Couch to 5K

in praise of the dog

Just redoing week 1 because of break for holiday and dodgy knee. I usually run with the dog (when I say run, I'm sure other beginners will recognise the slight self flattery). Little Bonnie (yes, I have been hiding behind my dog's name) had to go to the vet for a minor op, so was still a bit wobbly yesterday, so I had to go out on my own.

My Mum always used to say she didn't like "walking in cold blood" - i.e. the dog is the purpose of a walk. I can also remember walking round Derwentwater in the POURING rain, and another mad, drenched person commenting "at least you have an excuse" i.e. dog. But I digress.

Going out on my own yesterday made me realise two things.

If you have a dog with you you have a reason to be out there, so you are not, in the eyes of observers, pretending to be a runner in your shiny new trainers. You are out with the dog and just happen to break into a slight jog occasionally. This is brilliant camouflage for the not-yet "runner".

Secondly, as I was alone, I didn't fancy going into the woods in the evening, so I stuck to the pavements, and felt very self conscious lumbering along in my trainers (but with a very baggy hoodie too). People must have thought I was trying to run, because I didn't have dog with me that I was exercising. (I did manage to overtake a dog walker, but she was going VERY slowly)

I know you all say we shouldn't feel self conscious, but I totally empathise with all the other beginners who have expressed this feeling. Roll on the time when I can look like a runner who is entitled to wear running shoes and running clothes. (I'm not looking forward to the warmer weather when I will have to cast off some of the baggy overgarments)

Hope my ramblings make some sense.

Good luck to everyone else who is starting out like me.

Bonnie is fine now, so hope she will come out with me later. To the woods...!

5 Replies

The "You are out with the dog and just happen to break into a slight jog occasionally" made me giggle. I combine my running activity with taking the dog out.

Well done on getting out there.


LOL, I can so identify with your comments....made me giggle a lot. I'm now on week 5 and I've been doing the programme with my 5 year old Cocker Spaniel! She is coping with the running much better than me! Having said that she is always happy to get home and hop into her cosy bed for a nap! Such a hard life! We run around some lakes, and she gets a bit excited when she spots ducks, pelicans etc....all of a sudden my pace dramatically increases as I'm dragged off in pursuit of the quarry, although I'm sure she would not know what to do if she got anywhere near them! You just have to love your doggys!

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Yup, another dog here who was also used as disguise for the first week or so, when I ran in jeans as I felt such a fraud. Now I have graduated to a pair of leggings and a proper running t-shirt (though that is currently hidden under a fleece). Luckily for me I have access to lots of woods and fields, with not many people about - and at least half of those who spot me know me. If I didn't have the dog to walk, I know I would not be doing this. He thinks it's great: the faster the human goes, the more he likes it.

He mocks me, though: stands waiting at the next gate with a bored look on his face.


Great post and very positive. I guess we all love our dogs and wouldn't really want to be without them. I wouldn't worry about casting off baggy clothing - I used to be a member of a nudist colony (seriously) and you won't see any model figures there! I'm doing my graduation run in skin tight lycra - bulges, flab and all. Onlookers will just have to get used to it. Enjoy your running. Best wishes.


Good luck with your graduation run . You will be brill I am sure


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