There are certain things in life that our dog Gibbs absolutely loves. Some of these things are snuggling, eviscerating stuffed toys, bananas, going to the dog park, and pooping (yes, he gets very excited after he poops). However, if you want to see him go into a completely manic frenzy, all you have to say is:
“Gibbs, do you want to go for a run?”
You say those words and he lets out a yelp, hops in circles, and runs toward the front door. Considering he still hasn’t grasped the words “ball” or “toy”, and he’s sort of a fetching dunce (especially for a border collie!), it amazes me that he knows what a run is. Granted, he generally already knows when I am going for a run due to my attire, and starts to hover when I go for my running shoes, but I like to think that he’s just selectively smart :).
When Gibbs was a tiny puppy (as opposed to a nearly full-sized dog with a puppy-sized brain), I used to get really frustrated with him because he had so much energy but was completely unresponsive when we tried to burn off that energy by fetching. It seemed like the only way to wear him out was to wear ourselves out in the process, so he became my running buddy when I went on short runs. He was essentially a disaster at first. I dreaded the first mile or so with him because he would pull on his leash as hard as possible (so much so that he would cut off his airway so he was wheezing), and if there was a squirrel or a feral cat around, I feared my arm would be yanked off!
Luckily for me (and my arms), Gibbs has started to figure out the running thing, but he still gets a little overzealous when we start out. Actually, once you get outside, if you don’t start to run immediately, he will jump around in circles and bark at you until you start running. He does the same thing when we have to stop at intersections, as well- he just wants to run! The only time he doesn’t want to run is when he decides he needs to poop. And whether he just went before running has no relevance here. He has to stop, without fail, at least once during a run, generally within the first quarter mile. And he stops without warning- he goes from maximum speed to crouched over a bush in about 0.3 seconds. Annoying.
I generally take Gibbs with me on my “easy” runs so that I don’t get too frustrated with him for messing with my pace. This week I decided to bring him with on more runs because he was going to be locked up in his crate most of the day. The Hubble usually works from home, so Gibbs can be free in the house most of the time, but this week he has to go into the office every day. When I take the pup for a run, he is pretty tired the rest of the day, so I figured that taking him out most mornings would alleviate the pain of being in his crate.
This morning I was a little nervous to take him with because I was scheduled to do the following:
10–20 min warmup; 10 x 400m @ 1:52-1:53 (400m RI); 10 min cooldown
I have never taken Gibbs on an interval run before, but I figured that since it was a cool and overcast morning, he can easily run 5+ miles with me and loves to sprint (plus is faster than me!), it wouldn’t cause too much of a problem. Little did I know that he had other plans!
We only made it through the first interval before I knew I was in trouble. After the second interval, Gibbs laid down on the path and wouldn’t get up. At first I was worried that he was hurt or tired, but he seemed perfectly fine as we ran back home, so I dropped him off and finished my run.
Here are my 400m splits:
1:53, 1:50, 1:54, 1:49, 1:53, 1:51, 1:51, 1:51, 1:48, 1:49
When I got back home, guess who was full of energy again and ready to play? Again, annoying.
He’s lucky he’s so damn cute…