Passion intensified

My passion for running has hit a whole new level, thanks to my almost 5 month old puppy, Lucy, who has joined me on my exercise adventures.

I used to run outdoors in Arizona and every once in a while with my mom when the early Florida morning temperatures allowed for it.

But, I have to admit, the majority of my running has always been on a treadmill inside of a gym. My boyfriend has been encouraging me to hit the trails outside for quite a while. Although I said I would, I always ended up at the gym instead.

My turning point was when we brought Lucy home. Although she is just a puppy, I feel more comfortable running outside with her. I’m not alone anymore, I have her with me.

It’s truly inspiring for me to see just what my body can do when we start running. I’m reaching new goals, goals I struggle with when I’m on a treadmill staring at a television while listening to music.

Today, Lucy and I headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt again. This has become our go to place when Lucy and I exercise together. It’s such a nice path that follows a creek and for the most part is very shaded. The people we pass are always friendly and it is very dog friendly. The best part, it’s only a few minutes from where we live.

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Once we walk onto the path, all I have to say is “ready” and Lucy takes off and starts to trot, which then eventually turns into a run. Although Lucy stopped and sniffed noses with a few much bigger dogs today, she doesn’t stop and try to get affection from everyone we pass. If she starts to slow down, the simple command “come on” gets her moving right alongside me again.

When I took Lucy on her first run early last week, we ran for .81 miles before she told me she was ready to rest. Today we went 1.43 miles before we stopped and rested. I’m very encouraged by this and very excited to see what this puppy is capable of as she gets older.

After we reach her stopping point, we find a bench and sit. Lucy always climbs on my lap and listens to the birds or watches the people pass by. By this point she’s tired and has no interest in chasing the birds or the people for that matter.

I love this time with her. Just the two of us soaking in nature and enjoying our quite time outdoors.

After our break we run the entire distance back to our starting point. When I feel myself slowing down, Lucy picks up her speed. I’m not quite sure if she knows I need that extra push, but it works every time.

It’s so easy running with her. She always stays to my left side at the same pace as my feet are moving. Well this is until we head back to the car, she starts moving a little faster.

Although we haven’t conquered her fear of riding in the car, she is getting so much better on the path.

This morning when I was getting ready for our run, she became a little hesitant and was a little standoffish. When I put Lucy’s harness on she began shaking. I’m not quite sure how to make her more comfortable, or even excited for that matter.

I’m happy to say that once we get in the car the shaking stops. When we arrive at our destination she becomes very excited. Even on our way home she’s fine, but by this point she’s quite exhausted.

I’m beyond excited that my passion for running has intensified again. I was starting to hit that brick wall with my gym routine.

It’s rejuvenating to run outdoors. All that fresh air does wonders for me.

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