Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oktoberfest Fun Run!

This morning Adam and I loaded the dogs up to do the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest 5K! It was a blast, like it has been the previous years. The added bonus this year was that Adam came along.:) When we were too far into our drive to turn around, I realized that I had managed to completely forget BOTH of the dogs' gentle leaders. While they can behave themselves on leash nicely, when you put two well conditioned, well rested, and competitive dogs in a situation where there's all sorts of stimulating things going on, you have an interesting time. Even with the gentle leader on Heffner ALWAYS wants to beat whoever is ahead of him. Even when we out on one of nightly jogs, if there's a person walking ahead of us, he picks up the pace in order to pass them. Once we're by, he comes back down to a pace that's closer to mine. So imagine his reaction when we're at the back (I prefer the less crowded back of the pack for starting a race even though it means a lot more people to have to pass later on) of a pack of well over 800 people who are all walking, power walking, jogging, or running. Yes, that's right. I went for one hell of a run!LOL

Adam was running with Bess because she is "generally" easier to run with and doesn't have the little reactivity issues that Heffner sometimes has. But she also has the need to try and beat her brother, so that was an interesting time of it for Adam. No gentle leader to curb her pulling. Just 120 lbs. of vibrating energy that wanted to cut loose. Like I said, it was not most brilliant moment forgetting those darn things! At one point, I dashed ahead of Adam and Bess so that I could get Heffner past a lab that was slightly ahead of us. Once I got ahead, Adam was having a harder time breaking out of the crowd to catch up to Heffner and I. And of course, Heffner just wanted to RUN. I finally gave up and we just went on ahead. I think he really needed that. After about a mile, he was more happy to nicely stay out in front of me without pulling like a beast.
After hitting the turn around and figuring out where Adam and Bess were, we pulled off into one of the fields along the route and waited for them to catch up so that we could run together. After about two miles of Adam getting hauled along by Bess, he needed a break and handed her off to me. With only a mile left and the two of them still REALLY wanting to go and now running right next to each other and boosting those competitive juices, we just went on ahead. Thankfully they were really well behaved for me, because between the two of them, if a squirrel had crossed our path, I was going to be eating pavement in a really big way!

Along the way, we naturally got some horse comments, some nice dogs comments, and a bunch of people jokingly saying that it wasn't fair that I was getting help with the race. Ha! If people only could fully understand what it's like to run with even one of the dogs when they are raring to go! Trust me, it's a LOT more work than it would seem like. For one thing, I'm only able to swing one of my arms while running. Then there's that whole maintaining balance thing. And the whole trying to maneuver around that many people with one or two giant dogs. And a multitude of other things. I have to put so much more effort into running when I go with the dogs than when I just run by myself.

Anyhow, we all finished the race in one piece! While I was waiting for the rest of my family to finish up (my dad and mom also did the 5k, with my dad finishing shortly behind me; quite impressive for a man in his mid 50's who doesn't regularly go out running!), I hung out by the water fountain so that the dogs could get something to drink.:)
Naturally, the dogs were kid magnets! The two pictures above were taken by a fellow competitor who was nice enough to email them to me.:) There was one boy who was just the perfect height to give Bess a nice hug around her neck. It was so cute and I seriously wish that I had my camera at that point to capture that! Both dogs got a lot of attention and were really well behaved. It helped that they had just run 3.1 miles, so they were a little mellower.;o) There was also this adorable little girl who was slightly shorter than Bess who came up to say hi to the dogs. Bess wanted to sniff her all over and the little girl loved it! Then she went up and gave Bess this tiny little kiss on her shoulder. Seriously adorable! Heffner, not to be out done, very gently went up to her and did these delicate little wuffling "kisses" that he sometimes does. Again, seriously adorable! I was also kind of surprised because Heffner usually couldn't care less about little kids. As long as they don't swarm him, he's just kind of ignores them. But he was so gentle with this little girl. Cute!
After the race was over and everyone was collected, we headed back to my parents' house for a little visiting and relaxing. Shortly after we got there, my sister showed up with a dog that she was watching, Ellie. Heffner met Ellie when he was a lot longer and LOVED her. She was actually the dog that got him to start swimming. We were all hanging out at Hagg Lake and Ellie was swimming around. Heffner wanted to play, and the only way he was going to get her to play with him was by going in the water after her. Which he promptly did!

It's been years since Heffner has seen Ellie, so I was a bit apprehensive with how he was going to behave. I would prefer to err on the side of caution than let him work himself up into a tizzy and potentially hurt another dog. They got to nose each other through the screen door. It was pretty obvious that Heffner wasn't bothered by her, so we let all the dogs out together. Heffner sniffed and then was done. Bess, on the other hand, thought Ellie was the perfect chasing toy! All the pictures that I took of the two running around turned out blurry, but this is the least blurry of the lot.

Heffner demonstrated his amazing slobber skills by slowly creating a seriously long slinger!
After our visit, we all headed down to Corvallis so that I could drop Adam off to watch the Oregon State beavers (our alma mater) home football game. If you live in the area, you're probably cringing right now because you realize how atrocious the traffic getting south must have been. And you'd be correct! The traffic was particularly bad today because not only does OSU have a home football game, but so does the University of Oregon, which is only about 45 minutes to an hour further south. Oh yeah, and U of O is playing Portland State, which is also a local college. So you have massive amounts of people cramming onto the highway to watch football games for essentially three local big colleges. That's a whole lotta people! It added a little over 45 minutes to my normal drive. It was sucktastic!

But I'm home now and the dogs and I are relaxing. I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Texas The Doxie said...

wow what a day!! We's glad you didn't even have ta meet Mr.Pavement!!

houndstooth said...

Whew! I'm tired just reading about it! I'm glad everyone did so well. Kudos to your dad, too!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Wow! It sounds like the dogs had a blast and you must be thankful to be all in one piece! I am so not a runner so hats off to you two!