Thoughts I have while running with a dog

For the past month, I’ve been running with my dog almost every day. And, I have to be honest with you, it’s not pretty.

I am not a good runner. I literally have to think about what I’m doing as I’m running. My brain knows I’m nowhere near a fitness expert so is constantly trying to figure out what I’m doing every step of the way. Between that and just my general lack of normal adult functioning, a lot goes on during these adventures.

As a result, I thought it would be fun to share the many things that go on in my mind during one of my daily runs with Dio. Read along and let me know if you’ve ever experienced similar thoughts. And, if nothing else, hopefully it gives you a laugh. My brain is quite ridiculous at times.

Illustration of a girl being dragged by a dog who spots a squirrel.

“NOOOOOOO… PLEASE DON’T KILL ME DIO!”

Honestly, my arch-enemy while running around the neighborhood is all the damn critters that exist. I generally love them, don’t get me wrong. But during a run with Dio they are the bane of my existence.

Dio is a hunting dog. When he sees something dart across his vision, his automatic instinct is to charge full speed ahead to capture whatever it is he sees. I usually don’t notice these creatures when he does, so this sudden charge tends to catch me completely off guard and I’m honestly shocked I haven’t yet face-planted on to the sidewalk from the sudden momentum of him charging forward.

“Wait, was that a drug deal?”

There is nothing stranger than two cars randomly meeting up in the middle of the road, exchanging something through their windows, and pulling away as if nothing happened all in the span of thirty seconds. I mean, maybe that kind of thing doesn’t necessarily equate to a drug deal, but it’s an unusual enough of an activity that when I see things like that I jog in the other direction because I don’t want to be a witness that requires murdering. Thanks.

“Why are you slowing down? Please don’t slow down. Are you watching me? Recording me? Thinking about kidnap me? Please go away.”

Speaking of vehicles, I absolutely hate cars that slow down while in my general vicinity. If you drive by and hit your breaks, I can’t help but assume right away that I am the cause for your decreased speed.

The fun game then is trying to decide why the sight of me caused the vehicle to slow down. Is it because I look so absolutely ridiculous that they want to record me running and post it online? Are they snapchatting me to all of their friends and laughing about how red my face is while running? Are they considering kidnapping me?

I know the world doesn’t revolve around me but it doesn’t stop me from thinking these things with every car that goes by. I trust no one.

“Okay Asti, let’s actually try lifting our feet up more than a centimeter off the ground. We’re running, not skating.”

This is embarrassing to admit but sometimes I really find it hard to pick my feet up off the ground. My body realized a long time ago that getting from one place to another doesn’t require a large range of movement. Just scuffle your feet and you’re there. So sometimes while I’m running I literally have to tell myself to increase my range of motion by picking up my feet. How sad.

Illustration of girl walking her dog in the rain.

“Of course. Of course it’s raining now even though my weather app said I’d be clear for another hour. Thanks a lot, world.”

Ah, the weather. Nothing like that fun element of mother nature to bring joy to a run. I check my weather app for the hourly breakdown every day before we go for our run but I honestly have no idea why because it’s rarely correct.

If it says it’ll rain later in the day, expect it to rain right after you’re a block away on your run.

But hey, at least if it’s raining they can’t tell whether it’s rain or sweat dripping down your face. Work it.

“Okay, I know this beat is sick but you really cannot start clubbing in the middle of this sidewalk. Control those hips!”

My favorite thing to run to is upbeat dance music. Getting lost in the music helps keep my mind from over-thinking and the steady beats help me find a rhythm in my run.

But I also like to dance. And just as it did with running on the treadmill, listening to music while on the run makes me want to somehow include dancing in my steps.

Of course, the main difference between the treadmill and now is that I’m running outside where everyone can see me. So when those dancing impulses hit (and they always eventually do), I have to remind myself that I’m in public and there’s definitely no way a car isn’t going to slow down by me if they see me attempting to run AND dance at the same time.

Control yourself, Asti.

“Are you breathing? You should probably keep breathing. I’m pretty sure you’ll die if you don’t.”

Honestly, the number one thing I think about the most while running is breathing. I know it’s supposed to be an automatic thing, but there’s something about exercise that makes my body question its ability to function adequately and I have to make conscious efforts to control my breathing so I don’t spaz out and just die on the sidewalk. It’s beautiful.

“Watch that crack in the sidewalk because if you fall and break your ankle it’ll be really embarrassing to have to crawl all the way back home from here.”

