Back to this title of a man and his dog. The last couple of weeks, I've started out little by little by taking my dog, Corkie with me for some of my runs. I made the "mistake" one morning by taking her for a walk because Stacie told me too. As some of you know, once you get started in any kind of workout, you get that endorphin kick that helps you keep going. Such is true in dogs as I've found out. Every morning, I get up, take Corkie out to potty, come back in, and then I get my running clothes and shoes on, then I'm out the door. Some mornings, I take her with me for an easy 3 or 4 mile run and it makes my day so much. I never realized before, or maybe it's just me, but something happens that I can't explain when Corkie and I go for a run together. For me, it's nice having a running buddy even if she is a dog. For her, let's just say she's a "daddy's girl" so she'll go anywhere with me. To me, it's our time together that can't be replaced.
As I started my run streak this week, it began Monday morning with an easy 3.5 mile run in just a little over 37 minutes. As much of a speed freak (well at my size anyway) as I've become lately, I've have to take a step back and keep a steady pace for Corkie. In case you're wondering, Corkie is a 15 month old Shetland Sheepdog aka, Sheltie. She's mainly bred for herding, which I've seen upfront when I take out sometimes. She can manage a steady pace (10 minute mile) with me, and when we get back to the entrance of our apartment complex, she books it because that's when I usually jet it back to my front door. It's awesome to see her move like that. On occasion, when I get home from work, after I've taken her out for her afternoon potty break, I'll find a stick, take her off the leash and let her fetch a few times. In the apartments that we live in (fixing to move out from) we have a group of kids that come out and play and when they see Corkie, they of course have to sworm her. She loves it though. Like a new mom and her baby, everybody has to come and see her. LOL!! Anyways, as those kids are out playing, she likes to round them up by leaping and barking at them. I promise you, she is far from the biting and aggressive types. Some of the kids get scared, so naturally, she chases them like as if she was herding them. From my point of view, I couldn't be anymore prouder of my girl. But still, on days I don't take her for our morning runs, I do make it up to her by taking her for an evening walk. I like it because it keeps me in check, and moving for that matter. One of these days, I plan to do a 5k run and have her run with me. No matter the finish time, I'll enjoy the race and I'm sure she will too.
From the day Stacie and I brought her home, she had us pinned. It was oh so clear she was ours.
So cute and tiny the first week we brought her home.
Corkie and Mommy. We are such proud parents.
With our schedules the way they are. Stacie working and going to school, and me pretty much now working two jobs, Corkie IS our child for now. As much as we want to someday have two legged children, but not right now. We're now in our early thirties and we've been married now going on 4 years this October, so it's not to say we are in a hurry to have children, but at the same time we are. We've talked about adoption, possibly trying after she finishes school, and we've even thought about the idea of just raising pups as our kids. We don't know yet. As one would say, "have to talked to God about this?" We have, and he knows our plans and he has blessed and provided us with a lot so far. In his will, if it's meant for us to have kids, we will have them.
Enough of that. As I progessed in my streak this week, I was pleased to run 9 miles yesterday. As much as I wanted to do 10, it was a case of miscalculating the route I ran. That's ok. I've been grateful just to be able to get out every morning this week and run. I've come to conclude on my mornings I push for a long run, mainly whatever I can squeeze in about an hour and a half, usually about 7 miles, sometimes 8 if I've pushed hard enough. Those days I don't take Corkie because I consider that a training run and I want to get as much out of them as I can. As I promised, I always make up for it by taking her for a walk at night. I got the idea from a Dailymile friend in regards to running streaks. I've given myself a challenge to run 200 miles in the next 40 days. On average, that is 5 miles a day. I remembered in the beginning of my running days that I thought 3 miles was going to kill me, but now 3 miles barely gives me the workout I want. I consider those kind of runs either a warmup or a recovery run. On those days, yes indeed I take the my "daughter" with me. To me, 5 miles is a "just right" kind of run for me. Granted, a 10k (6.2 miles) is my favorite distance, I like doing 5 miles as a workout. After that 3 mile warmup, I catch my second and that's when I take off. My best time has been 41 minutes (8:12 pace). It's also along a route in my neighbor hood that takes me through a section that is very peaceful to stroll by. Plus, it's along the street next to a doughnut shop, so that smell alone motivates me. LOL!! That gets me hungry which pushes me to go faster so I can get away from the smell and the front door so I'm not tempted. HAHAHA!
Over this passed year, as a runner and a pet owner, I am amazed at how much has progressed in my life. On and off the road. Seeing Corkie grow up before mine and Stacie's eyes has been such a blessing. It's hard to go into details about what we've done as a family and ourselves (me and Stacie) as individuals. I look forward to the future and excited for what lies ahead.
The Taggert Family
Tim, Stacie, and Corkie