On Things With Four Legs, Two Goofy Ears and A Heart Bigger Than The Pacific Ocean

I’ve been trying to jot down a Speedgoat post-run write-up, but that’s going slower than expected (partially because my crappy iPhone has some miscommunication with its camera software and all my gorgeous pictures are out of focus, but that’s a story for the actual post).  With that I’ll drift towards the purity of trail running itself.

I’ve been embraced this 100-mile training with a mindset of it being something I love to do… as the miles have worn me down with the longer and longer runs during the awful heat we’ve had this summer, I have realized that some of this is what I love to do.  In reality, I am doing this because I really want to, because I want a belt buckle and I want the challenge.  The other half of reality is that the training is a challenge, but the challenge isn’t what has worn me down; the miles that I can no longer run with Tele are wearing me down.  I have spent so much of this summer away from my puppy, away from the best trail running partner there is because training for 100 is too much for her.  So while I am happy to take on the challenge, I can say that I don’t know that I’ll do it again because I’d rather be running with my dog.

This past week, some very good friends recently lost their first dog, Chester, way too soon and it’s breaking my heart.  Last year, another good friend lost the first best yellow lab to walk the earth and not too long before that we lost the dog I grew up with.  Chester, Shasta, Java, Bimbi, Calle, Iza, Kora, Tashi, Scruffy and Tele they have all joined me on many a trail run.  Chester was my first real trail running buddy, and I know, bears that name to many others in the lives she’s touched.  It sounds like she had a fantastic trail run shortly before the end.

There’s something magic about being able to share your run with a dog.  You’re hardly ever too fast for them, and when you are, you don’t stress out about slowing down.  You’re always too slow for them, but they never seem to care.  When you’re having a bad day, they just grin and give you infinite energy; and when you’re having a really bad day, they don’t care if you stop and walk or even sit and throw snowballs for them for a while.  They never cary a watch and don’t really mind if you go 2 miles or 10.  They teach you honesty, and humility, they push their limits as far as they can go and inspire you to do the same.  It’s really hard for me to not want to go on my run when I have thing a like this waiting for me at home.

It’s even harder for me to leave her behind for a 30-40 mile training run in 90+ degree heat.  Dogs are lights in our lives who, for better or worse, burn their candles brightly… at both ends.  I am grateful for the short, but wonderful time I get to share with them.

Chester, thank you for all the runs, and for thoroughly cleaning the sunscreen off me after each of them.  You will be missed.

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About Wheels

mantra: love people, cook them tasty food, love life! Scientist. Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Coffee snob. Ultra-runner. Skier. Cyclist. Cook. Beer snob. Dog-lover. Volunteer. A former midwesterner, I moved to Utah to play in the mountains and found so much more life waiting for me here.

4 thoughts on “On Things With Four Legs, Two Goofy Ears and A Heart Bigger Than The Pacific Ocean

  1. What a wonderful tribute to our doggies. I have been wanting to write something like this but just haven’t been able to put the words together. They are such a special part of our lives.

  2. She was a hell of a dog. I don’t know what to say. You’ve said it well, Jeanni.
    Somehow, running with dogs makes that bond even stronger and more beautiful.

  3. That’s certainly my take on it. She was a wonderful, wonderful dog. And on a trail run, be it her just chasing a bird or chipmunk on Elwood or just running because her legs seem to cary her endlessly and we can never keep up, that’s a true piece of heaven for them. Granted heaven may have her licking ears, eating floss, being commander in chief on a climbing gig, and corning Tels in your office because I am officially her property, I think running open was certainly a big part of it. (Borris, I ❤ you too)

  4. I wish I could find it online, but everyone go pick up the most recent runner’s world. Look through to a one page column called Puppy Love, which also highlights this exact same sentiment. (better yet I’ll scan it tonight) Dogs somehow make everything better, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by some of the most amazing dogs ever.

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