Then I remembered the stupid birds from Monday, and I really didn't want to go. I know it sounds ridiculous to be scared of birds, but they are terrifying when they're squawking and dive-bombing your head. They don't just do it once, either; they will follow me up to a quarter mile down the road sometimes. Running faster doesn't do anything, because they're faster than I am of course, but my heart RACES and it feels impossible to catch my breath. Then, for the rest of the run, I'm extra paranoid every time I see a bird.
Instead of giving up on the run altogether, I decided to do the "Rover Run"--taking Joey with me. I hoped that the birds would be less likely to attack if they saw a dog. Also, we had plans to pick up Olivia (the kitty we are fostering) later in the morning, so I thought it would be a good idea to get Joey worn out so he wouldn't be quite so excited when we brought the cat home. Joey saw me getting on my running shoes, and gave me his sad look, because he knew I was leaving.
I said, "Do you want to come with me?" and he definitely knows what that means. He got crazy excited, and even grabbed his collar off the table in the living room. It was SUPER nice outside--not at all humid like it was on Monday--and I was excited to take Joey on a run.
We ran down the road I thought we'd be least likely to encounter birds, because it has heavier car traffic. Joey has gotten much better on his leash, and when I tell him to heel, he runs at my side fairly well. (If he sees a squirrel or other dog, he starts pulling, but I just say, "Hey!" really sharply, and it snaps him out of his tunnel vision.)
|No idea what I was saying here--probably "good boy"|
About half a mile into the run, a black bird started circling overhead, making the very distinct "Get out of here!" chirping. I decided to completely ignore my heart rate training today, and just run comfortably fast (well, as comfortably fast as possible while running with a dog). Instead of doing the lollipop route I'd planned (I didn't want to encounter the bird on the way back), I decided to take him to the lake's edge at mile 1.5 so he could cool off, and then we'd go home through the marsh.
He was thrilled to stop at the lake and play in the water for a few minutes! Then we headed toward the access road through the marsh. I couldn't believe how overgrown it was--the path has gotten narrower and narrower. I let Joey off leash, and while I ran on the path, he was running through all the brush next to me, zig-zagging around and chasing after birds. There were SO many bugs flying around, and I was really sweaty, so they were sticking to all my exposed skin. But the Rover Run was all about Joey, so I dealt with it ;)
|Joey looks so tiny here!|
It was fun to run through the marsh, but I was relieved to get back on the road. I leashed Joey, and we ran the rest of the way home, for a total of 3.1 miles. Then I sprayed him off with the hose and checked him for ticks.
It ended up being one of my most enjoyable runs in a while! Joey couldn't have been happier to come with me, and it felt kind of adventurous. It also felt nice to run at a faster pace for the second half of the run--not "fast", really, but the pace that I used to call my "easy" pace before I started heart rate training.
Technically, I could have crossed off a few of the runs on my Cookies Summer Running checklist--Rover Run, Trail Run, Beach Run, and Selfie Run--but I decided that I'm only going to mark off ONE from the list for each run that I do. That way, it'll keep me busy all summer. Today, I marked the Rover Run.
Two runs down (Solstice and Rover), and 47 more to go! :)
Everything went smoothly when we picked up Olivia (whom we are now calling Monica). I will write more about her soon! Right now, she's helping me write this post...
|Doesn't she look kind of like Estelle?|