Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

When the alarm goes off around 5:00am the dog stretches, opens one eye quizzically, then rolls over. I want to do the same, but the predicted temperture is close to mid nineties. I have some miles to do and I prefer not to bake myself in the process. It has all been coming back to me, Colorado running in the heat, bring water and gu for the long runs, and more water, oh, and water for the dog.

My runs are increasing in distance, so some days I can be out for a few hours or so. I feel great getting back to familiar routine of laying things out the night before, slipping out of the house while the sun is appearing, and hitting the trail while its still a little cool.Toby (dog running partner) hits the trails with a joy and energy that always seems to set the tone. He explores everything as if its the first time he's ever seen it,no matter how often we have been there.

We go up Barr Trail at least a few times a week.  The parking is more an issue than the running/trotting up the trail. I wonder how many people are on that mountain on a daily basis. They seem to all be running down when I'm trying to get up. I keep passing people sitting holding assorted body parts .I really take my time on the way down. Lack of depth perception can  result in a misplaced step followed by a misplaced body.. Toby is a good guide on trails, and I've learned to follow his lead. I have fallen, skinned knees, and kept going. I prefer to get down intact. He knows where I've fallen, and will stand at the spot as I pass by, making sure I remember the rock or branch that tripped me, herding me up or down the trails.

Toby, a miniature australian shepard, is the perfect running partner/trainer. He makes sure I am up and out the door every morning. He is always happy to get going on any run, no matter the weather, the time, or my grumbling. He is patient when I am not as fast as he (which is always). His purposeful exploration of the terrain helps me notice where I am and where I am going. I get to see the trail from a dog's eye view. He greets others, dogs and people, with restraint, a little social, but clear he is on a mission of moving forward. Toby adds fun, determination and a little humour to my daily runs. I was lucky he found me at the Humane Society and agreed to give my home a try. He takes his job as running partner pretty seriously, and is contributing to getting me ready for the Ascent in August. There might even be a bonus morsel or two for Toby once the race is done. A good trainer is worth it.

Enjoy the day.




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Comment by Brandon Stapanowich on June 30, 2011 at 8:04am
Very nice blog Alexis! I read it as Charlie (my lab) was resting in my lap after our run together this morning!

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