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Walk your dog 100 miles (day 13)

It’s the early mornings when I naturally have the motivation to go for long walks. It’s not because I am a morning person, it’s because there’s something about accomplishing a long run and returning home after 10 or 15 miles before anyone else has even gotten out of bed. The earlier I can accomplish this, the greater the feeling.

In the winter I am more likely to save these walks for midmorning or midafternoon. The sun is often shining at this time, tricking a Minnesota kid into thinking it’s a warm day. And out I go, bundled up, sunglasses on, fumbling Ace’s leash with my mittens until we get to a park and the mutt can run free.

There’s rarely anyone else around in the winter no matter what time of day or where we go. Ace always trots around with his nose to the ground like a big beagle. He presses his nose into the snow, grass or leaves, then rises into a classic pointer stance. Next, he runs back to me, then away again, usually flinging drool by this point.

Ace always returns to my side when I call his name, although I don’t need to because every minute or so he’s checking in. He doesn’t expect a treat or even a tennis ball. Just being out for a walk is a reward in itself.


dog-with-stickWalking my dog is of course about him getting enough exercise and me showing leadership. But it is also about strengthening our bond. That’s the part a lot of dog owners miss out on.

How often have you been walking with your dog somewhere and you feel entirely in tune with that animal?

This does not happen with Ace and I on just any walk. It happens when I have taken the time to plan a walk into my day, one that lasts more than a half-hour. These walks are not rushed or used as attempts to quickly tire my dog out or get in some training. Instead they are what they are – a dog and woman out enjoying each other’s presence and the world around them.

The walks are relaxing, and Ace and I are calm. When we are in this state of mind, he does not need a leash to stay at my side, and I do not need to give him commands. He is not anxious and running all over the place, and I am not stressing out about scheduling or what needs to get done.

These walks can’t be crammed into a tight schedule that only allows time for a quick romp around the neighborhood. That’s why I challenged myself and others to walk 100 miles during the month of March.

Thirteen days are gone from my goal to walk my dog 100 miles in March. Ace and I have done a whopping 14 miles so far. Woo hoo! It’s pretty pathetic, really. He and I are supposed to be runners.

That being said, I know we will still be able to do 100 miles this month, it’s just going to take a lot of work on my part. It’s about making a walk a priority and an important part of the day rather than fitting in two miles here, a half a mile there.

My biggest challenge is not the physical side, but scheduling and time. That is the challenge for most people and the reason most dogs don’t get enough exercise.

Most of us want to exercise more, it’s just that so much is going on that we think we can’t. I’ve walked and ran more than 50 miles in the last two weeks with other people’s dogs. But dog running is my job, and it leaves me with little time to walk my own dog.

Now is the time when my marathon mindset will kick in even though I am not training for a race. I know it’s not physically challenging for Ace and I to go 10 miles in one day, it’s just a matter of making the time. Not that we’ll have to run 10 miles a day, but we have some catching up to do.

For the next couple of weeks Ace and I are going to have to get into a schedule of walking five miles or so on most days. Think we are up for it?

How is your walking going? How many miles have you walked with your dog in March?

March miles: 14


Wednesday 18th of March 2009

Great post

Tis so true that timing and schedule are the hardest...Im luckier than most with the beach and rainforest but just slotting around work committments has been hard

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 16th of March 2009

Apryl, that's awesome! Same to you, Valdese Blogger! You are both ahead of me.

Three Dog, Ace runs around like a crazy dog half the time when he's off leash as well. I'm sure he goes twice as far as me sometimes.

I plan on biking with him in the next week or so and adding up some miles that way.

Three Dog Blogger

Saturday 14th of March 2009

I'm sure you will do it, no problem.

Hey, does it count if they run around like loons for 2 hours on the land? They probably covered half of the months Challenge while I was tending to the Veg plot!:)

Apryl DeLancey

Friday 13th of March 2009

Well, we are off to a slow start...I'm guessing we are only at about 25 miles. I've been working waaaaay too much lately! We are going to do a good 8-10 tomorrow though so we should be close to back on track!

A Valdese Blogger

Friday 13th of March 2009

Just broke the 25 mile mark today. I don't see us getting 100 miles this month, but 60 is a real possibility.