Saturday, January 10, 2009

The 40 MPH Couch Potato

The regular walks are a good thing for at least one member of the family. That would be Jager, our greyhound. I've never seen a dog get so excited the moment you touch his leash. Puppy's got some amazing hearing, because there's times where you pick that thing up as quietly as possible and he's barreling into the kitchen, jumping up and down on his hind legs trying to push his nose into the collar.

Now, Jager can be great and awful all at the same time for taking on walks if you want to get a good brisk walk in. He'll start out full steam ahead and will do an awesome job of setting a great pace. So then you're cruising along, heart rate is going great, and then boom, Jager's stopped to sniff a bush or a tree and you're tumbling over him.

Jager is a retired race hound. They retired him at 2 years old... now the dog is amazingly fast. When he gets a chance to run, look out. Usually from what I understand greyhounds are quite a bit older when they get retired. But I think I'm getting clues as to why. Walking through the park I see all these other dogs straining at the least to chase the geese or the rabbits. Jager pays them no mind. Which actually makes him a great dog to walk, but... somehow I wonder if lack of interest in rabbits was part of his undoing? If anyone remembers Santa's Little Helper from the Simpsons, well I found one dog that would lose to him. "And here we come around the bend, it's Santa's Little Helper. Santa's Little Helper pulls ahead and Jager.... is off sniffing the fence posts...

Now the truth is, greyounds are awesome pets. He doesn't get into things, he doesn't shed, he doesn't bark, he doesn't do any of those things 'bad dogs' do. In fact, he sleeps a lot. He'll plop down anywhere for a nap, which is why my wife calls him the 40 mph couch potato. Greyhounds are not llike other dogs that curl up into this nice little ball either. Because they're all skin, bone and muscle (and very short hair) something about laying down just looks.... awkward. About a month after we were married I heard a bark and wondered if a neighbor's dog got into our house. Nope, that was Jager. He maybe barks once every 2 months -- I'm thinking of tracking his barks to see if there's a pattern but it's hard to get a pattern out of 3 barks. He's a tall, menacing looking dog, which made him ideal for going with my wife when she'd go out running, one look at that dog and bad guys are like, okay, I'm keeping my distance.

But he does whimper a lot. Especially at 3 in the morning when he's gotta go outside...

So I got thinking today when taking him along while out on my walk. Man's best friend? Really?? who's really who's best friend? After all, I'm the one following HIM carrying a bag of HIS poop... I grew up watching Lassie and seeing movies like Old Yeller where the dog would run out and risk his life to fight off a cougar or a grizzly bear. Jager's best shot would be to whimper the attacker to death. And then take a nap. It's a good thing we live in the city, cuz at least he looks mean. Grizzlies and cougars probably aren't fooled by the looks, but hopefully any potential thugs are.

Although next time he plops his feet up on the table and reaches over and takes a whole roast and wolfs it down before we can stop him, we just might go looking for a grizzly...

Okay, so enough about the couch potato. Today was much warmer than the 20 last Sunday. Okay, still only 45 or so but it was a great day for a bike ride. I stuck to the trails today, no killer hills. G0t in 12.4 miles today and felt really, really good. And then a mile with the couch potato on foot, so that made a pretty good day. Okay, i did munch down one of my daughter's chocolate chip cookies (but it was made with whole grain flour!!!)... though I think that's one thing I like about this diet compared to when I did Atkins, it really allows room for things like that, it's not nearly as strict about stuff.

Okay, on the scale side, I was actually up .4 pounds from yesterday. I know that's one of the reasons not to weigh every day because that kind of thing just happens from time to time. But if I'm weighing once a week, you get a better measure.

Anyway, the totals are:

Walking: 1.0 miles today, 5.65 total.
Biking: 12.4 miles today, 22.5 miles total

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