Yesterday I ran five miles on the Ossipee River Trails. Kevin had tweaked his hip the day before and planned to walk at a leisurely pace, so he brought along my extremely old Springer Spaniel, Bart. He gave me a head start before letting Bart off the leash. I felt great and ran at a pretty fast pace. When I was about a mile and a half into my run, I met up with Kevin at an intersection. Right away I saw that he had lost the dog. Kevin told me Bart had taken off after me as soon as he was let off the leash. This was surprising, considering that walking Bart these days usually involves a lot of coaxing and prodding just to keep him moving forward.
I said, "I'll back track and see if I can find him." I knew this wasn't going to be easy since Bart is deaf and doesn't see well. What were the chances he had been able to stay on my trail? Kevin said, "He's probably right behind you, he was moving pretty fast." I thought there was no way that deaf blind dog in his late teens was right behind me. He had been a hell of a good running companion back in his day, but let's face it, he's really really old now! I turned around to back track and there he was, looking happier than he has in years. Goes to show you, once a runner, always a runner! Bart needed to be carried up and down the stairs last night (I've felt that way myself at times), but he seems fine today.
Today, I set out in the rain for a long run on the Standish rail trail. Temperatures were mild in the upper forties and the rain was gentle. I felt very good and averaged about 8:30 pace. I ran an out and back with 6 miles on dirt road and snowmobile trails and the other 12 on paved flat multi use trail. The last mile back to my car was uphill on soft dirt. That was the only time I felt a little tired. Whether I ever get gong ho about racing again or not, it still feels very nice to be in shape!
This is an extremely busy time of year at work for me. Getting my runs in has been a challenge. My toughest work stretch starts on Wednesday with 5 twelve hour shifts in a row and on-call at night. I'll do my best to get the runs in, but I refuse to stress over it. I'm aiming for 53 miles for this week. Wish me luck!