Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Life with Jackie Blue: So far, so good

There are lots of things didn't know about living with a puppy. For instance, I had no idea they could sleep in positions like these:

I also didn't know they produced so much poop. Seriously. How does one small body produce so much poop every day? I might be exaggerating somewhat but Jackie's poop production is truly impressive.

Mostly, I didn't know that hanging out with a puppy could be so relaxing. A few weeks ago, Jackie and I spent several hours on the back deck together - me reading, her chewing on this and that, and the two of us playing occasional games together. When we finally got tired of being outside, we wandered into the house, flopped on the couch, and settled in for a long nap. Talk about restful.

Don't get me wrong. Jackie's a Jack Russell Terrier so she's smart as a whip with heaps of energy, but most days it seems a good walk, a few training exercises, yummy treats and regular interaction with her humans is enough to keep her contented. Since Husband and I enjoy those same things, it works out well for all of us. She gets what she needs, and we spend a lot more time relaxing.

Of course, it helps that Jackie's so cute. Who wouldn't want to spend time with this wee face?

I was going to go on about all the other great things about having a dog until I found this article in the Huffington Post, which covers the topic far better than I could. You might want to check it out if you're wondering why people are so smitten with their fur-babies.

In running news...well, truthfully, there isn't much. In May, I ran a local 4-miler in a mediocre time. Since then, life's been too full of other stuff to do much training. My folks' house finally sold after being on the market for three years so Husband and I spent a good chunk of the last 5 or 6 weeks helping them move. In addition, work's been busy and I attended a conference in Toronto the week before last. Added to which, of course, there's Jackie. As much as I enjoy having a puppy, hanging out with her chews up a lot of free time.

Despite everything, I'm still running 3 times a week (more or less) - including a longish run on weekends - but, since I haven't got a particular race in mind, my training's been lackadaisical to say the least. Now that summer's here and the folks are moved into new digs, I'm hoping to set a new goal for fall and get more serious about training. Ideally, I'd like to complete a half in late summer and a full marathon later in late October or November but much will depend on how my body reacts when I start ramping things up again. I certainly don't want to end up where I was a few months ago when I overdid it preparing for Cabot Trail Relay.

Though it's been frustrating to be sidelined this long, I have to admit the break's been good for me. By the time I gave up on training for CTR, my back, hips and legs had been uncomfortably tight and sore for months. Running less and putting my body to work in other ways (packing, moving, gardening) have reminded me that they don't have to feel that way. When I stretch regularly, train properly, and eat and sleep well, my body wants to run and feels awesome when it does. When I push myself too far too fast, running just feels like hard work.

Whatever races I decide to run, my real goal will be to run joyfully - comfortable in my skin, attentive to the journey, grateful for the beauty surrounding me. In a few months, Jackie will be old enough to join me for short runs, which should ramp up the joy factor considerably. In the meantime, I'll do my best to savour the freedom of running solo with no agenda other than enjoying myself.

Happy running! And happy summer!

P.S. The pics above were all take in late April when Jackie weighed just 8.5 pounds. She's more like 14 pounds now. Here's a photo I took while we lounged in the sun together last weekend. She looks like a runner, doesn't she? I can hardly wait until she's old enough to hit the trails with me!