Shiva the Running Coach

The crazy just get crazier. I can’t say what exactly inspired me, if it was my dedication to Zoomery or if I’ve just taken a masochistic turn, but I have decided to get back into running. And not just casually. Oh no. That would be the intelligent way to begin. You know, slowly. Apparently, I would rather run with an impending deadline that will probably ensure my demise.

Because I am a genius who cares little for her personal welfare, I have decided to enter the 5K race in this year’s Bluenose Marathon. The date of which is May 20th, a little more than four weeks away. There is a reason for this beyond my own foolishness. As with most marathon’s there is a charitable element. This year the Nova Scotia SPCA is putting in a team and I have signed up to help them meet their $5,000 goal.

So if I die, it will at least be an honourable death.

I started my training last week. Since I already go out with Shiva twice a day I figured it would be no big deal to add running to our repertoire. It’s not like Shiva would have trouble keeping up! I did try running with her a few years ago but the added exercise was over-stimulating for her. She spent more time jumping on my back and chasing cats than she did running by my side. It sucked and so I gave up, deciding to leave my old running ways in the past.

It broke me up inside, I assure you.

These days Shiva handles the increased speed on our walks quite well. She does tug a bit more when I slow down and there have been a few times she’s abruptly stopped to snare a wrapper off the ground, almost knocking me off my feet, but overall she has been a good running partner.

I think where the challenges may lie is when dealing with her reactivity. Last night I had to revert to walking quite a few times when other dogs or people approached. Counter-conditioning while running is not a skill I have developed. I have a feeling I am going to have to pick it up fast. No matter what, Shiva’s behaviour training comes first. The last thing we need is a relapse, even if it means I end up walking the 5K instead of hanging out with the cool runners.

The things we sacrifice for our dogs, eh?

Anyway, I am sure there will be more to come on this as my adventure continues. Thus far I am not in too much pain but I have been taking it fairly easy, as per the Couch to 5K program. However, as their plan gives participants 9 weeks and I only had 5, I may have to take it up a bit. Yippee?

My old soccer-playing, cross-country team self is crying in a closet right now.

But I digress. I just realized this morning that I have yet to announce the winner of last week’s Rejuv-A-Wafer giveaway. What a neglectful blogger I am!

The winner of a month’s suppy of Rejuv-A-Wafers by Sun Chlorella USA is…

Anna of AKG Inspiration!

Congratulations, Anna! I will be contacting you for your information. Thanks go to all who commented!

35 thoughts on “Shiva the Running Coach

  1. See I both love and hate posts like this… I love that you are getting back into running, I hate that i live far away from yet another regular runner, and thus can’t pawn my dog off on them for their runs. Luna does great at faster speeds, actually I think she does better as she prefers to move faster. In anycase I hope training goes well for you.

    And you already know how thrilled I am to have won the Rejuv-a-wafers. 🙂 funny how the two things I have ever won in my life have been blog give-aways lol.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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  2. Sorry its been awhile since ive come around, it took me a bit to get back into the things after Fred passing away. I think this is wonderful you are knocking off the dust and going to start this up again. I think Shiva is more mature now and it can be something that yall could totally bond over.

    my uncle is a marathon runner – he got a weim dog to run 20plus miles a week and its amazing to see them together – they are in perfect stride its like they are one. Its truly amazing to see what the athlete that dog has become.

    We will all be here by your side on this journey!

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  3. I am super behind on post commenting but I had to leave a comment here because I just started running with Pearl too! We are on week 5 of the couch to 5k program. LOTS of challenges to running with a dog but it sounds like you are working out the kinks. I tried to take Pearl running in the park yesterday and she practically ripped my arms out of their sockets, lunged at and tripped another jogger, and almost got run over by a bike, so we will be sticking to empty-ish streets for awhile. Sounds like you and Shiva are faring a bit better. Looking forward to hearing all about the 5k!

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  4. Hi Kristine, I’d suggest the run a little, walk at little approach to your 5K . I’m not sure that an all-out run for 5 K will be the best for you when you only have a few weeks to get yourself ready. We could race each other 🙂 I’m pretty fast in my wheels.

