What is it that makes me a dog magnet when I go running??
(That's a rhetorical question. No comments from the peanut gallery, please.)
I had the company of a golden labrador for seven miles on today's long run. (Okay, okay... maybe I'm exaggerating. It was probably more like 6 3/4 miles.) He picked me up about three minutes into my run and stuck with me the entire time. I tried my darndest to get him to go home, but he completely ignored me. For awhile, I was quite annoyed, as I found myself feeling the duty to holler at him often to stay out of traffic. But when we made the turn onto a much less traveled road, I relaxed a bit and did my best to ignore him. Other dogs would come out to greet him and I kept thinking he'd ditch me, but ten seconds later, there he was next to me again. He'd run up ahead 30 yards, scoping things out, but always glancing back at me to make sure I was still there. Despite my better senses, I eventually started talking to him, making polite conversation about the nice running weather and whanot. On the way back home, he seemed like he was taking on the role of protecting me, running out at other dogs and even horses grazing in their pastures as we passed by. If I had slipped on the ice and broken my ankle, I wouldn't have been surprised if he darted into a house somewhere, called 911 and given directions for the ambulance to find me. But when we passed his house on the way back home, he finally abandoned me without a second look. Hmph! And I thought we had something special...
It's been an otherwise interesting first week of training as my body has been very lethargic after a couple late nights over New Year's weekend. My shorter runs were indicative of that, but my long run today felt strong and relatively easy, especially considering it is the furthest distance I've run in over two months. I'm confident the coming week will be even stronger once I catch up on some sleep and really dig into the mode of training again.
I really need to find some dog-free routes, however.