Friday, January 22, 2010

The Struggle is Nothing but Love

Something I've always admired about Goliath is his relentless commitment to running. He doesn't care if it's thirty below, if there's a 20mph head wind or if it's 5am.

Even after our jaunt yesterday, a second walk and a full afternoon of playing-he wanted more. He always wants more of everything, except sleep and food. So where his energy comes from, I'll never fully understand, but maybe one day my home's power will run off it's source. At midnight as I'm winding down and finally getting into bed, he brings me this:

If you can't make it out, it's a squeaky bunny that has lasted in our home for a record toy-life: 3 months. His wanting to play at midnight should have been a sign of things to come.

A bored puppy makes for a completely torn up apartment. I awoke to a newly uncarpeted entry way, and 600 square feet sprinkled with coffee grounds and an array of trash. This is they way he likes things: Chaotic. Dirty. Fragrant. My personal taste prior to being a dog-owner revolved around: Order. Cleanliness. Fragrant,but of the different variety. My life pre-Goliath sat at 90 degrees, and didn't have dust. We now have carpet three shades darker than what it was when we moved in, and have balls hidden throughout the place. I used to anxiously dust because dust exacerbates my asthma and allergies !! Everyday I made sure contents of my closet was in order because I need to know where everything is, at all times!!

BUT this is why we run. We run to counteract the boredom, the pinned up energy and the anxiety. Nearly 1,000 miles later Goliath has taught me that I don't have asthma and that those brown pumps were ugly. The lessons were never easy ones to learn: sprinting after him uphill into oncoming traffic and finding three pairs of "ugly" shows chewed to shreds, but they gave me something invaluable. Peace of mind.

We ran today for both of our sakes. I was angry, and he was smug but we embarked on a quick four miler. The trail we use on daily basis rarely has anyone on it when the weather is bad, or during work hours. Yes, I advocate leash laws but today I gave Goliath a little freedom to roam, for a mile or so.

I no longer wear a pace watch, or a nike+ band that calibrates my pace. I've learned to recognize my pace with how fast his legs move, if he looks like he's walking I'm running a 10 min/mile and if his tail is wagging and he's galloping I'm sprinting.

We run this trail enough, that I do trust him for a short while off his leash. He knows where we stop for splits and he knows which forks we take. I have a special relationship with the trail, it's where I ran my first mile, my fastest mile, where I trained for all my previous races and where I ran my first half marathon. It's runs adjacent to a fresh water creek and goes through "forest" and it just makes me feel like a granola runner.

This was on our two mile split, he introspectively will stare at his reflection while I figure out how to breathe. He'll get impatient for the two minute period, and run in circles around me and try to spar but the next two miles will inevitably wear him out, even if it's just a little. As we neared the accident site from yesterday, I quickly thought about how the impact felt on my ego and face. I decided I'd hurdle it with him this time.

I jumped. He went around. One day we'll get it right.

Today's Mileage: 4 miles
Time: 42:56

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