Okay, it is officially HOT! We broke all kinds of records this past weekend in Phoenix: hottest temp for the day, hottest low, and multiple days in a row over 110…and it is only July! I don’t know about you, but I was a total slug this weekend. I didn’t move unless I had to, and mom was right there with me. Normally, she and dad would float in the pool to cool off, but the pump broke and that meant no swimming.
While we did nothing, we thought back to a day when we did a whole lot of running. I was only two-years old when mom decided to register for a marathon race. She wanted to celebrate being Lyme disease and pain free. Seems kind of crazy to sign up for more torture, but my mom said she needed to do something she was told she would never do again.
In case you don’t know, a marathon is 26.2 miles. Trust me, that’s really far! Mom’s race was in May of 2010, and we began training in January. We lived in norther Colorado at the time, so winter was cold and snowy. No complaints from me – woof! We started off with easy and short runs that were three miles in length. Mom wanted to get her feet and my paws conditioned.
One of my favorite trails to run near home was the Devil’s backbone. It was rocky enough to keep you sharp but only 2.5 to 3 miles. During the summer, you have to watch out for rattlesnakes, but we were good to go in the winter months. One time out, I was way ahead of mom when I heard her go “Oh no.” I looked back to see her sitting in the dirt. Were we playing in the dirt now? I thought we were running! As I came closer, I noticed she had a bloody knee. Snow melt had caused a hole she didn’t see, and she twisted her ankle going down as her knee hit a rock. Ouch! She didn’t wail or cry one bit. I licked her knee, and up she got. She hobbled a bit, but we finished our run back to the car.
As our training runs got longer, we’d head over to Boyd Lake in Loveland (3720 N Co Rd 11C, Loveland, CO 80538). Besides boating and camping, the park has a great running and bicycle path where we could go 5 to 15 miles. This paved path was a great opportunity for us to put in those miles we needed. The mountain and lake views kept mom inspired, and I loved hunting mice. Yes, I could smell them in the snow! I would spring up high in the air and pounce into the snow. Bam! Got me a mouse.
Mom always came equipped with plenty of water for the two of us as well as energy snacks (treats for me and nuts or fruit for her). One day, however, she realized she didn’t have her fuel, and she ran out of gas. We were on our return trip with five miles still to go, and she had nothing left. Thankfully, a couple on bicycles rode to us and offered her some almonds. That was enough to get her going again.
Note: If you ever embark on a half or full marathon, it isn’t just running that is required. You must fuel up properly and stretch to recover so that you can continue on without injury. That was mom’s goal: no pain and a quick rebound after the race.
Mom allowed 4 ½ months of training on purpose because she knew life would involve some set backs like her twisted ankle and a winter cold. I don’t know how many miles we actually ran, but it was a lot! We went running five to six days a week with longer and longer runs as time went on. I tell you what – I was in superb shape. Woof!
Race day finally arrived. We got up in the middle of the night, like 3 am, so that mom could be bused up the Poudre Canyon where the race began. Yawn! Dad and I waved good bye and hung out in the car until race time. I have to admit, I went back to sleep!
Mom was in layers as it was in the 30s at the beginning, and temps would be in the 50s by the time she’d finish. As she ran, we slept and got some breakfast. I should have felt guilty, but I did not. I know my training with her helped her get ready, and I was with her in spirit!
Dogs were not allowed at the marathon, otherwise I would have gone the whole distance with her. But we were there at the finish line waiting to cheer her on. Most of the course was sloping down the canyon, but at mile 18, someone put a hill. Who does that? Poor mom! After pushing through to mile 22, mom was tired. She had to slow way down and walk a little bit, but she didn’t give up.
We saw lots of people cross the finish line, but I didn’t care about any of them. Sure, they did it and I was happy for them, but I was really proud of my mom. She had to overcome so much to run those 26.2 miles and cross the finish line. It was an awesome day of celebration, especially when we headed right over to a restaurant to eat again. Yeah, baby!
So even though we were completely lazy this weekend, we will always have mom’s marathon. That year is forever etched in my mind because we saw so many beautiful places and learned that with a little determination and a lot of perseverance, we could do anything!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!