A Change Of Pace

I’ve been trying to improve my running speed despite a series of niggling injuries, and my current favorite workout is “30:20:10”. You start with a warmup, then jog for 30seconds, run at race pace for 20 secs, and sprint all out for 10 secs. Repeat this a few times, then jog for a couple of minutes to recover and do it all again. And again. Since you’re always changing pace the training session flies by, and there’s none of the anticipation/dread that normally builds up prior to a more conventional speed workout. The problem – as ever – is finding the time to get all this training in whilst still doing work and other daily routines like dog walks. With that in mind I decided to combine one of my 30:20:10 workouts with my weekly 10k with Beanie & Biggles on the beach.

It was a brave decision given that structured exercise and Beagles generally don’t mix well. In the past I’ve taken Beanie & Biggles along on hill sprint sessions and ended up either grinding to a halt half way up the hill with my legs tied up in their leads, or arse-surfing down the hill when they decided that my recovery jog to the bottom should be a desperate sprint. This time however, things went smoothly. Beanie, and especially Biggles, quickly settled into the rhythm of the workout.

After the first couple of repetitions I started adding a verbal cue to each phase: “Easy!” for the jog, “Running Pace!” for the next gear and “Turbo!” for the sprint. There are no prizes for guessing which part my two pups liked the most! Every time I shouted “Turbo!” Biggles would bay his head off and shoulder-charge his galloping sister.

Adding to the fun & stimulation of the constantly changing pace were the many obstacles that the tide had deposited on the beach. We regularly had to leap over tree trunks and branches, and there was also a car seat (!!??), a microwave (with missing door), a green wellie, the rear section of an old CRT-style TV and an assortment of holed tubs and buckets to go over and around. At one point we had to cross a stream made by a sewer or drain outlet. Beanie and Biggles leapt across in perfect sync, while I couldn’t quite make the distance and got a soaking wet foot. Fortunately a subsequent sniff test of my shoe discounted the theory that the stream was run-off from a sewer, so no harm was done. By the time we got back home I felt that I’d drained my batteries pretty well, and I figured that Beanie and Biggles would happily nap the afternoon away leaving me in peace to get some work done. That’s probably how it would have turned out too, if hadn’t been for a spot of drama over Biggles’ “cot”.

The cot came into being when a spare duvet was temporarily dumped into one of the baskets in the living room, instantly turning it into the most sumptuous Beagle bed ever.


It didn’t take long for the duvet to get a bit grubby, but a bit of muck never bothered a Beagle!

Biggles immediately took a shine to this new super-luxury bed, so we started referring to it as his “cot”. Initially this didn’t cause any conflict because the ever-antisocial Beanie prefers to be up on a sofa securely wrapped in her blanket, only emerging from her cocoon to empty an unguarded cup of tea or vacuum up the crumbs left from a TV-dinner. Today however, perhaps still feeling the stimulation of the beach run, it suddenly occurred to Beanie that she might be missing out and things quickly got noisy. She complained at Biggles solidly for ten minutes, then when he left the basket (either to escape her moaning or for a drink, I’m not sure which) she climbed in and tried to claim it. He responded by woofing of course. When that didn’t work he lured her into a play fight which sent cups and remote controls flying and left the hall rug at a very jaunty angle. Tails were pulled, ears were nibbled and eardrums were burst before we eventually got the two of them to calm down. The end result? Well Beanie was cocooned on the sofa once again, and Biggles was back in his cot. He looked so sweet in there that Susan commented she should really have a teddy bear to cuddle. Well we didn’t have a teddy bear to hand, but we did have “Toby” the little soft toy Beagle, so…


He genuinely seemed to like having his little cuddly companion with him in the basket


Even holding on to it with his paws as he rolled over

Beanie of course wasn’t impressed by any of this, and Toby had another brush with death when she got hold of him..


Little Miss Jealous-Belly plots her revenge


And has a Hannibal Lecter moment..

Even Big Boys Need Cuddles [IMG_4418-Edit]

Happily Toby escaped undamaged, which is more than I can say for Biggles’ street cred.  Do other four year old adult male Beagles like sleeping with a Beagle-teddy?