Half To Run

One of the reasons I wanted a Greyhound was because, despite the fact that I love to run, I did not want to feel obligated to run with my dog. Getting a retired racer would allow me to still have a dog but one that was lazy and would not require me to do much of anything except a few deep knee bends each day to collect turds.

But things changed: my favorite running partner and partner in life had ankle surgery. Despite the surgeon’s rosy predictions (you’ll be running in three weeks!) Pete never ran again. So I bought an iPod and it was Ira Glass and “This American Life” that kept me company for a while.

And then along came Stella. Since I couldn’t rescue an adult Grey (Llewis would not allow it), I wound up with a pup. Turns out Greyhound pups, like most any other pup, like to bound around a lot. And run. And run. And run. So at about six months I was taking Stella on four milers. At a year she could hang with 8’s on Sundays. And more recently when I decided to give the Oakland Half Marathon a shot, Stella was game, trotting alongside me on Sunday mornings down to the lake, around twice and back. Most of the time she was so quiet and so good on lead I honestly forgot I had a dog running with me.

Last weekend the final day arrived, the day I’d trained for and the day I’d been pretty nervous about. The run was hotter than I had anticipated. And harder than I anticipated. I kept thinking about the twenty bucks I’d shoved in my running shorts: enough for cab fare home when I bonked at the six mile mark. I kept thinking about the sag wagon and when it would roll around to pick me up.

But the twenty remained in my pocket. And I never did hook up with the sag wagon. Instead, Pete and Stella and Mary cheered me on at mile eleven and I went on to happily finish the run in a couple of hours.

Today, back to our usual run under the Redwood trees dripping with rain, I reflected: in the beginning, my vision was this big retired ex-racer who considered walking to the food bowl enough exertion. I’d never feel guilty for not getting him out. But the Universe had other plans. And instead I got something different. And something a lot the same–the same as me. I got a girl who is as happy to hit the trails, every time, all the time, as I am.

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One Response to “Half To Run”

  1. wella Says:

    I love this post! Kudos to you for running a half-marathon and to Stella for being a running partner during your training runs.

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