Yesterday's Run

Distance Moving Time Average Speed Maximum Speed
2.4 miles 0:23.07 6.24 mph 11.8 mph

I didn’t get a chance to write about yesterday’s run, but seeing as it’s raining, I can use today to catch up. I started the dogs off with our typical trail. I put on the brakes up until we hit the woods, where I let them cut loose. Dexter did alright – still not as “into it” as I would’ve liked, but getting there.

On our way back to the house, I decided to test out another portion of the woods. There’s a small stream to get across and it’s only worth going if there’s been a period of drought – otherwise, the whole area is a swampy mess.

I knew it would be relatively dry, due to the lack of rain (up until today). Still, I managed to get my foot stuck  in about 6 inches of pure muck while crossing the stream. Once on the other side, it’s a toss up. During the spring and summer, it’s nearly impossible to navigate due to all the plant life. There’s a fairly large field between streams, with tall, Savannah-like grass. After a few good frosts, the grasses die and keel over, making the field a bit more accommodating.

I’m jumping ahead. Before any of the field business, I ran the dogs along the major stream system that cuts the woods in half (the stream we cross over is a trickle compared to this other stream). It’s not a very far run, but it’s relatively challenging. It’s by no means a groomed pathway – technically, no one is supposed to be back there. It really tests the dogs’ gee and haw ability as we try to find suitable pathways through the trees. There is a pretty solid path about three quarters of a mile into the woods. Then it’s gone.

After going as far as we could, I turned the dogs away from the stream towards the field. There isn’t much of a trail at this point, so the dogs worked out the most navigable route. The dead grass got really thick in a few spots, so I had to get off the bike and walk it through. Although it’s not really a smart trail to take (or a trail at all, for that matter), the dogs really enjoyed bouncing through the grass and figuring out which way to go. And it’s nice to see them working together.

We eventually made our way back to the stream trail and followed it back out of the woods. On the way in, both dogs managed to hop the stream without getting muddy. Not so for our exit. Both Dexter and Denali decided to stand in the stream to cool off their feet, resulting in black-footed dogs.

All in all, yesterday’s run made for one of our longest at-home runs. I think the longer we go, the better Dexter gets at focusing – as long as I change up the routes. I shouldn’t forget that he’s always been a bit distracted at the beginning of walks, so runs aren’t much different. After he gets his initial sniffs/pees/poops out, he’s usually a lot more willing to get moving.

2011-2012 Mileage to Date: 67.18

Jessica Kizmann

Dog musher, New Jersey.

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