Heading to Taper… I Adopted a Dog

The plan for the Chicago Marathon is to taper 15 days before the race. I’m supposed to have the final 20 miler this weekend with Laura. Supposed to are the words I used because 20 miles probably isn’t wise based on how my body reacted to the last one.  I’m disappointed because these past two weeks were supposed to be my peak, but my body is telling me otherwise.
I’ve been dealing with an on and off pain in my right foot since that run two weeks ago.  My entire 20 miles felt pretty great, but after I knew something was off once I finished. My right foot hurt mostly with dorsiflexion. It wasn’t bruised. It wasn’t swollen. It was just annoying. Since it wasn’t any of those things, I ran through it easy for a week and was mindful of my footwear, and continued my method of treatment: RICE. And beer. Always a beer.

I cut last week’s 18 short. This was due to not only my gait shifting from the pain gradually getting worse during my run, but I underfueled all Friday, then slept terribly.  I stopped after 12.5, feeling a bit like I let down my running partner but she totally understood. She gave me a good pep talk and assured me I had a good 20 miler, I’ve put in my training, and I’ll make it to the finish. I wallowed to my car and she finished her run.

So I took this week very light, there was no running from Sunday until Wednesdsy night. Mostly because I wanted to really give my foot a chance to get better (it has!) but also because I adopted a freakin’ fuzz ball on Sunday!

 A month ago somebody posted a picture of their dog they were looking to rehome in a Facebook group I’m part of. They claimed they didn’t have time for him (yet had time for their other two dogs).  J was hesitant but I’m impulsive and since we don’t live together, I jumped all over that.  He’s a redtick coonhound and if you know anything about me, know that I love working breeds. I told her I was interested but couldn’t pick him up for two weeks due to weddings and being overall busy. (In retrospect I should have gotten him then instead of the week before I spent 7 days on two separate vacations but… Live and learn.)

So Sunday, we picked up our new baby, Dunkin, from over 3 hours away. Being the huge Bills fans we are, we left at 5am in order to be home and settled for 1pm kickoff.  It was an exhausting day!  He was a nervous wreck to meet us but warmed up to J and I by the time we got home.

 Since Sunday, it’s been a huge change and stressful, but also rewarding. After a couple sleepless nights and one accident in the house, we have gotten him used to bathroom on a leash (he used to have a doggie door). We are still working on getting him to eat and drink regularly, but he’s finally done both. The biggest problem we face is a little separation anxiety but he even seems to be getting better there with a little training on our leaving and arriving. The first two days he didn’t bark or cry when we left but once he started to recognize us as his owners, he howled as we went to work and upon our return. Joy.  So in addition to him getting his appetite back, I’ve been losing mine because I’m stressed over annoying my neighbors!

Thankfully, almost everyone has been understanding. My immediate neighbor yelled through the wall, “Shut UP, dog!” the first morning so I came home on lunch to listen and leave notes with my name and number and explain we are working to train him ASAP! I met a few neighbors that night who all have rescues and understood the challenges, one even said she didn’t hear him besides when she walked her dog by, he seemed to have stopped! And another brought us her favorite bag of treats to have!  It definitely put me at ease to talk to them. J said he left yesterday and he barked for about two minutes straight before interittently barking and then nothing after about five minutes. I truly can’t complain about that and I hope the neighbors don’t either; his bark is LOUD (he’s a coonhound) but if it stops after five minutes? That’s nothing compared to some things I hear.

 So in the meantime, my peak weak has consisted of a lot of walking, some hiking, a few 1-3 mile easy runs with the pooch, and lounging on the couch. It’s not ideal but I actually think the stress of Dunkin has taken my mind off the “what the fuck” of my foot. It has definitely felt better because of everything so far and I think that’s a win. We will see how Saturday goes, but my goal right now is to get me to the marathon start with no injuries and then finish feeling mostly intact. I have no doubt that I will finish this thing and I’m sure I’ll be walking like I got hit by a bus after I take more than two steps past the timing belt, but hey, I’ll be a marathoner so…


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

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