Sunday, September 23, 2012

Toby's First Swim

We went to the beach on Sunday. It was time for our little boy to have his first introduction to the water - seeing that he's a retriever and should, by breeding, be a water dog.

The beach I'm talking about isn't really a beach. It's a patch of muddy slime abutting Moreton Bay. The water is generally flat and it's a designated off-leash area for dogs. It took us about 30 minutes to drive there - quite possibly one of the longest car trips he's had so far and he didn't really enjoy it. And I didn't really enjoy his little claws being dug into me every time we went around a corner or the streams of drool on my leg.

He was a happy little puppy when we finally got out of the car and he could breathe the fresh air again. We took him into the dog park first and he couldn't believe it when we took his leash off. He kept running from Iven to me and jumping up in joy at his freedom. And then he realised that there were other dogs there and he appointed himself the official greeter.

"Hello, how are you. I'm Toby and I'll be your welcomer today. Let me sniff your butt. Okay, you can come in."

"Hello, I'm Toby. You're an impressive sized dog. I will bow before you and cover my butt with my tail so you don't have to sniff my unworthiness. Oh, you still want to sniff it? You'll have to put your nose right down on the ground because I'm so shy that I'm going to sit ... or lie down ... or maybe even roll over in total submission. Please be kind."

These greetings were interspersed by more running between Iven and I and any other unwary dog-owner who happened to venture close. It was unrestrained doggy joy.

And then we left the fenced area and went out to the water. Toby just didn't know what to make of the vast wetness that stretched before him. And he certainly wasn't going to get his paws wet. So a little coaxing was required. I waded up to as deep as my shorts would allow me and called. He bounded in to me then realised his mistake and bounded back out. I called again and again it was in and out quickly. Eventually, though, we managed to get him to go a little deeper and that's when my baby learnt to swim. And like any good mother I caught the moment on video.

I think there'll be more trips out here.


The rest of the weekend was filled with running and sleeping. Sounds like the perfect weekend doesn't it? Well it would have been if the running had been a little more fun. 

I'd planned to run a 20k on Saturday. Fail! It ended up being a very hard 14k. Hard because my legs just didn't want to work. And they didn't want to work because I'd had three hours sleep the night before. And I'd had three hours sleep the night before because I had been worrying (yep, another middle-of-the-night panic attack). 

My legs felt like water before I even left home. I kept hoping that they'd run themselves into a comfortable state but it never happened. And combine that with a hilly route - well, my only option was to cut it short.

So Sunday, after sleeping pretty well, I decided to try it again. I didn't plan to run 20k - just a route that I could add to if I was feeling okay. And it did start off all right. The first few kilometres were quite comfortable. And then I got to the hill and I knew my legs weren't working any better than they had been the day before. So did I cut the run short? Of course not. That would have been way too sensible. I ran the full course then added on the extra bits but gave myself walk breaks up the hills. It was hot and ugly - why is the voice in my head so stubborn that it can over-ride common sense?!!

My total distance for the week was 46k but only the speed session felt okay so I'm starting to have doubts about my ability to finish the Melbourne half. There's only three weeks till the big day and the longest run I've completed is only 18k and a bit. I swear if I could have a few stress-free weeks my running would come along in leaps and bounds. But my crystal ball isn't working so well and I don't know what's in store for the next couple of weeks so I'm going to just wait and see what unfolds. The worst that can happen is that I just don't run it.

So fingers crossed that this week my legs will be kind to me and be happy to go the extra mile.


  1. Char,
    Of course you can do the Melbourne Half - you're about three times the runner I am and I felt I could have made the half marathon distance (albeit messily)on Saturday night, even though I did a sum total of about 20km of training.

    I'm sure Toby and Lucy are connected in another life. Lucy is the official dog park greeter and just loves a swim!

  2. You're so dedicated with your running - even when you're having a bad day... so don't be so hard on yourself. (Do as I say, not as I do!!!)

    I think you're doing a great job - getting out there on little sleep and when you're not feeling 'it' is great!


  3. If my maths is right (and obviously I used the computer to convert it, not my head), 18km is 11 miles. That's definitely far enough in training for a half. As said above, you're being tough on yourself. If Toby can swim, you can do the race!

  4. Fingers crossed for you w/ Melbourne. Sorry it's been a tough road to get there.

    Toby is so cute--he seemed a bit unsure of the water, but I'm sure it will only grow on him. And loved hearing your accent!

  5. Sorry you've been struggling with your running - it's so frustrating, isn't it?

    On the plus side, I loved reading about Toby's first swim!

  6. Toby is getting soooo big! But cute as ever. Love that he's "learning" to swim :).

    I can so relate to the lack of sleep causing running to be a big fail. I just read something about the ill-effects running produces with sleep deprivation after you lose x-amount of sleep (forget the number). Age is the key component for me...the older I get, the worse I sleep! Can also relate to the lack of proper training for an upcoming race - ugh. But you have the experience to run the half and I know you will be smart -- and strong.

  7. I'm so impressed that you are so tough - you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to, I've decided. And I know the frustration of having bad runs day after day - I go through phases like that, too.

    Thanks for the Toby update - made my day!

  8. Do you ever run a race just for fun and not worry about the time? I had a lot of fun in my last half when I did that.

  9. Toby is such a cutie. No worries about your half! You. Can do it.

  10. Odd isn't it , how sometimes a planned run just doesn't go well… I always tell myself, the next time is bound to be better by default.

  11. Running and sleeping: that's a perfect weekend :)
    Good mileage for the week! You will be running 20km soon.
    20km training is also my long run goal, because I've planned to run a 21km on November, 11st. Next Sunday I am running 16km long run.

    I love watching dogs while they are enjoying their freedom.

  12. Whew, your dog is the "little boy!" I got halfway through the first sentence and was thinking, 'wait a minute, Char has a little boy? Did I miss something?"

  13. Toby log-book:
    Run - Done
    Swim - Done
    Now biking and very soon triathlon!


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