Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trail run with pups

I had planned to run the trails at Stone Mountain last night with the pups, but when I arrived home from work, Riley (golden retriever) was lethargic and wasn't interested in eating. Something's wrong, so I stayed home instead. He seemed okay this morning, eating a little, so I put on my brand new Patagonia Release trail shoes, grabbed water bottles and a dog bowl, put the harnesses on the dogs and we loaded up in the car. We went to Stone Mountain Park. We ran along the "Cherokee Trail" starting at Stonewall Jackson Drive and headed east. I didn't care how far or how fast we went. It was hot, so at points where the trail met the lake I stopped to see if the dogs would drink. Riley's never been near water and Tasha has in the past shied away from it. I honestly epected that Riley would want to swim since he's a retriever, but he just tip-toed in. Tasha loved the water, but Riley was cautious. As we were running I passed a guy that works in my building. I said hello, but nothing more as I was trying to keep the pups away from people (Tasha likes to jump up to say hello). Next time I see him at the office I'll have to say hello. The next set of people that I encountered said Tasha (Husky) looks like one of those sled dogs. I said she was as she was pulling me down the trail. I jogged in the less rooty areas and we walked in the rooty/rocky areas. I didn't care about time or pace and rarely looked at my Garmin. I decided to turn around shortly after the "covered bridge" where the path became a marble bridge across a lake. We went part-way across the marble bridge, but the water looked deep and the bridge/footpath was narrow. I was worried that Tasha would want to jump into the lake and drag us in. Since I had my iPhone in my pouch, that wasn't a good option for me. So we turned around there and headed back to the parking lot. I had the leash straps on my left arm beside my Garmin. I'm guessing they touched a sensor on the Garmin because as we were returning, it started beeping at me. I looked at it and it said "approaching turn" and had a compass with a mileage distance in the middle. I'm guessing this is the mode that I've never used, that will guide you back to your starting point. How did we enter this mode? I'd like to find out so I can use it in the future. Our mostly hike/some run/some walk ended up being 3.64 miles in slightly over an hour (I didn't stop the clock during water play). My goal of the run was to try out these new shoes and get in some fun exercise with the pups. That goal was accomplished. The shoes aren't as cushiony as my road running shoes, but I enjoyed feeling the trail beneath my feet. I wore cheap thin socks and think I developed blisters. So the lesson learned is to were thicker running socks. I enjoyed the time on the trail with the pups and look forward to tomorrow's trail race.

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