Running in Winter with a Retired Sled Dog

This post was going to be about running in the winter but then I decided I would take our dog, Maclean with me.  Seeing that she has been slightly neglected since my husband went back to school, I thought she would love it – I was right!

I decide to add an extra goal to my 12 in 2012 since there  is an extra day this year. The bonus goal is to write down each week starting on Sunday my plan for working out. What days to work out in the evening while Lilly sleeps, what days to run at lunch time when I am not on the road and what days to rest, because your body needs time to recover from a good workout.  So I set my goals, wrote them down and so far have been successful each day.

Today’s workout goal was to run at lunch since I am working from home and not on the road for meetings. It was a beautiful morning outside with the snow falling, emails were following, my conference call with 4 other physical activity practitioners was successful and informative but I was feeling a little unsure about running at lunch time. Too bad so sad, I wrote it down and running at lunch would free up my evening. Bonus!

So, we geared up and off we went. In my pocket were 3 empty poop bags. Two because I knew Maclean would need them and the third just in case. You never know!

Maclean just waiting to go for a run.

So off we went. Now remember, Maclean is a retired sled dog. That means she was a working dog who ran multiple kilometers and not just 3-5-10-20…more then that in a day! Her running is my sprinting, so today she was trotting while I  ran, thank goodness cause I was not up for sprinting. Now because she was a sled dog she wants to pull you. So the first 5 minutes or so was her pulling me and me somewhat sprinting and trying to slow her down. We finally got into a rythum.

We were doing great, then a stop…for a poop. No problem, that’s important. Once I picked up the poop I had to figure out  how to run with the bag and lead in my hands. Not ideal for a good run but I couldn’t just leave it on the side of the road – bad dog owner trick. So we kept going and stopped rather quickly for a pee break. Ahhhh I thought, beautiful day, sun is shining, I’m out for my run and then WHAM! A pheasant squacked at us and flew off. I jumped and so did Maclean.

Once back on track we climbed up the long inclined street and took a pee break, again. Now we are on Pee-Mail row (Pee-Mail is my sister’s term for dog email station; gotta stop and check/smell the mail). So I knew that Maclean would want to stop and smell the Pee-Mail but I was really wanting to run the distance of this road.  On this road there is a local elementary school and I thought I would see some kids out playing in the fresh snow that fell this morning. After all, it was lunch time. But nope, not one person was outside during lunch time. All I could think of was “SERIOUSLY, no kids outside on a perfect winter day – that’s terrible”……. I kept running. I held the lead rather close to my body and off we went down the Pee-Mail row. It was great, SHE did great. No stopping even once to smell the Pee-Mail.

Made it to the end of the road , break time for Maclean, she had to pee. Nope. Poop number 2 – so glad I brought three bags with me. And off we went. She was starting to get tired as we were running, I could tell by the fact that she was running slightly behind me now. That’s okay I thought and slowed down a bit. Maclean hasn’t been out running in a long time.

We got back and I felt great. I love running. I love winter. And, I love my dog. Best way to spend my lunch hour.



Feeling good! I love running in the winter/snow. I guess because I did a lot of training back in 2006 for my first 1/2 marathon in Haliburton, Ontario. We had plenty of snow to run in. No need for yak-tracks today but I’m sure at some point this winter I will put them on (especially if I want to run 10km under 60 minutes).







A picture of my sad, old (should be retired) running shoes. Another goal for this year is to invest in new ones.









Last but not least, a little winter running (work out) motivation for you….


Such a great run today! Feeling pretty motivated and hoping to complete my weeks’ work out goals.

Do you wait for PERFECT conditions outside to go for a run OR do you bundle up?

10 thoughts on “Running in Winter with a Retired Sled Dog

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