This is one of those fear-filled thoughts that sometimes creep in my mind while running. It’s like waiting in line for a rollercoaster, right? You sit there and think “shit, what if it breaks down while I’m on it?” and your anxiety kicks in a bit.

There’s always a small part of me that is sure I’m going to somehow seriously injure myself during our runs and that I’ll have to crawl my way back to my house. It hasn’t happened yet, but when it does, that little part in my brain is going to be ready with an “I told you so.”

Illustration of dog growling at a vacuum across the street while on a walk.

“Dio, it’s just a vacuum cleaner. Stop growling at it. It’s not going to attack us. It’s not even plugged in!”

My dog doesn’t like when there are unusual things on the side of the road during our run. He knows how to react to things like squirrels and people. But a vacuum sitting on the curb? That freaks him right out. The mohawk goes up, he growls, and he cannot let that sucker out of his sight until we are at least a block away.

“Oh shit, another person up ahead. Should I smile? Do I avoid eye contact? Should I cross the street? Should I run in the opposite direction? What do I dooooo?”

I find it awkward when coming across other people in public in general, but especially so during a run. The last thing I want is for anyone to look at me while I’m huffing and puffing, so I really don’t even attempt to make myself look like a nice sociable person as I’m jogging. Smiling, taking an ear piece out, crossing the street? What is the protocol for behavior when encountering someone else on a run?

The worst part is feeling like you can’t stop running until you’re a good distance away or else they’ll be able to hear just how much jogging kills you.

“Did I just fart? How loud was it? Just because you can’t hear it with your headphones in doesn’t mean no one else around can hear it!”

Okay, I’m not going to lie, this has happened more than once during my runs and each time I have to look around me to make sure there’s no one in the general vicinity because I can’t control my body when it decides to let some air loose like that! I’m too busy focusing on not dying, I can’t clench my cheeks together at the same time!

Plus, as my mom sometimes likes to joke, farts can help propel you forward. I’m my own little rocket ship. Watch my speed increase as I let one loose.

(Dave surely regrets marrying me.)

“You did it. It fucking sucked and you didn’t have to but you did it. YOU’RE FUCKING AMAZING.”

This is my favorite thought and one that occurs every time I finish a run. I don’t love running, but I do it. And you know? I’m damn proud of myself for doing so.

Let’s Chat

Does anyone else ever have similar thoughts while running (or just in general)? What other things are on your mind during a run? And how do you deal with crossing other people on your running path? Do you just ignore them? Let me know in the comments below!

Asti signature

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11 thoughts on “Thoughts I have while running with a dog

  1. I don’t run with a dog (or run at all, actually), but I have many of these thoughts when I go for walks!
    I don’t have this problem so much where I am now, but back home I’d always feel uneasy whenever a car approached me, especially slowly. Now I feel uneasy whenever I see two men together and no one else is around. I’ve never worried about being recorded, though. Hopefully I won’t start. xD
    The weather app ALWAYS lies!
    Um, yeah, breathing definitely doesn’t come naturally to me.
    People (and by people I mean gross men) back home would sometimes say things to me or comment on my big floppy hat, but that is NOT a problem at all here. Germans aren’t friendly. I get weird looks whenever I smile at someone.

    1. I actually never know who is in the car when one approaches me because I almost never make eye contact. It’s like monsters, you know. If you don’t see them then they don’t exist, right? I just keep looking forward and hope the sight of Dio is enough to deter anyone from ever bugging me. He’s a big beastie.

      I’ve also never had anyone say anything to me, thankfully. (Or I guess if they HAVE said anything, I haven’t realized because I always have headphones on with music playing.) I’m just an invisible girl, for the most part. I’m okay with that though because my main memory of someone shouting something out at me from a car is back in high school when someone drove by me and shouted “just kill yourself already”, which was lovely.

      1. That’s where a dog comes in handy! So, three days after I commented, I had an unpleasant encounter on my walk. A teenage boy passing by jumped at me and shouted in my ear. It scared the crap out of me! There were tons of people around, so I wasn’t scared for my safety, but I’d already had a bad day, and that just made it worse. Plus, there was a group of his friends a little ways off, and they were holding up a phone/laughing hysterically. So now I don’t know if they actually were filming me or if I’m just paranoid. xD

        That’s the nice thing about headphones! I don’t know why people in my old neighborhood always felt the need to make comments about and to me. I think I told you that some man told me my skin was so beautiful and glistened. Obviously it was just lots of sweat. xD But your story is HORRIBLE, and I’m so sorry someone shouted that at you. *hugs*

        1. Ugh, that is horrible about the teenage boy. It’s so stupid that no matter what country you’re in there’ll always be immature boys like that. I’m sorry to hear that it made your bad day worse. It’s understandable though. Even with my experience, I was used to people making comments about me always wearing black at school but that day someone shouted that out of a car I was actually led to tears. The fact that it was just a random stranger and not someone I knew from my classes made it so much worse because it’s like they went out of their way to bring some random person down, and that sucks. So yeah, boo the world. I hope it doesn’t happen again!

