Running in Snow Boots Isn’t as Hard as You’d Think

040Though running with an injury is much, much harder. So hard that I am beginning to wonder if athletic activity and I are fated to be enemies. For those that remember, the last time I attempted to train for my very first running event, my ankles gave out on me. Evidently this year, when I am training for an even longer race, my natural un-coordination is going to be my downfall. My ankles are fine. Over ten days after falling down the stairs (no, I wasn’t drunk), my bruised tailbone – still – is not.

I normally wouldn’t think a little tailbone pain would have anything to do with running. But it is both uncomfortable to sit and to move around. This makes completing the 30/30 Challenge, well, challenging. Here I was assuming the icy sidewalks and heavy snow boots would be getting in my way of blog challenge victory. In truth, heavy footwear isn’t nearly as much an impediment to agility as you’d think. I’d take a little thumpiness over sitting on a doughnut any day.

Besides, the coccyx jokes are, as I am sure you can imagine, getting a little tired.

I have managed to keep walking my usual amount, or pretty close to it. Shiva and I have been getting at least sixty minutes in outside each day. It’s less than what she would like but about as much as I can handle right now. Considering the freezing temperatures and aforementioned ice, I am not going to be too hard on myself. Though we will not achieve my goal of running thirty minutes a day, we are still getting out there. Not a total loss. Once I heal up I vow to try again. Maybe February will prove a kinder month?

The injury unfortunate has proved to be helpful in other ways. For instance, it has provided me with inspiration and opportunity for working on another blog challenge: Train Your Dog Month. There is nothing like a sore butt to motivate you to work with your dog on heeling.

All that treacherous ice puts fear in my heart these days. I am terrified of the idea of prolonging my pain by injuring myself further. Shiva is pretty good while walking on a leash these days but every now and then the nose will drive her forward. No amount of “ack! I’m gonna fall!” gets in her way of a good garbage scarf.


To save my battered behind, as well as my sensitive pride, we’ve been working on a new cue. When I say “slippy”, Shiva is learning to move closer to my side and slow her trot to a slow walk. She is to keep up the slowed pace until I give her a release. So far, she is picking it up pretty well. Treats help, of course. As does the fact she struggles on the icy paths almost as much as I do. If it’s super dangerous, I will put her in a sit-stay and walk ahead alone, only calling her to join me once I am past the deadly fall zone.

Foundation training. It never gets old.

Furthermore, because we haven’t been getting out during the week as much as she would like, I am working with Shiva a lot more inside the house as well. If I can’t run her to exhaustion outdoors, I’d better work her brain into a sleepy stupor in. We have a few new tricks in the works. I don’t want to give them away just yet in case they come to nothing. We’ve also made some headway with the whole Shiva holding objects in her mouth thing. She still doesn’t love it, though. It’s hard to eat when holding a leash in her jaws.

When all else fails there is the toilet paper roll game. And the never-ending fun of tossing kibble to the other side of the house while watching Shiva scramble. That’s always good times. I recently found this great article on 50 ways to use a Kong.  Number twenty-two might give us some variety, and save me from cleaning up a mess of paper.

With a little luck and a lot of patience, we’ll get through this injury together. I hope.

24 thoughts on “Running in Snow Boots Isn’t as Hard as You’d Think

  1. Ouch. Sorry to hear about your painful injury.

    But love how it has inspired your creativity. Leave it to you to get lemons and make lemonade (or bust your tailbone and turn it into nylabones). The slippy cue is a smart one. I’ve had to do similar things with Honey.

    But don’t train the pulling out of Shiva entirely. On a slippery hill, it sometimes helps to have an energetic dog with toe nails to give you a pull.

    Can’t wait to see the results of all your training fun.


  2. I hate it when I get a non-athletic injury that is embarrassing to explain. And why does everyone always wants to know how you got an injury anyway. It’s usually embarrassing. I’m tempted to say that I was climbing Mount Shasta or backpacking in the Serengeti instead of admitting the truth.

    Sorry about your tailbone, I know how painful that can be because of my accident at the North Pole.


  3. Here’s hoping your tailbone heals fast. I’ve been there, done that and had a pinched nerve thrown in for an unwanted bonus.

    I’ve taught something similar to your “slippy”, I use “slowly”. When they’re off leash and I say “slowly” I usually get a look that seems to say, “why don’t you hurry?”

    Get well soon!


  4. Tail bone injuries suck and take a long time to heal! So sorry for your pain!

    I love the slippy command that you and Shiva are working on! That is one that Sherman and I could totally use!


