I want to run like a dog


Or is that live like a dog?

Or any animal, really
Mindfulness. In the now. Being present. Animals, it seems, are the ultimate yogis. I’ve actually taken to calling Bandit Mr. Yogi because of his frequent down dogs. Of course Lola does them too, and Gizmo, but it just struck a chord with me with Bandit.

Animals don’t worry about the future. They don’t spend time contemplating their past. It’s why they’re so darn happy to see you, whether you’ve been gone for 5 minutes or a week.

Dogs run because they love to run. They don’t worry about how fast they’re running, or if those tights make their butt look big, they don’t worry about injury, they don’t even worry if they don’t have all 4 legs!

Dogs run because they love to run!

Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future.
— Guy Finley

The time crunched runner
That was me a few weeks ago — it was my peak week of running and because we took the time to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her, instead of just losing one day that week, I lost two.

So I headed out for a 7 mile easy run on what should have been a picture perfect day for it, which was a real gift. Instead of being in the present, though, I was worried about squeezing in the run in time to make it home to shower before meeting with the new pet sitter.

Little wonder that those 7 miles just seemed to drag on and on and brought me little joy.

Buddha mindfullnes is about the present, but I also think it’s about being real. Being awake to everything. Feeling like nothing can hurt you if you can look it straight on.
— Krista Tippett

So what’s the time crunched runner to do?
I really wish I could get that day back, but I can’t.  As runners we all have all sorts of tricks to get us through the bad runs, but we seem to forget about one of the best tricks of all: being present. Not worrying about what comes next or checking things off of your to-do list, but just being full present to what you’re doing in the moment.

So how can we turn off our brains and really show up for our runs?

  • Take several deep breaths before you start your warm up or your run
  • Contemplate why you’re doing this run before you start
  • Try a music-podcast free run
  • Take a moment to feel the sun on your face or enjoy the beauty of nature around you
  • Concentrate on your breath while you’re running

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

You may also surprise yourself. You may just give yourself a little burst of confidence. You may grow as a runner.

A few mindfulness resources
I went looking for a few other articles on mindfulness and running:

Do you practice mindfulness while running? Any tips for us?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


29 thoughts on “I want to run like a dog

  1. I find that running (if not running to music) lends itself to mindfulness, especially long runs! You can’t help but focus on your breathing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you missed a big one. Leave the Watch home. Just run as fast as you legs feel like going. Run as far as you want. Enjoy the run.

    So yes all my runs are like this. Except for long runs when I am training.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Then you run fewer miles than what’s on the plan. I have to re-arrange constantly each week due to work, tennis, dinner plans with friends.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lola’s a sprinter, too. As long as he gets his walk breaks, Bandit can go for about 3 miles (that, and being able to pee every walk break).

      Although he doesn’t want to run if it’s too cold, too wet, too warm . . .


  3. Max cracks me up…he barely lets me snap his leash onto his harness before he bolts out the door….dragging my (clumsily) along with him. The he abruptly stops….and looks all around…as if he’s totally taking in (and appreciating) his surroundings. That’s why I detest the ‘mill so much….I love being outside, with a scenic view.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I’m present, sometimes I’m lost in thought or visualization. Remy dog was my runner. Carlo couldn’t really be bothered, unless there’s snow. Then he tears around like a madman.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like that “ask your self why you are doing the run”. So many times I am doing it because it’s on my “training plan” but all I worry about is just finishing it. Those are usually my weekday runs though because I feel more time crunched then. I think I enjoy the weekend runs a little more, or at least I feel like I can be “in the moment”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I find that even a short run allows me to quiet the monkeys in my brain. Sometimes I zone out, sometimes I solve problems, sometimes I write blog posts (that I immediately forget when I stop running). Regardless of what my mind is doing though, I find that the stress is released.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. During the week, I listen to music while running on the treadmill but I do enjoy it. On the weekend when I can get outside, I often count my steps.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve gotten excited for my runs since it’s nice enough to be outside. I’ve been on the treadmill for so long, it’s nice to finally be outside, and my running belt helps me stay outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for sharing those resources- I need to check them out! I tend to rush through my runs because I run in the morning and need to be back by a certain to get ready for work. I wish I could forget about that while I am running and just try to relax!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this! I admit today I was not so mindful on my run. My coach gave me a hard workout and about 3/4 of the way through I started counting down the minutes until I was done!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not running much lately, and when I do, it’s a lot of “meh, why is this so hard?!” So I need to get back toward this mindful running aspect. It would be lovely to get out this spring and just run without stress again. Working on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it’s time to just go back to running for however long it feels good? I know you’ve struggled getting back at it when you take a break, so I wouldn’t suggest that. Have you found any new running peeps yet? I know that’s hard, too.


  12. I definitely need to practice mindfulness while running. Lately my music has been a bit of a crutch, lol. Yes, animals do seem to be so carefree when running!

    Liked by 1 person

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