My virtual Ironman team is really getting the miles in- 14,000 so far! Keep up the great work, athletes! The finish line is in the distant past for some, and in the near future for others. This is how I feel when I’m at mile 10 on the marathon during my races. The nice thing about a 2 loop or 3 loop run course is that there are lots of spectators and it’s usually in the middle of town. The bad part is that I can sometimes hear the finish line screams when I still have another loop (or two) to go. The fastest athletes finish their race before I even start running. So here’s where it gets tough- Run Your Race! This is for YOU. For some of you bikers and cross country runners, the Virtual Ironman 140.6 challenge wasn’t very tough. ( Next year you can do the Double Iron challenge- 280 miles or the Mega Iron challenge- 500 miles) But for some of you walkers, 140.6 miles is a long way! Keep moving forward and don’t give up!
I found the coolest article in my Master Swim magazine I wanted to share with you. You hear me go on and on about my Austrial Shepherd running partner, Rocket. By the way, he’s an official half marathon dog. He just did his first 13.5 mile run with me today, and still had energy to run after the tennis ball when he got home. The article is called, “Dogging It” by Elaine K. Howley, and it’s about a CANINE swimming partner! I’m impressed! Here are the highlights:
“Training partners come in all shapes and sizes, from towering triathletes to stocky sprinters. Few come with a lustrous coat of thick, brown fur, soft floppy ears, and webbed feet, however. But Bethany Bosch, 30, of Rutland, Vt., has just such a hairy swimming partner: her 4-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, Guri. Guri swims alongside Bosch on many of her open water training swims and has even crossed the finish line in a 5-mile race next to her human.
It started, as most things do, small and almost by accident, in 2011 when Guri was still a puppy. Bosch had just started her marathon swimming career with an 8-mile swim, and hadn’t even yet begun to comtemplate crossing the English Channel (which she plans to attempt this month). ‘I knew that chocolate labs have webbed paws and are water dogs. But I wasn’t going to swim short distances, and taking a dog on even a mile swim seemed like a long swim. But you know, my schedule was getting crazy because swimming became a huge part of my life rather quickly. And juggling work and a dog, well it didn’t seem fair to have a dog that I never did anything with. So I decided that I would take her to the lake with me one day,’ Bosch says.
‘I wanted to approach it cautiously,’ she says. ‘I have this creature that I’m supposed to take care of and exercise and play with, and I wanted to incorporate her into what I was doing.’ But Guri loved the swimming and Bosch enjoyed the company and the challenge of training her dog to swim longer, and so a habit was formed and a training bond forged. ‘It was a lot of work’ getting Guri up to speed in training and helping her swim longer distances, ‘but it turned out to be one of the best things I could have ever done.’
When swimming together became a regular event, Bosch noticed that Guri would tire after about an hour of swimming, so she decided to invest in a life vest for her furry swim friend. Suddenly, Guri had seemingly limitless energy and potential for swimming long distances. Bosch and Guri swam the 5 Mile Lake Willoughby Swim Race in August 2013-swimming side by side, one doing a nice long humanoid freestyle, the other doing a nice long doggie paddle. They completed the swim, all 5 miles, side by side. One arm and one leg at a time, paws and hands grasping for the far shore in a joint effort to share their joy for the water- together!”