As you know, one of my New Years Resolutions was to get Louie running better on a leash.
Well, the group that I have been running with on Saturday mornings is full of a bunch of people training for this week’s Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon or half, so last Saturday’s run was shorter. Instead of 16 or 18, we stuck with a shorter 10 mile distance and aimed to run 8 of those miles at race pace (for the guys) which is 7:03 or under. Our splits ended up being as follows: 6:45, 6:51, 6:51, 7:03, 6:55, 6:57, 6:51, 6:49. So basically, we crushed race pace. It was actually a struggle to keep the last three miles slow enough because the middle ones were run into a strong headwind so it was tempting (and easy) to drop the pace to somewhere in the 6:30s for the last few miles, but that would have been counterproductive for those trying to get a feel for race pace.
Since I wasn’t tapering, I decided to take the pup out for a run that afternoon, since it’s one of his favorite things to do and having been cooped up with some rain that we had he had extra energy to get out which otherwise gets taken out on various household items, like the cardboard box my food processor came in:
So we headed out. I’ve been walking him to the streetcar line and running ONLY there, because it is free of cars, trash cans, cats, and other distracting and dangerous things. On Saturday, we went exactly 4 miles. You may remember that Lou previously was incapable of maintaining a respectable pace past 2.5 miles, but his average moving pace for the 4 was 7:11! My baby’s becoming a runnin’ dog!
Sunday was absolutely gorgeous. I could just tell that Lou needed to stretch those legs again.
And, because I am an obsessive runner and decided I needed some more miles (later decided that was stupid) I took Lou on a run with one mission: to set Louie’s distance PR! He started out strong (read: pulling me down the streetcar line so badly that the father of a friend driving by exclaimed “Hey look at that dog taking the girl for a run!!”) and surprisingly kept his pace pretty respectable for an entire 5.5 miles!! This was especially cool because I had never taken him out two days in a row before and wasn’t sure how tired he would be. We ended up logging 5.5 miles at an average of 7:19 minutes/mile. Now that’s a good (and TIRED) dog!
I admit, I had to work pretty hard to keep him moving for the last quarter mile, because I really wanted to get to the .5 mark. Next time, he’ll do it himself. Of note is that I was able to take the pup off the streetcar line and run with him in the park and on the streets for the last few miles. All that time on the streetcar line got him understanding what is expected of him when we go running, and he wasn’t weaving all around and tripping me up like he used to when I tried to run on the roads.