Running doggy style

Saturday, I got a call from a friend asking if I could run her dog, Peka, that afternoon. She was caught in a work bind and wouldn’t be able to take her out herself.

Of course, I agreed. There’s nothing like running trails with a dog except, maybe, running trails with two dogs.

So we loaded Peka and Seriously up in the car and headed out to the trailhead. Driving with two rambunctious dogs slobbering all over you isn’t exactly fun, but thankfully we all made it in one piece (though my shoulder was quite damp with doggy drool).

12976886_10154051769274876_145955263055326185_oSerious2When we let them out of the car they barreled toward the trail full force and almost knocked a guy over (and he was a pretty hefty guy, too). We apologized and put them on leashes until we got to the side trails, which were pretty deserted, as we expected.

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Seriously and Peka racing ahead on the Lightening Trail.

We ran up Black Bear Trail and then over to Brown Bear, two of my very favorite trails. No one was around. In fact, we passed only two people once we veered off the main trail. I love feeling as if we have the place to ourselves. The Campbell trails are near the city but connect all the way to the Chugach Mountains so there is a wide variety of routes and technical levels. Once you know the way around, it’s fairly easy to escape the crowds (and I call three or four people a crowd) and run alone with nothing but birch and spruce trees, along with the occasional moose and bear.

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Seriously waiting for us to catch up on the Moose Meadow trail.

It was an easy-paced run day, and I didn’t wear a watch. We ran for about 5.5 miles, and the dogs put in considerably more. Peka never runs out of energy. She’s a one-year-old husky, bred for speed and endurance, and watching her run is like nothing else.

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Skinny Peka, with Seriously behind her. Peka is like an elite marathoner and Seriously is a 10K racer.

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This was pretty much the theme of the run, the dogs charging ahead and impatiently waiting for us to catch up. “Come on, you guys,” I imagined they were thinking, “hurry it up.”

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Seriously, checking out the delicious mud on Brown Bear Trail.

I’ve been running more and more without a watch, and I love it. I base my pace on effort level, not time, and it’s been so liberating. I hadn’t realized how often I glanced at my wrist. Even on easy runs, I’d sneak a look just to see how fast/slow I was going. Why? Because the time was readily available? Because I have a compulsive personality? Whatever the case, running trails without a watch is a beautiful thing. I notice my surroundings more. I notice my body more. It makes for some deep-thinking-in-the-moment runs, instead of worrying about my pace or if I’m as fast as I used to be or, god forbid, a few seconds slower. Whatever, eh?

Have some great runs, everyone, regardless of how fast or slow you choose to go.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Running doggy style

  1. Gail

    I try to run “naked” at least twice a week. At first it was hard not to wonder what my pace was, but then I decided to do the naked (no garmin, no music) running when I took my Irish, Seamus O’Malley with me. These runs are always spectacular for the same reasons you mention. The pictures you took are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cinthiaritchie

      Hi, Gail! Thanks so much for stopping by. And isn’t running without worrying about pace/time a wonderful thing? P.S. I love your dog’s name. P.S.S. Just read your beautiful post on your father and how you never lost your spirit. You go, girl!

      Liked by 1 person

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