Monday, February 25, 2013

We're Training for a Marathon...Sort Of!

First of all, I'd like to apologize for my lack of blog posts, Facebook updates, and comments on others' blogs recently.  Life has been super busy the past few weeks with work, the Etsy shop, and keeping up with Athena.  Just a mini update-- Athena is doing wonderful and has been enjoying many trips to the park to enjoy the mild Portland weather!

Aside from the everyday life excitement, Athena and I have decided to sign up for a 2.5 mile run (you may as well call it a marathon) being held in May (well, Athena doesn't actually have a choice...I signed her up)!  I am no runner, so 2.5 miles is going to be quite the challenge.  I actually hate running and would never consider it something to do for fun, but alas, my friend somehow talked me into doing a run with her.  We decided to commit to the Oregon Humane Society's Doggie Dash being held on May 11th.

Team in training!

This means that Miss Athena is in training.  Unlike her mother, Athena is actually quite the runner.  She takes after her dad who happens to be a track champion.  Athena's goal is to learn how to jog with me rather than sprint the entire 2.5 mile race.  I have found that our new Freedom No-Pull harness helps to guide Athena to jog rather than sprint, but it's not a magic tool because she still gets a spring in her step every so often.

Wish us luck as Athena and I train for our marathon race!  Any advice on teaching a dog to run politely  on-leash would be much appreciated!

18 comments:

  1. Oh, you're a way better woman than I am...running a race just sounds like torture to me, but I wish you the best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so cool. I'm soooo not a runner or even a jogger so I really don't have any advice for you but I can certainly cheer you guys on through your training and wish you luck with the race!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good for you! Like you, I hate running. All those people who claim running is soooo fun and relaxing? Loons! But I have on occasion tried to take my Cooper running. He's fast. I'm slow. It took us a while to find our joint pace, but eventually we got it. Oh, and a shorter leash (4 ft instead of 6) helped.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So exciting!! Maggie and I tried to run together a while back but I found that her leash reactivity was a bit of a roadblock for now. Hopefully we'll get there one day. Are you using a training program!? We LOVED Couch to 5k. Glad to hear that work and Little Bow Pup are going well!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like torture to me but I hope you and Athena enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like torture to me too....I really don't know who talked me into this! haha

      Delete
  6. How fun! I have done a few 5Ks. We don't have any around here that allow dogs to run in it, but I have found the pooches to be fantastic training partners. Edison is good, but he's a whiz on leash, so if I slow down he does too. Tess on the other hand is a pace setter - once you get her started on a pace, she's not interested in slowing down - which is great for me because it forces me to keep it up.

    Good luck & keep us posted on your progress! You have a great training buddy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds fun! Good luck to you both!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I HIGHLY recommend you get a hands free running system. I find holding a leash throws off my rhythm. Plus, I don't feel like I am getting dragged when Nola does pull a bit, you have more weight to hold her back when it's around your wasted. We use the Buddy System. I like that the lead is adjustable in length. You could even hook your Freedom leash around the wasted band and still use the harness! They carried it in our dog supply store, but I'm sure you could get it online. Here's the link: http://www.buddysys.com/

    Good luck! And let me know if you need any tips! Nola and I did our first 5K in November and loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW, I don't know why every time I typed waste it came out wasted! Ha!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the tips! I have seen the Buddy System and it seems like something to look more into! We have a Ruffwear leash that's handsfree. Athena does pretty well on it, so I will probably start practicing her on that.

      Delete
  9. Hurley and I will be doing the Doggie Dash too but we are firmly in the walkers camp. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. So exciting! I adopted Miss M with the intent of her being a running dog, but you've seen what she really is. I never realized dogs had to be taught to run, but M would become so amped up she wanted to grab her own leash. I never figured it out, so excited to see how it works!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fun! I love running too!!! When mom started working on running with me she would give me some special treats as she started a slow jog and then she slowly picked up speed while giving me another treat every few steps. I used to get crazy and excited and start sprinting off super fast too, but those treats kept me focused on mom instead of being wild :) Now I am pretty good at it even when there aren't any treats at all!

    (I think the real trick was increasing speed really slowly at first, so it was easier for me to stay calm)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I run with the Toby-monster. I've started introducing certain commands (jog, easy, walk, heel, and go fast) for running and walking time. We always start with him in a heeling position, walking nicely. He gets a treat for that. Then I say "jog" and start to run very, very slowly (it's almost like a running motion but at a fast walk pace.) If he starts to trot along beside me, I'll give him a treat. Then I'll slowly pick up the pace. I'll use "heel" and "easy" as I need to and treat when he responds. I'll sometimes use the Lickety Stick, which I find easier than having him eat a treat. Our trainer said there were some reports of the balls on those becoming dislodged and dogs choking on them, but Toby doesn't seem interested in biting it... he just licks as it was intended to be used.

    If he gets too wound up and stops listening (i.e. wants to all out run and won't slow down), then we walk for a minute and start the process over again.

    We have a trail near our house that is paved with grass on either side. I run on the pavement, but let him run on the grass because I feel like it's a little easier on his joints.

    Good luck to you & Athena!

    ReplyDelete