          Haha beautiful and glistening skin that’s really sweat. How romantic. Now if anyone ever says anything to me it’s just about Dio and I’m okay with that. He deserves the love. 😛

      2. Ha, I guess that’s one things we can always count on: idiotic teenage boys. xD The fact that a random stranger went of his way to say something horrible to you says way more about him than it does for you. Obviously he’s a miserable person who hates his own life.

  2. That’s sooo cute! It’s great that you can run with your dog!!
    I think if people are slowing down around you, it’s because they don’t want to run you over, so you most definitely probably are the reason why they’re slowing down. Especially if you have headphones on or something, then they would slow down because they’d think you might not be able to hear them and start bolting or something. (And of course, dogs are unpredictable as well.) ORR they might just be like me and needed a better look at the dog… 😉

    I used to run a lot, but since I got sick, I can only do the treadmill and agh. It sucks. 😦 I’ve no motivation at all. I can’t wait until I can get a dog so I can at least get a twice a day long walks in every day with him!!!

    1. That would make sense if I were running out in the road, but I actually only run on sidewalks so the only way anyone would have to worry about running me over is if they had plans to drive up over the curb and past the six feet of grass to get to the sidewalk. So yeah, if they’re slowing down because of me it’s not because of such a courteous reason!

      The second look at the dog is a possible reason though. He is one good looking dog, I’m not going to lie 😉

      Yes, dogs are the best for running! They’re really good at keeping a person accountable because even if you have a million reasons in your head why you shouldn’t go out a certain day they will be ready to go at the time you normally go and disappointing them is just not allowed.

  3. I have to say I completely understand your thoughts. I want so bad to run but don’t want to look ridiculous. I’m 5’1 overweight and big breasted lol so I feel like a bouncy ball when I try and run and every time I pass someone I can’t help but wonder how ridiculous I probably look when honestly I am probably the last thing on their mind. I am trying to get out walking more and hoping before the summer is out to maybe start running but even walking I have some silly thoughts going through my mind. I am always concerned I am going to trip or walk into something or that someone is following me when really they are just trying to get from point A to B and aren’t even paying attention to me. Despite all that I wish I had the courage and stamina to just go for a run.

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone in my self-conscious thoughts! Isn’t it crazy how much a mind can worry about that stuff when doing something as simple as walking around the neighborhood? I even run by a school on my current route and every time my brain tells me it’s a bad idea because surely all the kids sitting inside are just staring at the window laughing at my pitiful attempt at running!

      Of course, anytime I see someone running or exercising outside, no matter their size or sweat or red-facedness, I always think “You go girl/guy!”I internally cheer them on because I admire the fact that they’re doing it when I so often find an excuse not to. So now I try really hard to convince myself that others think the same thing when they see me running, that they’re impressed I’m even trying, which sometimes help. (Well, rarely. For the most part my brain still assumes the worst, haha.)

      I wish you luck if you do decide to start running! I used the C25K app (will be moving onto the 10k app soon as I finished the 5k one last week!) and it really was the best thing for me to build up my stamina. That first week where you run a minute and then walk two and repeat for a half hour was so hard for me in the beginning. I literally thought my ankles were going to snap from attempting to support my weight while running. I repeated it a couple of times until the pain became managable and then moved my way up through the program to the point where I can now run 30 minutes without stopping (and without that pain). So yes, it’s definitely hard (both physically and mentally) but achievable if you give yourself a chance!

  4. Hahahaha, I love this so much! The way you captured all of these precious moments and words and illustrations are perfect.

    I’m not a runner, but I do walk my new doggo. I live in the country so our daily walks are a bit different. There are a lot more wildlife, kangaroos, sheep, deer, rabbits, birds and so many smells she wants to go in every direction (summer will be even worse with snakes, aaah). A lot of my thoughts include ‘what is that, omg what are you eating, nooooo, ahhh’ hahaha. I don’t have the problem of seeing people that often and because I live in a small town I will 99% of the time know them, so I say hello or have some form of interaction and then go back to hibernation haha.

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