I've spent the past couple of days getting back to the norm. I was excited that Jerry didn't have to work, so we could spend some time together. We didn't do anything super interesting, but it was good to spend time with him after being gone for five days.
While I was gone, the snow melted! I was really happy that it's gone, and I hope it's gone for the season. The mud for the next few weeks won't be fun, but I'm glad that the roads are clear. Now that the roads aren't full of ice, I can run outside. Yesterday, it was pretty nice outside (mid-30's), so I decided to try taking Joey for a run with me. I've been reading everything I can about running with dogs, but I was still nervous to give it a try.
I had four miles on the schedule, but was prepared to shorten it if needed (if Joey got too tired or it just wasn't working out well). Labs are apparently one of the best breeds for running, so I hoped he would handle it okay. I took him to the State Park, so that we wouldn't have to deal with car traffic, and I put his no-pull harness on him.
We started running the bike path, and at first, he seemed a little confused. He looked back at me a few times, and was crisscrossing in front of me, but after a quarter mile or so, he did awesome. He didn't stay right at my side, but we can work on that later. Instead, he stayed ahead of me--but not too far--and the leash had a fair amount of slack.
He really seemed to love running! It was much easier to keep him from pulling on the leash than when we walk, and he didn't get distracted nearly as easily as when we walk. I stopped each mile to let him sniff around for a minute and go pee. I had been thinking we'd have to cut the run short and do the 5K loop, but he was doing so well that we went for the full four miles.
We saw another black lab on the trail, who was off leash, and I was really impressed with the fact that she heeled when Joey and I ran past. She looked like she wanted to run, but she stayed put next to her owner. The only time Joey really got excited and out of the "running zone" was when we saw a couple of squirrels and when we passed a man who was walking the trail. It took a second to get him back in the zone, but it wasn't too difficult at all. I was really impressed with how well he did on his first run!
Not exactly consistent splits, but maybe we'll get there ;)
Speaking of Joey, we noticed that he's been shedding like crazy for the past couple of weeks. I don't know if dogs have a "winter coat" that sheds when the weather turns, but it was getting a bit crazy. I bought a "Furminator" to try on him, and I was stunned at how much fur came off. I brushed him for a good 20 minutes, and his fur seemed so much thinner when I was done.
Phoebe was totally fascinated every time I "ejected" some of the hair from the comb, which is why she's sitting next to it. It doesn't even look like that much fur in the photo--it was a huge pile! I had tried the Furminator on Paolo a couple of times, but it didn't work very well (he was so old that his skin was very thin, making it difficult). It was so much easier to use on Joey, and I couldn't believe how well it worked.
Last night, my brothers and sister-in-law, Becky, came over. Brian and Becky were in town just for the night to look at some properties for sale, so they came over to visit; and Nathan was off work, so he came over, too. It was a fun impromptu get-together!
During the night, Eli came in and woke up Jerry and me to say that he wasn't feeling good. He was coughing quite a bit all night, so I kept him home from school today. I'm surprised he's sick again! He just got over being sick last month. It seems almost inevitable that I get sick whenever Eli does, too... I really hope not!
Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, I didn't gain any weight in Portland! It's not unusual for me to go away and gain 5-10 pounds, so I was really happy to see that I hadn't gained anything. I was just careful not to eat too much, and I didn't do any snacking (I ate a small breakfast, and then lunch and dinner were restaurants). I really liked not snacking (I felt better that way), so I am going to try and continue with that at home. I'll just eat larger meals so I don't get hungry in between. I am going to be counting Points, though. I went to bed yesterday feeling empty, but not starving. My goal right now is to just consistently count my Points for a few weeks in a row--if I can do that, then I know I can do it long term. It's the first few weeks that's the hard part!