I think there are few things more rewarding than running for hours through the woods with your dog trotting effortless and joyfully at your side.
Although most of today's run involved Enzo keeping the leash taunt as he lead the way and set the pace, by mile 6 we had finally agreed that 8:45 -9 minutes per mile was a nice pace. For the first time ever he was able to run WITH me, at my side, with slack leash.
I could sense his joy to just run. Anything slower than 8:05 pace is a trot and he does so with tail wagging and with confidence. He was lightly panting even with temperatures well into the 70's, but he had no interest in jumping in the river like he does when he is too hot. Today was different than other runs because the tow path was pretty much empty except for us. No cars, people, or other dogs to distress him. He was truly relaxed today.
He ran, with me, at my side (for part of the run), and it was beautiful. 10.5 total miles on a dirt tow path in the shade of the trees with our route bounded by a river on one side and a canal on the other. We had no choice. There was nothing else to do but run or swim. Enzo did both. I just ran.