And… we’re back!

A 63-degree day in Denver meant that I finally got to ride my bike to work today! After some heavy early-winter snowfall, leading to weeks of snow cover, which lingered around as icy patches, the path was finally clear enough for me to break out ole Greenie again. The sunny ride down the creek was enough to actually make me excited to come into work!

The warmer weather was also a good reason for me to get back into another one of my neglected loves — running with Miss Olive. The running hiatus has been even longer than my break from biking, due to my MCL tear back in August. The doctor said early on that biking would only help my healing process (yay!), but that running was strictly out of the question (boo!). It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I was finally able to start easing back into a running routine, and I started small on the treadmill to avoid slipping on any hidden ice patches outside. The first few workouts led to some pretty significant soreness in my knee, as the doctor had predicted, but with ice and a decent amount of rest between workouts, I bounced back more quickly each time.

This morning, as my alarm went off and I saw sunshine beginning to stream in through our bedroom skylight, I knew that it would be silly to ride my bike to the gym, only to hop on a treadmill in a gloomy basement. As I threw on my workout clothes, Olive began to get excited. Apparently, the 5 month hiatus wasn’t enough for her to forget the feeling of a possible run coming on. Her greatest joy was confirmed when I retrieved her retractable leash from a high shelf, and she knew it — “Mom’s taking me running!!”

At this point, Olive could barely be contained — jumping around, trying to grab the leash from my hands, and, I swear, literally falling over herself into the closed door while I laced up my shoes. For an already excitable dog, I can’t even believe I subject myself to the bad behavior that she falls into when she gets excited to go running. Suddenly, she can’t remember what “sit” means, she certainly can’t “stay” long enough for me to attach her leash, and Lord knows “down” means nothing to her when she’s jumping up to my shoulders (which, I believe, she is intending as a hug of thanks).

Once we are finally out on the sidewalk, however, she is on her best behavior. Walking with me during my warmup and occasionally glancing back until I utter the words she’s been waiting for All Her Life: “You wanna run?” And then, we’re off. I know they say all dogs smile, but none of them smile the way mine does when she is trotting a few feet in front of me, her ears bouncing in the wind, and it makes the whole excited, bad behavior exhibited earlier completely laughable. This is what my husky-dog was made for, and she loves leading our little pack of 2 in a jog.

The long break from running has definitely set both of us back a little, and we both tired out a little more quickly than I would have liked, but we did get a good 3 miles in before work, with only a little walking interspersed. So, all in all, not too shabby. Hopefully we’ll have more days like this one to get our endurance back and spend more time outside, but I am well aware of the unpredictable nature of a Colorado winter. These days may be few and far between for now, but come summer, we will have all sorts of new paths to explore and sunny mornings as a pack.

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