I’m running again! Though by ‘running’ I mean jogging, and by ‘jogging’ I mean moving faster than a walk. I’m quite confident that we’re getting over the distance in a shorter time than we would if we were walking the whole way, but these little legs were not designed for marathons.
We do start off at speed since Buddy is always raring to go when I let him out of the car. My poor knees get quite the wake-up call trying to keep my feet underneath me! It’s in these hair raising moments I learned the hard truth that I can only do two of these three things at once: run hard, breathe, and hold my bladder.
Apparently, this isn’t especially uncommon among runners, so I guess pissing yourself trying to not fall arse over tit is some kind of right of passage. It also means I’m going to invest in a few pairs of those period knickers. I’m going to have running undies! I bet there aren’t many sporting brands marketing undercrackers “for those awkward moments on the track”.
Speaking (well, typing) of “special” equipment for running, after reading some comments by my good friend Heather (trailrun_her) about hydration packs, I ventured onto eBay to get one for myself. (I had one collecting dust until 2020 when I got medicated and cleared out the house. Just one of many things I realised too late that I should have kept!)
I thought I’d hate the extra sweat collection against my back so didn’t ever seriously consider a hydration pack as a solution for feeling pretty damn ill from dehydration by the time I got back to the car – or made it to the water fountain in the park. Buddy has several spots along the river or creek for a drink, so he’s fine. I had to plan our run around where I knew I could get a drink and how far away it was at any point on the track.
Now, with a hydration pack, we’ve been running twice the distance and I definitely don’t feel like I’m going to die within sight of the car, where my water bottle lives. The sweat isn’t as dreadful as I thought it’d be, either. That said, we haven’t really been out on an especially hot day – I wouldn’t do that to Buddy.
I did find that it sounds a lot like how my bladder feels, but that’s something I can fix.
According to Pokemon Go, perhaps a dubious source but certainly more reliable than one of my guesses, we’re doing between 6 and 7 km a day. I suspect it’s probably closer to five, but if Pokemon Go is going to keep hatching eggs via Adventure Sync, I won’t dare question its veracity.
Every morning when I get out of bed and my knees go through their usual snap, crackle, and pop routine I tell myself we’ll just do a short run today. Plenty I should be doing at home, anyway. But every time we reach the turn off for the shorter run, I’m nicely saturated with endorphins and we keep on going for the longer way around. Well, not just endorphins. It’s about then that the ibuprofen has kicked in, too. Nothing like feeling all the aches and pains to make you feel like you can run that 5K after all!
I could probably get sponsorship. Shirt, shorts, and maybe runner underdaks emblazoned with ‘SPONSORED BY IBUPROFEN’. My backside is about the size of a billboard, may as well put it to use.
There is a GoPro knockoff waiting for me to use on these runs, too. I’ve yet to figure out how to control it from a phone – as in, I haven’t tried it yet – and since my brother donated his old Pixel 3a I’m still trying to find everything. However, one day soon I’ll get to add a few running videos to the mix of media, if only to show off what a good running buddy Buddy is. Of course, if running with an action cam results in the kind of footage that requires sick bags, I’ll quietly retire that scheme without mentioning it again. I’m no light-footed elf that won’t even sink in snow. I’m a blancmange attached to a woolly hellhound, there will be jostling!
So, it’s been a great experience so far. Even the other dog walkers on the track have been amazingly gracious with us. It’s been great to see some familiar and friendly faces again. Buddy has generally been pretty great around other dogs, too. Only a couple of grumbles, but no actual effort to maim and/or murder. Attaching his lead to the front of his harness instead of the back has made such a difference to my confidence in being able to control the big boofhead, and my confidence has given him confidence, too.
Oh, and I swallowed a bug.