We Did It……and it was so much FUN!
I must admit I haven’t been doing anything serious as far as working out since June of last year when I completed the Comrades marathon. I have not been a couch potato and have ben doing some exercise daily just nothing extreme like I am usually doing. I took time to let my body recover and I rested my hip so the tendonitis would go away. In October I started increasing my running and completed a half marathon with my dog at the end of November. I’ve done lots of big races such as Ironman races and Ultra Marathons but this little half marathon with my dog was one of the most rewarding. She is a rescue and it was the year anniversary of the day that I adopted her. She did amazing and I was so proud of her and how much progress she has made recovering from an abusive past.
I decided that I wanted to run a 30K with her, she is young and seems like she can run forever. I signed up for a marathon that was a 4-loop course near my house. I planned to run 3 loops with my dog Pacer and the last loop with my older dog Lilly. I decided to train for this marathon a little differently then most marathons. My vet told me to train her like I would train any human. I figured if she would be running 18 miles at the race then our long run in training would be 15 miles. Even though I still would be running 26.2 I figured a long run of 15 miles would be enough for me as long as my weekly mileage was about 40-45. My highest weekly mileage was 45 and I did a 15 miler followed the next day with a 10 miler.
|Before The Race|
Race day I felt pretty good and was excited to run. I was a little nervous about Pacer at the start since there were a lot of people and she gets nervous around new people. I got to the back of the group and went off last and let me tell you Pacer was ready to go. She wanted to chase everyone down and be in the lead. Once things thinned out she wasn’t pulling so hard to get ahead and we settled into a good pace. Each loop was 3 miles out and 3 miles back. I had fruit chews for me and a salmon and sweet potato cake for Pacer. There were 2 aid stations that we stopped at each time for water although Pacer wasn’t too interested in drinking she wanted to keep running. We finished the third loop and she was honestly fresh as a Daisy. I believe she could have easily ran another loop. My boyfriend brought my other dog Lilly for the last loop and took Pacer home. I made sure to tell him to give her the peanut butter kong when they got home. It was her reward for being such a good girl.
Lilly is a little older but she was fresh and wanted to run fast! I had to try and slow her down since I had already ran 18 miles. We finished at just about 4 hours and 30 minutes. It was probably the slowest marathon I’ve ran but the most rewarding.
When I first got Pacer she was terrified of everything on our runs. She would flinch or react at fire hydrants, loud motorcycles, people, and other dogs. I got her at 10 months old and she hadn’t been socialized at all. Just over a year later after lots of work with trainers and lots of running she ran 18 miles with a bunch of other people. That is amazing and just shows you that running can not only helps humans overcome things but can help dogs too!