Thursday, February 13, 2014

"No Man Left Behind..." We'll leave that to the Military; this is trail running.



Trails: Forest Exploration, Loop Trail

Distance: 6.55 mi

Avg Pace: 10 min/mile

Running drop-outs: 1

Today needed to be a big day. 

Why? I'm pretty sure I won't be going anywhere on Thursday.

The forecast: MORE snow.

In the unlikely event that I AM able to get out of the driveway and through our hilly neighborhood in my itty-bitty Volkswagen, there is zero chance that Lucy will have school and therefore zero chance of a trail-run on Thursday.

Not only is this a bummer for my trail-running schedule, Lucy's Valentine's Day party is scheduled for Thursday and she was going to wear the cutest little dress. Blah!

So, today needed to be pretty dang stellar.

It all started out great. I felt awesome when I woke up, gearing up for about 7-8 miles at Pocahontas with the dogs. Got Lu up and ready for school, did the breakfast thing, dropped her off and scooted along to the park.

We headed to the Loop Trail parking area off Courthouse road, planning to run on Forest Exploration towards the boat ramp and back up along Fendley Station and the Loop Trail. I felt strong from the get-go, well rested and limber after a killer yoga class yesterday. I even remembered to wear my warmer gloves. For once, felt like I was wearing exactly the correct cold-weather attire. Layering in winter-running is tricky, at least for me. Feeling fresh out of the gate....

This is shaping up to be an amazing run.

Of course, things never go that smoothly; for me, anyway.

This morning, Porter and Val were wrestling (as they do every morning) and things got a little heated; totally normal. Their wrestling session ended abruptly when Porter went ape-shit on V for reasons unknown. At the time, I shrugged it off as "cranky old man syndrome," which comes and goes for our sweet 6 (ish) year old pup.

I figured Val had just been obnoxious (quite common for her), resulting in her big brother's smack-down and that Porter was fine for running. I noticed quickly when we started down the trail that he didn't seem as excited and happy as he usually is at the beginning of a beautiful trail run. About a mile into the run, he was lagging way behind. About a hundred yards later, I hear the yelp.

Yep, he's semi-injured. Left front leg. Damn, really?!

Porter is such a trooper (and a people-pleaser); that leg had probably been bothering him from the minute we stepped out of the car. He was probably waiting for the pain to go away, a feeling that any runner can definitely relate to. However, he's a dog (not an endurance athlete), so to push him any further would have been pretty uncool.

Now I'm in a pickle.

The "Dog Mama" in me wants to scoop him up, carry him to the car like a baby, take him home, give him a biscuit and watch the Price is Right. Trouble is, he weighs 75 pounds, smells like wet dog and doesn't like Drew Carey anyway. Plus, I am an endurance athlete; an athlete with a dwindling number of training days remaining and a snow storm on the horizon.

We jog, very gingerly, back to the car and Porter is stunned when I plop him in the seat, crack the window and head back down the trail with his equally confused gal-pal trotting behind me. Val and I headed out on our first "just us," trail run; she was almost as surprised as Porter was upset. She did great for her first time out without her babysitter, staying by my side and scaring away all the critters along the way.

When she and I returned from our little date, red-cheeked and happy, Porter wouldn't look at either of us.


Can't say that I blame him, but it had to be done. His leg is fine, he must have just tweaked it a little this morning. Poor baby, he's been lounging on the sofa all afternoon, waiting for the Wheel of Fortune to come on. He does like Vanna White.