Took TJ out after breakfast this morning, which meant more big dogs around, and my relaxing walk became somewhat of an interval training session:
warm-up: walk down our street and the next one to get to the main road (TJ off lead)
medium intensity: clip TJ on the lead just before we get to the main road, then get dragged down to the lights
recovery: stand at the lights until we get the 'green man' to cross
medium intensity: get dragged the rest of the way to the park
recovery: walk through the middle of the car park (not much for TJ to sniff at here)
high intensity: get to the point where I normally let TJ off and see two other dogs nearby. Keep TJ on the lead and try to walk him slowly, hoping he doesn't spot the other dogs beforehand and pull me down the steep slope and steps. Reach the bottom safely then have to negotiate my way past the other dogs, which are stopped with their owners on a narrow path. They make way for me but TJ and one of the other dogs (a young collie) are straining on their leads to 'talk' to each other. I know TJ and the other dog don't get on, so am not keen to stay and 'chat' in case any growling starts. As we get past them, TJ tries to drag me into the nearby bushes so he can pee all over the place. By this stage my heart is racing and I'm feeling slightly nauseous.
(brief) recovery: we round the bend away from the other dogs and my heart rate starts to drop a little
high intensity: as we get round the corner a large unfamiliar dog (looks like a tall boxer) is approaching from the other direction. It is on a lead, but TJ could easily pull me over to it if he wants to, so I take a wide berth, dragging him onto the grass, so the dog and its owner can get past.
(brief) recovery: head across the bridge and towards the bush that TJ usually goes to the toilet near, so he doesn't drag me there of his own accord. See more dogs being walked ahead of us in the distance, and turn around to see the collie and its mate coming up behind us, and realise that I am going to be stuck between two groups of dogs for most of the rest of the walk. Feel like a mouse on a revolving wheel.
medium intensity: head up the hill, dogs in front and dogs behind, trying to keep TJ from straying off the path so the other dogs don't catch up to us, but not letting him go too fast, so we don't catch up to the dogs ahead.
high intensity: spot another unfamiliar dog coming in the opposite direction. TJ drops down onto his belly, into his 'launch' position (if it's a small dog he will launch up with a waggy tail and want to play; if it's a big dog he will launch up with a waggy tail and an uncertain growl, which can sometimes make the other dog nervous and growly). I hold onto TJ tightly so he can't 'launch' too far. The collie and his mate overtake us as the other dog approaches. TJ doesn't know where to look but decides to concentrate on the new dog. As they get closer, the other owner asks 'is your dog friendly?'. I say, 'Yes, but he can be a bit growly.' She decides to take a wide berth, and as she does so, TJ jumps up, growling, hackles raised slightly, but tail wagging. 'He's just excited,' I say. (The truth is that he was mauled by a big male dog about a year ago and suffered a bite to the throat, and ever since then he has been a bit wary of other big dogs).
recovery: the collie and his mate have gotten a bit further ahead and we head off down the hill after them, TJ still on the lead. We round the bend and see them take a different route and disappear. I finally let TJ off the lead, halfway into the walk.
medium intensity: About 30 seconds after letting TJ off the lead, the tall boxer from earlier in the walk comes towards us. It is on its lead but TJ isn't and goes racing towards it. I yell at him to 'sit', so I can get his lead on, but he ignores me and continues towards the other dog.
high intensity: I go running towards TJ and manage to clip his lead on just as he reaches the other dog. Freak out that something is going to happen but try to calm myself down so the dogs don't pick up on it. Turns out it is a 'she' but she is a bit 'snappy' to begin with.
recovery: We give our dogs lots of praise and they are friendly towards each other. I suggest letting them off their leads to play with each other, but the other owner is reluctant because his dog won't come back when called. We are both heading in the same direction so I go first, but TJ stops to sniff something and the other owner decides to run his dog on ahead.
medium intensity: TJ wants to follow, and it's a bit of a strain as we head back up the hill behind them.
low intensity: The other dog disappears into the distance and there are no other dogs around, so I let TJ off and he runs around happily sniffing and peeing on stuff as we head back to the start of the walk.
cool down: I put TJ back on the lead, we leave the park and head home. TJ is less energetic by this stage and happily trots along beside me like a good boy instead of straining at the end of his lead like he does on the way down to the park.
M1: 'muesli', eggs
M2: chicken stir-fry
M3: larb gai, nuts
M4: kangaroo patty, sweet potato chips, roasted spiced cauliflower
train (workout drinks)
M5: Kek's Asian-style tuna and sweet potato patties, dry coleslaw
I will lose 10kg by 31 December