Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Reliable training partner
I do most of my training alone. It suits me -- I can do my own pace, make my own decisions, choose my own routes and routines. But sometimes a little company is nice. Fortunately, I've always got a running buddy who's ready to hit the road with me.
The American Kennel Club description of the Labrador Retriever starts: " The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion." They should have added "running buddy" to the list.
Our lab, Ginger, is 6 years old now, going on 7 in June. She's a perceptive and smart dog, who learned long ago that when I got the running shoes out of the closet it meant she might get to go for a run. Whatever her faults may be, she's an hardy and compliant runner. I clip her lead on, and she heels perfectly, matching my pace as she trots beside me.
Neither weather or time of day bothers her -- she's ready to go at the drop of a hat. She's durable as well, never had an injury or problems with heat. Of course I keep things reasonable. She doesn't usually get to go more than 3 miles, which seems to suit her just fine.
Ginger's like any athlete -- she can get out of training as well. When I couldn't run because of my knee surgery I often caught her casting a quizzical glance in my direction, wondering when she would get a chance to go running. And the time off got her a bit out of shape.
We're both coming back strong now.