For the past couple of nights Ellie and I have been taking Audrey out for an evening run. Two nights in a row we made the poor thing jog a 2-kilometer circle around the neighborhood. Audrey has seemed to absolutely love it, and when she gets home, she falls asleep right away.
Last night, Ellie was pretty tired and didn't really want to go out and run. Finally, after I annoyed her into agreement, we worked up the courage and headed out. Afterward I felt great and, more importantly, she felt way better, too. It was kind of crazy because just a quick 2 kilometers, which took 15 minutes of our evening, refreshed us for almost the whole night. I was alert and awake for my evening gaming sessions (Woot 2/8 hard mode!), and she didn't fall asleep on the couch instantly. Instead she was able to enjoy some episodes of Storage Wars and American Pickers, which are by far the best shows on television. Just 15 minutes out of our day made all the difference. It literally took almost as long to run the loop as it did for us to get our running stuff on, the dog leashed up, our GPSs synced, and finally out the door.
At first I was kind of frustrated that we could only do about 2 kilometers. Audrey really isn't built for running more than short sprints, so we have to keep it on the shorter-distance side. But after doing it a couple of days, I realized that there is more to gain from these quick 2 kilometers than just fitness. I will gladly give up a few kilometers here and there to spend time with my puppy and wife because for that 15 minutes there are no distractions, no televisions or WoW, no texting. Just the three of us having fun running around the neighborhood, chasing trash-bag rabbits and brave, little squirrels. It is incredibly refreshing to disconnect from everything and just go outside and really make a stronger connection with those sharing your company.