  5. Slippy is such a good idea to train!! perhaps i could do this with my dogs when I take them hiking – we have nasty slippery gravel here called ‘pea gravel’ and it can be very easy to lose your footing, especially if you have a dog intent on pulling you down a hill slope 😛


  6. OUCH! It hurts just reading about it, I can’t imagine what you must be going through. How you feel better soon. I now how painful that can be.

    Good luck with your next Shiva trick, we’ll be waiting for it. 🙂


  7. Sorry you are still hurting so much. Hopefully it gets to improving soon.

    I use “easy” to mean the dogs need to not put any kind of pressure on the leash (or the line, if they are in their skijoring harnesses). It means that they can go forward, but carefully and slowly, until I either tell them “whoa” (stop) or “let’s go” (normal pace/speed up).


  8. Poor baby. I don’t know any coccyx jokes. Could you tell me one?

    I’m wondering (being a snow and ice novice) why there aren’t nonslip boots for walking in such treacherous conditions?

    P.S. have you got the fitas yet? Keep meaning to email you but since I remembered right this minute… 🙂


  9. Hope your inbjury is soon healed up, but that can take a long time.

    Glad you are still walking Shiva and keeping her entertained with tricks indoors.

    Off to check out the things you can do with a Kong:)


  10. Ouch! I have to say, you are brave! Not to mention creative and committed!
    I fell and broke my tailbone on Boxing Day and have been on the ‘injury bench’ ever since. I’ve relinquished my dog-walking duties till either the weather or my butt have improved significantly!
    Get well soon!


  11. Ugh. So sorry about your injury. I hope it heals quickly!

    The “slippy” command is a brilliant idea. The ice scares me, too, and I love the idea of having a command that works to keep an icy walk safe. It seems like a no-brainer… that I never thought of! I’m going to give that a whirl with my guys. As far as indoor games, do you have stairs in your house? We play “stair ball,” which basically involves me throwing the ball down the steps, Cooper racing after it and bringing it back up, repeat until he’s panting!


  12. Ouch! Bruised tailbone’s gotta hurt! Hope it heals fast!

    I hate icy paths. Not only am I afraid I’ll fall, dogs can pull all sorts of muscle if they slip! We haven’t had slippery footing yet this season, thank goodness!


  13. Kristine, I’m so sorry to hear about your injury, I remember when I hurt mine and how painful that was. I do hope it heals quickly.

    I don’t use slippy, but I use easy when we approach and area that looks treacherous to me. Where we walk there are times when we are going down inclines and the potential for bodily harm is there, that is when easy really comes into play.

    I can’t wait to see what you have trained Shiva to do, you always amaze me with your creativity.

    Feel better soon. 🙂


  14. Congrats on continuing the 30/30 challenge even though injured. I love the slippy training. That is awesome. Maybe you could get another dog to walk along the other side of you as well, thus keeping you upright. Worth a try!!


  15. I’m sorry you’re still under the weather. I have to say, your walk numbers make me feel pretty bad that we don’t get out more, since the weather here is perfect for walking. I just can’t get Silas over the sidewalk thing.

    I hadn’t though to play Kong Hide-n-seek. Silas *loves* to find things; I’ll bet he would really love it if it involved peanut butter in a Kong.


  16. I acknowledge that it is completely wrong for me to be laughing that you have to use a doughnut – but I really can’t help myself. I’m sure my day will come. 😉

    I have to tell Blueberry “hold up” or “wait” when we are on a particularly slippery trail. Thank goodness she finally understands what that means and while she isn’t as great as Shiva about coming back to my side – she will at least slow down and stop all the leash pulling. But trust me, I definitely sense some eye-rolling on her part.


  17. For being injured, you certainly seem to be accomplishing a lot. Those tail bone bruises take a long time to heal. I absolutely love the “slippy” command! I can’t wait to see some video of that one.


  18. Sometimes life gets in the way of your plans doesn’t it? I am still learning (rather convincing myself) that not finishing a challenge is ok when it is better for you not too…and when you adapt and turn the “failure” into a positive, it’s a win. Like requires us to often accept defeat and look for the brighter side. You put it into good practice here 🙂


  19. Well, you sound like a trooper! I’m glad there’s no ice or snow where I live, and if there was I would probably be falling everywhere. Hope you get to feeling better soon!


  20. Oh man, I know that pain. That is so not cool. I hope the pain subsides soon.

    I LOVE the “slippy” cue. 🙂

    The first year we had Bella, she pulled me down twice in a day – once on the ice and then in the snow. I tore two muscles in my hip and bruised my tailbone. It set me back for almost a year. “Slippy” would have been a life-saver.

    Hope you’re feeling better by now. 🙂


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