Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What to Wear Running: Running with a Dog

Temp: 25 degrees F
Wind: 5 mph
Humidity/Precip: Moderate/Snowing
Terrain: Flat
Distance: .9 miles

What I Wore: A dog! Who cares what I wore, I got to run with a dog. And not just any dog: a Siberian Husky on a snowy day in Idaho. It was like the Iditarod only much shorter, way fewer animals and on pavement.

Seriously, in all my years of running, I've never gotten to run with a dog that just wanted to run. I've always wanted to but, growing up, we had a West Highland terrier. This is the white version of a Scotty - short legs and very bossy, so when you run, they either try to stop or herd you.

Later, my mom got a Corgi. He was also a bossy herding dog and his legs were so short he made the Westie look tall. My mother is short and a long-distance walker, so these sturdy little dogs make sense for her. But I'm tallish and (was) a runner.

Anyway, I was in Idaho and a friend had this sweet Siberian Husky, Spirit. I had some time after taking my grandma to lunch so I volunteered to take Spirit for a walk. I promise, to all who know I've given up running, I did not intend to run. After all, I was wearing Vans, Levi's, a down parka and this hat:
Me, Grandma Rae and The Monster Hat

When we got outside, the snow was falling, the dog harness was jingling and a big voice in my head said, "Let's run!" So we did. Spirit was all that I have dreamed of when I think of running with a full-sized dog. He stayed close, but didn't bump me. He kept pace, never pulling or lagging. He didn't stop to pee every 20 feet. He never pooped. We just trotted along. Me, grinning like a mad person, wearing The Monster Hat that my grandma gave me for Christmas. It was, in a word, brilliant.

Today, my calves are tight. I don't think Vans are made for running.  It was worth it. Thanks to Spirit, I have a new, wonderful running memory.