|I am Jake. I am excellent at running. I am|
excellent at everything!
It's about half a mile around the dog park. He and I walked in the light rain, enjoying the gray sky and the cool air. I thought to myself, "This would be perfect for a run." I was scheduled to lift weights today, but I didn't feel like going in. I told myself that a man my age can't be too careful with his recovery time, and that convinced me to take the day off. (I'll probably need to be careful about over-using that excuse.) But out there, alone in the park with my boy, I really felt like a run. I checked my clothes. Polo shirt: unconventional, but passable. Warm up Pants: perfect for a chilly day. Old, squishy Nike trail runners: not what I'd wear for a road run, but serviceable on the grass path. I checked in with my workout partner, "Wanna run, Jake?" he winked his approval, so I stopped by the can to drop in a bag of doody and away we went.
Naturally, it started raining harder as soon as we made the commitment to another lap. The circle starts with a long climb, the only one on the circle, but it is fairly steep. Once you're over the crest, the rest of the loop is a gradual slope down and back around to the base of the hill again. It's a pretty place, you just have to watch where you step.
We did two miles together, four laps around. He kept up very well,and seemed to have a good time. I say he kept up. What I mean is he indulged me as I crept along. He may not be in tip top shape for a Golden Retriever, but he's still in better condition than I am. We took turns leading, with him detouring occasionally when a particularly important smell caught his nose. Each time we passed the gate, he made for it as if to say, "Hey stupid! You aren't going to keep running around in the rain, are you?" But each time I turned the corner, he gamely tagged along.
When we returned to the car, the windows fogged instantly. We waited for the defroster to clear the mist and warm us up, then motored back home to a dry towel for Jake and some dry sweats for me.
I used to imagine what it would be like to have a dog I could run with. Jake and I spent a lot of time together over the last year, and the hours in bed didn't do either of our bodies much good. Today, if felt as if we were helping one another. I finally have a running partner who I don't feel guilty about asking to slow down.
This may turn out to be very good for both of us.