Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicago Marathon: My New Training Partner

So, last year I retired from marathon running. I had run a marathon each year for the past 6 years, and I felt it was becoming too repetitive. I was running the same route, prepping for the same races, and I was so unenthusiastic that I actually forgot to bring my timing chip to the marathon. I spent last summer retired, hanging out and eating empty calories. While I did enjoy my short-lived retirement, ala Lance Armstrong, I have decided to make a comeback and I signed up to run the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10. To keep things fresh, I will have a new running partner. See, I originally wanted to adopt a dog to run with me, but then I ended up with this one:

The most she has ever run is 2 blocks. The first block she thought it was a game and she started playing tug with the leash. The second block she just stopped and wouldn't move. It was like one of those cartoons where you're tugging at a mule and they don't budge. Mr. B. on the other hand loves to run. We even nicknamed him "Hot Wheels" because it looks like he has little spinning legs. Just check him out in action here. I only plan on bringing Mr. B. on the shorter 3-5 mile runs, and only when there's no ice or snow. I want to make sure I'm being really safe and not doing anything that could hurt his joints or ACL. I intend on starting really slow, only a mile or less at first, to make sure he's conditioned, but I'm not sure if there are any other precautions I should take. Does anyone have thoughts on safely running with dogs?

14 comments:

Kate said...

That's awesome! Good luck training with your new running partner! I can't wait until Nemo and I are really able to get outside and get to running!

Mack said...

You have a very pretty running partner!
I bet she will grow to love walkies (err...runnies) with you!

Pibble said...

Oh, Ms. M, you do make me laugh.

I don't run with my dogs, but I remember the first time Charlie and I took a nice, long walk. She was terrified of EVERYTHING. Sticks, fire hydrants, a small piece of paper on the street. Everything scared her to death. Then a dog ran up to her and I thought "Oh, no, dog fight!" Well, little miss toughie stuffed her tail between her legs and slumped over, curling into herself as much as she possibly could. I couldn't believe my eyes! The bully at home was the wuss on the street.
She's gotten much, much better, thank goodness, but I don't see running in our (MY) future!

Good luck with your marathon!

laura said...

Running with a dog really does make it a lot more fun. When I take Duncan I only run about a mile from our vehicle so that we can go back for water breaks (and I don't run in the heat of the day). The place I take him is mostly packed dirt and not asphalt so I'm pretty sure it doesn't bother the pads on his feet. I gave up running this past fall but I think I'm going to start again this spring because I miss it. Good Luck with your marathon (I've never even done a 5K!) and if your Mr B likes to kick it into high gear like Duncan does, you might set a new record!

Lindsay said...

That's so cool that you're going to do a marathon! That's on my Things To Do list. I jog with both of mine. The only thing I try to do after I feel that they're up to snuff in general body condition is try to vary the types of surfaces that I'm running them. School tracks are generally "squishier." I do some running in soccer fields and baseball fields when they're not in use. And I do about run per week on just pavement. And like someone else mentioned, watch the pads on the feet to make sure they're not wearing thin.

Channon said...

I took up running again because of Mugsy, my dearly departed male Jack Russell. He was the stereo-typical obnoxious, hyper JRT. Add in that I was gone 24 hours at time for work (hubby had dog duty), and he was one needy boy.

Start with short distances, take water (I have a doggy water bottle... a funnel-like top), and let her tell you when she's had enough. In this weather though, you'll have to watch her pads/toenails to keep them from getting too cold and splitting.

Kari in WeHo said...

hmmm Ms M does not look like a running dog thats for sure! I tried running with Mesa but she can't keep a constant pace. Baily is my running buddy (when I run).

Life With Dogs said...

I'm not a runner, and can't offer meaningful advice on this one. But I can say that biking with a leash can get interesting. ;)

Dory and the Mama said...

Good Luck! I don't run, but Dory and I have walked a couple of 5k's. We just started off slow and built up the pace over the course of 3 or 4 months.

Good Luck!!

mastertealc said...

Tealc's mom here: One reason why we rescues a dog was because my hubby wanted to run a marathon again after a break due to illness as well... Well, we have the dog and lot's of "How to train for a marathon" books but that was where it ended... :)

I wish you the best of luck!!!!

Running with dogs - some breads are made for it others aren't but with Pitties I think you shouldn't do too much. They are more the full on and then have a break kind of doggies...

:)

Benny and Lily said...

Hi new friends...we thought you were running from the earthquake! BOL
Benny & Lily

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

I don't think I can add anything advice-wise in terms of prep for running... so I'll stick with being in the cheering section: Yeah you guys! Have fun with your training!

:)

Luci's Mama said...

You're lucky Mr B will run with you! Luci is not a fan...not a fan at all :)

Good luck with your training!!!

MurphyDog said...

Mom says running with dogs is FUN!

She used to run with her previous doggie...a Ridgeback Mix named Hannah who could go forever. The furtherst Mom ever ran with her was 9 miles. Hannah used to laugh because Mom was so slow, it was more like a fast walk for Hannah.

Mom says to keep in mind a few things...

1) Your doggie should be completely done growing...you want the growth plates closed before you start running with your doggie.

2) start out slow and with short distances. Build milage as you would when you normally train

3) carry water for your doggie and dont run with your doggie if its too hot out

4) have fun! if your doggie doesnt like it, dont force em. :)

congratulations on your goal of the Chicago Marathon! Should be fun!

wags, wiggles & slobbers
Murphydog
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