Thursday, September 25, 2008

Theo's Switches

Theo's head has lots of switches. There was the switch that went off when he suddenly stopped mouthing my hands. There was the switch that caused him to want to play fetch all the time. There was the switch that helped him to finally understand "roll over". The latest switch to go off in Theo's head relates to our walks...well jogs.
As much as I looked forward to being able to take a nice jog with Theo, it was apparent not long after we got him that that dream was just not going to come to fruition. Being a herder, Theo didn't jog, he herded. Whenever I would quicken my pace to anything faster than a brisk walk, he would dart out and start swerving in front of me, like how a cop slows down traffic on the freeway when there's a big accident. Trying to run with a dog swerving in front of you is not only annoying, but dangerous to both parties. So I would never run with him...

...until last weekend. A switch went off in his head! I don't remember the reason, but I started jogging (I guess I have switches too), expecting Theo to bolt out in front of me like usual. But he didn't. He quickened his pace to a jog as well and stayed by my side! Let me say that again because I still can't believe it. Theo, the Corgi, the herding dog, jogged next to me! I figured it was a fluke, so I tried it again the next day and got the same result. I don't know what happened, but I've gone jogging with him every morning this week and had no issues! I'm loving it!

I told my trainer about it, and her eyes sparkled with pride and told me that it was such a wonderful thing and she was so proud of Theo for it. I am too! He'll turn out alright I dare say. In the mean time, I might actually get into some sort of a shape if I keep this up. Who knew?

PS: Ouch! The shin splints! Anyone know how to get rid of 'em besides swimming?


Lynn said...

Wow! I should try jogging, but it looks like all the training you have been doing with Theo has paid off! Congrats!

As for the shin splints, not sure, but I do know that ice really helps them feel better. I used to freeze water in paper cups and then use those to ice my shins....

JuLo said...

Hehe. It has definitely paid off. But who knows? Maybe Lucy will run perfectly with you. I'm sure it just depends on the dog.

Wow, that's some serious ice!

flanthrower said...

Oh shin splints...the thing that spelled the demise of my running career.

A few things...
1) check your shoes...both to see if they need to be replaced and to see if they offer the right kind of arch support, usually people aren't getting enough arch support when they get shin splints (this is often the most common source of shin splints)

2) avoid doing all your running on hard surfaces, nothing will destroy your shins faster

3) make sure you give your shins a good stretch before and after your run. you can go on-line to see what stretches there are for that but i recall one that was essentially just squatting

flanthrower said...

p.s. one more thought....if shin splints really bad they need to be taped. hopefully you'll never reach this point of OUCH but if you do you gotta be careful because you risk a stress fracture (double ouch!)

JuLo said...

Wow, I gotta say. I didn't expect so much discussion on my out of shape shins. Hehe.

Flanthrower, unfortunately jogging with the puppy means running on concrete. Nothing I can do about that one. I'm actually surprised it's not worse than it is. I guess the walking has helped with that.

My shoes are sorely lacking in arch support, thanks for the advise! I'll have to pick up some dr. scholls inserts or something.

Whoa, I thought it was just a sore muscle thing. Is it actually a problem with the bone? I didn't realize it could get so serious...I'll start stretching right away!

flanthrower said...

Yeah, stress fractures are serious, serious business. They're bad news all around and hurt like you wouldn't believe.

One more word about shoes...running shoes should be replaced around ever 3,000 miles. I mean this is a rough guess but I was amazed by how much better my shins did when I started replacing running shoes more regularly. Also, you shouldn't use the same pair of shoes for walking and running. Your body wears shoes very differently depending on whether you walk or run. If you're grossly out of shape like me you'll always do *some* walking in your running shoes but you get the point....use a different pair of sneakers for just general walking about and stuff.

Kelly said...

The best way to prevent shin splints is to gradually increase the amount of running you do. You need to build up the muscle slowly or else you'll cause the shin splints. My best relief for them is to ice them every night or get the Icy blue ointment and then wrap up :)

Oh and good job Theo learning how to jog on a leash! I'm lucky that Gibson will only try to herd me off-leash..otherwise he'll do good when he actually agrees to go on walks ;)

JuLo said...

Alrighty Ms. Flan, I'm buying me some running shoes this weekend!

You know, I googled stretching exercises yesterday, but when I tried them at home I didn't feel anything in my shins.

Kelly, I have been definitely increasing ever so slowly how much I run, hehe. I was tempted to run last night, but since I had run that morning I decided against it to give my shins a break.