Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Week Ending March 11th

11 days and 246.5 miles so far.

As of today, current pledges have earned $424.15!

Last week I planned to be a bit more conservative with mileage to make sure I kept on pace for 600 miles this month. That didn’t quite go as planned and I came in over goal with 144 miles for the week. Vertical gain was a bit soft with only 16,738ft but I expected this to be low since I’ve been going out of my way to try to go out on different routes and runs that I don’t normally do.

I’ve been pretty tired this week but overall, the extra miles have been a lot of fun. I’ve been able to get out to run with a lot of different friends and since I’ve had more time and have slowed down considerably, I’ve been able to take Sheba out with me more often. She usually doesn’t make it more than 2 to 3 miles on a run but this last Friday, she finished the full 7 mile loop around Pineridge.

On Saturday, I met a good friend for her birthday and went out for an ice cream cone run. We started out pretty well running the cone part of the route but later in the day, the ice cream loop melted away ….much like our will to continue running. But I still ended up with a solid 41 mile day out in the most gorgeous warm, spring weather. Next week I’ll go back and run a proper double scoop at Alex’s official FCTR March Madness Run around the reservoir.

For Animal House dog runs, I took Scout out for a couple longer runs. We went out to the usual Tuesday FCTR social run at Reservoir Ridge and went out for another run around the ponds behind the shelter on Friday. Celeste and Lindsey came out Friday morning and ran shorter laps to take Ashley, Ross, Sapphi, Hedwig, Dino, and Titan out. If anyone else is interested in volunteering, feel free to contact Animal House.


March 4th – Harley

So March is off to a great start. 102.5 miles down and only 497.5 left to go!

Current pledges have already raised $98.53 and my current daily average is on track to bring in over $1,000. I plan to take some lighter days to get through the work week so projections should taper off to a little more realistic level over the next few days.

Today was possibly the best day of running in a very long time. After spending almost 7 hours going up and down Bear Peak on icy trails on Saturday, my legs were pretty tired. I haven’t put in that much time and vertical gain in one day in a very long time and it took quite a bit of effort to get up and get moving again this morning.  But the gorgeous spring weather and clear, dry trails made it worth spending the day outside regardless of how bad my legs felt.

The few south from the top of Reservoir Ridge looking back along the foothills that run the length of Horsetooth reservoir.

After a nice run along the Foothills trail system, I headed over to Animal House to get in a few extra “easy” miles with the dogs. The highlight of my day was getting to the shelter just in time to meet Rocky‘s new family. They seemed like a perfect match and I was pretty happy to see him head out the door for good.

I took Scout out for an easy 4 mile run around the streets and through City Park and then took Harley out for 5 more easy miles around the ponds behind the shelter.

Harley has been in a foster home for several months now and it’s obvious that they’ve been doing a great job working with her. She already knows sit and down and is very smart and eager to learn. She’s very friendly and gets along with any other dogs or people. There really isn’t anything wrong with her. Except one minor detail – she’s deaf.

I never really realized how much I use voice commands with the dogs to correct and praise them so it takes a little bit to get used to working with Harley. She’s been learning hand signals very well and on leash, the gentle leader works perfectly to give her direction. For the most part, she just naturally stayed at my side. But any time we went by dogs or other distractions, just a tiny tug at the gentle leader was all it took to get her back on track. And any time she was good and payed attention, I made sure I leaned down to scratch her ear and she seemed to respond very well to this extra positive reinforcement. Unfortunately Harley won’t ever be a dog who can run free off leash since there’s no way to reliably call her back. But this is a fairly minor inconvenience. My own dog Baxter (who can hear perfectly well) has a tendency to panic and run and can’t be trusted off leash. He’s managed to escape a couple times and it’s definitely something I always worry about. But it really hasn’t been a huge hassle to keep him on leash when he’s out in public or supervised when he’s in my fenced yard. Anyone willing to put the time and patience into working with Harley is going to end up with a fantastic dog.

Harley is a gorgeous little lab mix.

Contact Animal House for more info about adopting Harley.

I like big mutts – Joah, Rocky, and Scout

While the usual retriever, hearding, and hunting mixes are usually the most practical dogs for running and just about anything else, I always have the most fun with big dogs – especially the big bully mixes.

Today I went out for runs with Joah and Rocky. For the past few weeks I’ve been running with Scout regularly.

Rocky is a Boxer/Shepherd mix

Rocky is is a super friendly, energetic, goof ball. He could use a bit more practice with leash manners and he can be pretty stubborn. But his happy and friendly personality tends to make up for it. It takes a little patience to give him direction and get him to cooperate but he does catch on eventually. This morning he started out throwing a fit trying to get the gentle leader off but quickly figured out that if he ran nicely, it wouldn’t bother him.

Joah is some sort of a Bull Dog/Pit Bull mix.

