Tag Archives: Dogs


Dragon and I finished up a long training block yesterday with a run back and forth across the Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains¬†— earning a 1000 mile badge from Run the Year 2017 and racking up a classic 8-week progression.



Never before have I cherished an upward trending graph so much. ūüôā

This week will see something of a decrease in mileage and vertical feet in preparation for Saturday’s Mount Washington Road Race. I’ve completed this race 4 times before, and I’m cautiously optimistic about my training this time around. Now it’s mostly up to weather, wind, and hydration.

After that, it’s 4 weeks until wheels up to Scandinavia!

I celebrated my run with Dragon by making a little video ūüôā

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An early season run up the steep woody slopes of nearby Smuggler’s Notch on Monday was a perfect solitary sojourn to balance the weekend’s racing with our team in southern New England sunshine.

Both were glorious.


And each¬†reminded me of why I run — to set aside the quotidian and revel in the rhythm of an¬†ever changing perceptual present.

Like many runners, I love¬†to¬†pick through¬†my running data, looking at averages, highs and lows. From the past year, for example —¬†cadence: 155 strides per minute; heart rate: 139 beats per minute; stride length: 1.09 meters; ground contact time: 308 milliseconds — all of this has meaning for me, but mostly¬†in hindsight — to see trends, explore anomalies, and set training goals for the future.

What¬†these numbers do not¬†show¬†is what is actually happening —¬†¬†when I am most focused in the moment¬†— when there is nothing between me, the moment, and the syncopation of shoes on stone¬†and¬†snow and dirt.

A lifetime can happen in 308 ms, and I don’t want to miss any of it.


still winter in the mountains

A few miles on the slopes of¬†Mount Mansfield yesterday evening…

the art of running in the rain

My dog Dragon and I sat¬†nestled by the woodstove on the couch one¬†late fall evening on the week before the solstice, listening to a fresh access of wind that caught against the house a moment. I had put off (I would say we, but that would make Dragon equally¬†culpable in my procrastination…) the day’s run, waiting for the gray sky to lighten¬†before the¬†winter evening begins to settle down.

The weather¬†chose, though, not to abate, and, soaked with day’s¬†heavy rain, it¬†turned the trails into sluices running with slush. So I added¬†a headlamp to my rainproof coat, gaiters, and¬†microspikes, and we set off into the¬†winter dark.

Once we started out and stepped off the short stretch of gravel road leading into fallow pasture and up a hillside of second and third growth forests, what little light there was sloughed off and¬†pooled in the valley behind us. Apart from our resident turkeys and a handful of deer, our’s were the only¬†prints in the wet snow.

It was dark and wet and wild.

It was magic.

No doubt everyone has¬†weathered the oppressive weight of many days of rain on end. And even if the rain, as¬†it¬†occasionally can for me, persists within despite the sunny weather outside, sometimes there is nothing better than to get kitted out and charge into the rain soaked night–avant moi, le deluge!


an evening out

A run on my favorite 5-miler at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center trails with Dragon….with a few extra hills mixed in.¬†Soon we’ll all be skiing this same stretch of trail, but for the time being, it’s a great end-of-day workout ; )

on losing a running partner

A post from Canicross Quebec on Facebook on Monday morning led with:

Courir avec deux jambes, c‚Äôest bien. Mais avec six, c‚Äôest encore mieux. C‚Äôest justement ce en quoi consiste le canicross, une activit√© sportive o√Ļ chien et ma√ģtre courent de concert.

At the time I clicked ‘like,’ I had no idea that one of my two canine running partners had run her last the day before. Liska, our 4-year old border collie/lab,¬†succumbed to an acute onset paralysis, and by Tuesday morning had no feeling or mobility¬†below her shoulder blades.

She left us late yesterday morning, and I cried harder and longer than I had in many years.

Our dogs have been my running partners, life partners, for as long as I can remember. They have always been members of our family: caretakers, nap companions, roadtrip co-pilots, confidants, co-adventurers, and of course, training partners. More than perhaps anyone, they, and Liska in particular, have taught me about camaraderie, persistence, routine, selfless compassion, and loyal friendship.

I know that my interactions with our other dog, Dragon, a nearly 3-year old husky/greyhound cross, will evolve as we both come to terms with the loss of our mutual friend; I know we have many more adventures to come with him; I know that someday we will most likely adopt another puppy, and like all of the dogs in my life, it will be black, it will be fast, and it will be loved.

For now, I take solace in the time that Liska and I had together, and the life¬†she helped me to make whole, the support of my family and friends, and the memories I’ll always have.