times has inspired me to run with her more. The author talks about running with her dog. I agree wholeheartedly, and I'll have to try the interval training thing.
"She's too young to run much; I know I need to give her time to grow and mature. But she gets me out the door, even if it's just for walks. With freedom to choose, I will choose to lie in bed and work--or read novels--all day. Helen reminds me that we both inhabit physical bodies that need exercise and she reminds me, too, that working in spurts is more productive than long slogs.
"We go to a dog park with a half mile dirt track around the perimeter. There I do interval workouts while Helen dashes off to play with her friends. We both end up dog-tired.
"As she ages and is able to go longer, I will push myself to keep up with her. I have found, finally, the perfect companion and training partner."
For Lizzie, my run is a fast walk for her long legs and slender body. It gives me so much joy watching her have so much fun, the wind blowing through her ears and her tail wagging as she takes in all the scents and sights.
Lizzie is 6 years old so I don't know how long she can do this with me, but she'll be my best partner in crime for as long as she's able.