With a face like this, I have no idea why someone hasn't snatched him up yet. (photo by Animal House)

Joah is really a great dog all around. He’s attentive, eager to please, and already has excellent manners. I didn’t use a gentle leader with him today and he’s a bit of a puller on the run. He doesn’t chase after anything or really try to take your arm off. He’s fine walking around and he didn’t seem to be interested in other dogs, people, or birds along the way. I think he just likes to pull like he has a job to do on the run. Next time I take him out, I’ll use a gentle leader to give my arm a rest.

Scout is some sort of Deerhound, Scottish/Terrier, Airedale mix. ...whatever he is, he's an impressive looking dog!

Scout is a ton of fun to run with. He occasionally wants to chase things but he’s super easy to control with a gentle leader – kind of like leading a horse around. And as long as he isn’t distracted by something, he’ll run nicely on a slack leash right at my hip. He’s very friendly and affectionate towards people and likes to lean into you for attention. And he learns quickly and responds very well to attention and loves treats.

Contact the staff at Animal House for more details about adopting any of these dogs. And if anyone wants to meet these guys or any other Animal House dog on a run, feel free to email me. I always bring a dog out to our Tuesday social run and this month, I’ll be running plenty of extra miles and will gladly make time to meet for a run.


March Madness Pledges

Current pledges and total progress for my 2012 March Madness Fundraising for Animal House.

I will continue to update this report on a regular basis throughout the month with my progress and any new pledges.

Full details about the project are posted here.

To make a pledge or invite me out on a run, email me directly at

March Madness Animal House Fundraiser

For the past year I’ve been volunteering for Animal House helping to take some of their more active, energetic dogs out on runs a couple times every week. And over the past few years, I’ve continued to find fun and interesting ways to challenge myself and push the limits of my running ability. But other than running local 5k charity races and chipping in a few bucks for dozens of different Teams In Training, Fight for Air Republic Stair Climbers, or any other odd fund raiser like Runners Without Borders and the HPBT, I’ve never actually organized a fundraiser myself. Running is definitely an effective way to raise money so I figured I’d finally put my miles to good use and try to raise some funds for Animal House.

The plan is pretty simple. I’m putting my entire running volume up for pledging for the month of March.

My goal for March is to run as much as I possibly can.

My biggest month of mileage so far has been 500.5 miles. I think with a consistent focus on daily volume over the full 31 days of March, 600 miles should be a reasonable target to aim for.

And just to make sure I don’t get lazy and run a ton of easy road miles all month, I will welcome pledges for total vertical feet or specific challenges. The only restriction is that I won’t be running very fast this month so pledges related to any speed performance at races or time trials won’t be very helpful.

I will consider any reasonable challenge for volume and difficulty. And I’ll probably even consider most unreasonable challenges for volume and difficulty too:-)

My only rules and limitations are that I need to stay healthy and uninjured to continue to run every day, I need to keep up with my full time work schedule, and all miles will be outdoors – treadmills don’t count. I won’t be doing any huge 24 hour or 100 mile efforts that will require too much time to recover from. My longer runs will be around 30-40 miles and I probably won’t run any single day over 50-60 miles. I also plan to keep up with my volunteer running and will aim to get out with the shelter dogs for at least 3-4 runs per week.

Here are some stats for a frame of reference for pledges.

Largest Month: 500.5 miles
Largest Week: 222 Miles
Recent volume: Feb – 273.25, Jan – 274, Dec – 322, Nov – 328.75, Oct 405

Vertical PRs:
Largest Month: 89,667ft
Largest Week: 43,935ft
Recent Volume: Feb – 25,380ft, Jan – 32,503ft, Dec – 42,294ft, Nov – 59,876ft
Greyrock: 6 loops. 45.25 miles, 15,361ft, 13 Hours 59 Minutes
Sanitas: 13 loops. 40 miles, 17,339ft, 14 Hours 24 Minutes.

Some ideas for pledges:

  • Cents per Mile (i.e. 5 cents would be $20 at 400 miles, $25 at 500 miles, $30 at 600 miles)
  • Flat Donation for a specific goal (i.e. X dollars for 500 miles, X dollars for 600 miles, etc.)
  • Dollars per 1,000 Vertical Feet (i.e. 50 Cents per thousand would be $20 at 40,000ft, $30 at 60,000ft, $45 at 90,000ft)
  • Dollars per local Peak (Horsetooth, Arthur’s, Greyrock, Round Mtn)
  • Dollars per mile or per dog that I run with from Animal House

Feel free to be creative and set limitations if you need to place a cap on your maximum donation.

If you’re short on funds and still want to contribute to the cause, come run with me!

I already have several offers to help drag me out for 5am and 6am starts before work. With the volume of miles I’ll be running, I’m sure that at some point during the month, I’ll have an opportunity to run with anyone who wants to join me.

To send me a pledge or invite me out for a run, email me at:

I will publish all pledges and fundraising totals in a Google spreadsheet online here. My mileage and vertical will be recorded based on the measurements from my Polar G3 GPS. My daily running log will be updated regularly on Attackpoint and I will post regular blog updates with my weekly progress.

Click here for a current list of pledges and progress.