Friday, June 6, 2014

Why I Want to Run with a Dog

So I've altered my running schedule a bit to include an extra rest day just before an extra-long run on Saturday. For example, this past weekend, I ran 8.2 miles. Running that far is extremely satisfying, but it does take a toll on my ability to do anything else for the rest of the day. Like walk effectively.

But not only is it physically tough, but it can get just plain boring to run for that long. As I continue adding distance in the weeks to come, I'm trying to think of ways to make things more interesting. There are obviously a lot of options, but my mind seems to have settled on one: I want to run with a dog.

Dogs make everything better. Science has proven that. Pavlov, I think. Playing fetch? Better with a dog. Relaxing around the house? Better with a dog. Getting rid of dog food?

Definitely better with a dog

A dog would infuse my runs with new energy and purpose. I wouldn't be able to slow down, because I'd have to keep up with the dog. I wouldn't be able to complain about the heat, because I don't even have fur.

I see other people running with dogs and I just get jealous. I especially get jealous of those people who run with itty-bitty dogs. Think of how committed a little dog would have to be to run next to an enormous, earth stomping skyscraper that is an adult human. Think of how terrifying. But dogs don't feel that sort of pessimism and negativity.

Dogs just love being outside and going about doing whatever, and I think that kind of energy is one that all runners start with, but it can get buried as running becomes a habit and then just part of our routine.

But I can't get a dog. I live in the city with cats that I do love, but who I could not run with. I haven't tried, but I know enough to know how it would go:

I think I should look into dog walking/running for people. Are interviews for those positions conducted mainly with the dogs themselves? That would be awesome.

The dog-interviewing process is notoriously corrupt.

I'll have to look into this further.

In any case, I really do think that having the attitude of a dog is essential for anyone who wants to get into running. Dogs are the best at truly living in the now, and that's what you have to love. If I think too much about running 8 miles, I get deflated. If I try to recapture how great running in the past was to motivate myself, it doesn't work. But if I obstinately just GO on the run and let my mind wander, I'll eventually start loving how alive I feel and how nice it is outside and how pretty green the grass is and how the wind feels and how I'm a little itchy and how woooooooooo!


  1. Lucy's already trained to run with a runner, so you can take her the next time you're around.

  2. Sweet comic about trying to run with a cat.