Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's the damn dog!!!

For the past month of so I have had all sort of little aches and pains in my legs and feet. They seem to migrate from the knees to hamstrings to feet to calves. At one point I was so concerned about this, I went out and bought two pairs of shoes in a span of ten days, thinking throwing money at the problem will solve it.

This morning I was running a final lap of rehearsal at Umstead. I had Canyon with me. He's been restless at home since I had such a horrible week at school and ignored him the whole time. So about a mile into the run, I started thinking about what's causing all these issues all the sudden. Out of curiosity, I started counting my cadence, and to my surprise, it was around 42 or so. That's 168 for the minute. No f--king way!

So then it became crystal clear. I have been taken Canyon running on trails during the winter, mostly short and mostly on single tracks so he gets to run free of the leash. Recently I started running him on bridle trails so he has to stay on the leash. Of course he pulls left and right going after squirrels, bikers, runners, deers, rabbits, turkey vultures (yes there was one two weeks ago). And as a result I was yanking on the leash a lot trying to control him and slowing down the cadence.

So immediately I started focusing on cadence and pick it up to 180 or a bit higher again. At end of the run, it was the most pain free 10 miler I had in over a month. Duh!

Damn dog.

At least he does lots biological functions at Umstead, which means less crunchies for him to eat in the backyard. Sometimes I wonder if I should enroll in canine dental hygienist school instead. I'm getting quite good at scraping his teeth clean of stinky sticky brown residues.

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