“I get by with a little help from my friends”

Earlier this week, I shared with you all how I found my way into running. A big part of the leap came from a friend. She gave me two of the most important things I think anyone entering a fitness program needs: accountability and encouragement. I recommend anyone who wants to get into running or fitness in general to enlist in the help of a friend. Hell, I still rely on my BodyPump buddy, Heidi, as motivation to drag my lazy ass to class every Tuesday morning at 5!

But back to running. Nowadays, I very rarely run with other people, especially if I’m training for a specific race. I’m far too OCD with distance and speed to chance that the person I’m with won’t be on the same high-strung, anal-retentive page. But I do have one running buddy that I always enjoy hitting the pavement with – my dog, Burton.

Burton Runs

Even in snowy, cold weather, Burton is ready to run

Burton is a ridiculously energetic 2 ½ year old Bug – a mixed breed of Boston Terrier and Pug. One look at him, 19 pounds, huge wide-set eyes and smooshed face, you’d never guess he’s a runner. In fact, the reactions I get when I casually mention he and I went for an 8-mile run are priceless. He’s not a Lab, Weimaraner or other breed associated with runners, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and endurance.

Aside from pushing my pace per mile, I think the best part of running with Burton is I can always count on him. He has never once turned down the chance to run because he wasn’t in the mood. He’s never thrown in the towel after two miles because he’s tired. He goes when I want to and he won’t stop until I stop. He just might love running more than I do.

I don’t mean to say other people or those I’ve run with in the past are lazy, slow and unreliable – not at all. Any workout buddy, whether human or not, is worth their weight in gold, just by being there. By offering empathy. By understanding that we all have days where our bodies just want to say no. I guess I’ve just grown to prefer the company of Burton during my runs over anyone else. It’s kind of become “our thing” and I like that.

I’m not alone in this. There’s a wonderful blogger I follow, Lea, whose blog title outright states her love of running with her dog – runningwithollie.com. I’m especially excited to share her blog on my own, as Burton and I are going to be featured on it tomorrow! I’ll share the link here and on Twitter, and I hope you’ll check it out.

A final thought: If you’re in need of a workout buddy, consider the furry friend curled up on the couch next to you. I’d bet he or she would love to get outside and hit the pavement with you.

Any other dog moms/dads out there who love running with their fur baby? Comment or tweet me, @runlikeagirl311.


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