My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
When I fell and broke three fingers this past January it was because of a dog, but not my dog. Unfortunately, with three operations and a useless hand, I could no longer feasibly hold the leash while running with my own dog. Even when I was given the green light to run after my surgeries I couldn’t contrive of having the leash in my only good hand; what if something happened and I broke most of the fingers of that hand too? She got benched and this resulted in a greater than average incidence of her throwing shade in the form of sidelong glances at me as I was preparing to leave for my runs. I can pretty much be guilted into doing anything, but it got serious when I broke three fingers and they didn’t heal properly, and so there it was: an Australian cattle dog without a job.
It hasn’t quite been a year, and my hand is still dysfunctional, but I have gotten brave enough to take her out for shorter runs. She was always a well-behaved running partner, keeping her distance from my moving feet, and only ever posing a real risk of knocking me over if she was startled from the side. I admit, what happened with that other dog was probably a good wake-up call about the dangers of running with a dog, but I do miss the assumption that wherever I would run she would run there too. Today I took her out for 4K and it was fine; she changes the nature of the run, to be sure, but I was happy to finally be brave enough to run again with her. Perhaps 5K and less can be the new normal for when the dog gets to run with me. This half marathon training schedule offers up that distance once or twice a week.