I’ve written before about my favourite running partner. Not only do we run together, but she also trained all winter for my trek in Nepal in April. Sometimes it seems unfair that she does all the work of training but never gets any of the fun on the event.
I arrived home from Nepal (and from Everest Base Camp) two weeks ago. And I promptly signed up for the Montreal Rock and Roll Marathon in September. I’ll be running with Team in Training (and coaching at the same time!). So I wrote myself up a running schedule for May to get my legs back into the swing of things and Milo and I headed out for a few 5k runs and then an 8k run.
Milo is nine. She’s in great shape and a really healthy dog, but there’s no denying that she’s not as spry as she used to be. Summer running is out for her – she just gets too hot. But spring running and hopefully very early morning runs in July and August, now that, she can do! Or at least, she could last year…
On Monday we went for an 8k run and while my legs were feeling nice and strong, Milo started to trail farther and farther behind me after the 4k mark. I stopped a few times to let her get drinks from puddles, but there was no question that she was having a hard time. Afterwards, she flopped on the carpet and slept for the rest of the day. While she did a little better on our second 8k run on Wednesday (it was drizzly and cool as opposed to sunny and mild), I realized that Milo may not be able to train with me this summer.
Of course dogs get old and slow down, but… the thought of hitting the roads four times a week all summer and leaving her behind is really disheartening to me. She’s my buddy! In her old(er) age, we have come to run very comfortably together: she enjoys my pace and I enjoy her happy company. I’ve long stopped bringing her on my long runs but it’s sad to realize that soon, she won’t be able to run 10k or even 8k.
I plan on getting her out for a 10k run next week, to see how she does, but I realize with a very sad heart, that our running days may be limited. She may be restricted to spring and fall cool runs. Her hips get sore and she limps sometimes and despite all the proper things we give her suppliment wise, there’s just no slowing down time.
Don’t get me wrong, Milo is not (yet?) a frail, old dog. But this marathon runner may just be running all by myself this summer. And that makes me so very, very sad.