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  5. Wow great for you Kristine!! Shiva will be spurring you on all the way, I wish I could do it – I could walk very fast 😀 Thanks for your comments on blanket blog – it’s been a bit hectic recently, so sorry I haven’t been around much, but I’m thinking of you and do appreciate it :))

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  6. That is really awesome of you to take part in this charitable event. Good luck working through Shiva’s reactivity on the go! Hopefully it will all work itself out as you get into a routine…

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  7. Dogs can be such different running partners. I have a friend who found a stray dog who was born to run. He went from no running to running a half marathon in just two years.

    Good luck on your venture.

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  8. Good luck for you Kristine! Shiva can really a great partner for you in terms of running and even other kinds of training for people..

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  9. First congratulations on signing up! Very cool! I raced in a 3K once, so my running shoes are off to you.

    I agree with Sammy Sam about mixing up running and walking. When I ran with Brut all the time, I would walk him past ‘dog homes’ and people who were out or he would have too much momentum for me to handle him. Plus it gave me a break. I’m not as strong of a runner as I used to be, but I love running with the dogs because they help me keep pulling me along.

    Good luck! We’ll be rooting for you!

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  10. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! WAHOOOOO!!!! I’m training too – though I have a much cushier timeline than you! I’m doing the Warrior Dash in Whistler in August and the Run for your Life in CA in October. The funny thing? 4 weeks in and I find my muscles are itching to run. I walked the dogs tonight and it was an effort not t make it a run. I bet you’ll be surprised how quickly you fall back into it.

    GOOD LUCK!

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  11. I’m not as strong of a runner as I used to be, but I love running with the dogs because they help me keep pulling me along. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Hi.. Sometimes, we are really a teacher and at the same time, we can also be a student.. Thanks for the lessons here..

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  14. I am so impressed that you have decided to run a 5k! I think it’s an awesome idea!
    Yes. 5 weeks isn’t much time, but if you ran before you probably know how to ramp it up. I haven’t a clue. Last time I tried running with my client every day and ended up with bulging discs in my neck and excruciating pain running down my arms. It required physical therapy. (This is what bad running posture will get you.)

    I wish both you and Shiva well. I hope that once she gets into the rhythm of things she will be your partner the whole way. Every time I read your posts I think how lucky Shiva is to have a mom who not only saved her life, but made it interesting and fun. One of these days you’ll have to imagine what Shiva would say to you if she could. I have a feeling it would end with Thank You. 🙂

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    • Well, my running posture may not be so great either as my calves have been killing me for the past five days. Maybe it’s my shoes? Hopefully I just need more conditioning and my legs will recover soon.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I really needed them this week after a very frustrating weekend. I feel like we have had a huge setback and I am not sure how to proceed. But your comment reminded me of what it’s all about, of why I started this crazy training thing in the first place: to have fun with my dog. I feel like a jerk for being so irritated with her now. Thanks for the perspective!

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  15. I’m in the same boat, sort of! I did Couch to 5K last year with ample time to actually complete it. This year, I started far too late, and also have only 5 weeks instead of 9 until my upcoming 5K. So I totally feel you there!

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  16. i commend you for entering a race, but i also have to say, “better you than me!” i cannot even imagine training for such a thing. makes me want to take nap.

    desmond and i were jogging every morning last summer, but his reactivity has seemingly escalated since then and now running is not as easy, since i have to be on constant lookout for cats, squirrels, dogs, people, etc.–which there are surprisingly a lot of even at 5:30. also, because i’m treating him for walking calmly next to me, i can’t really continue with that when we’re running–as you’re mentioning above. we’re not really doing much counter conditioning at this point yet, because he is so so far away from being ready for that. i’m only able to do it if he hears a dog barking or if we’re going past a house that a dog lives in (he knows where every single dog lives, even if they are not outside). but as soon as he sees a dog, even from blocks and blocks away, we are doomed. he doesn’t appear to have a reaction threshold. it goes from everything being OK because there are no dogs to everything being crazy because there is a dog four blocks down. CRAZY dog.

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