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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for tag: running with dogs

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
October 23, 2013
Category: Running

Last Saturday was the weekend of the Runners World Half Marathon Festival weekend in Bethlehem, PA. Kids runs on Friday and a Half Marathon on SUnday sandwiched a day for 5K and 10K races--and a 1 mile dog run, sponsored by Eukanuba.

A beautiful, brisk October morning it was, with a rising sun in the east and a setting full moon in the west. The area of the Steel Stacks, the site of the former Bethelhem Steel company was all set up for approximately 1700 runners for the 5K. With several months of training and one other 5K under my belt, I was ready to run with my daughter, Brianne.

 Running through the streets of Bethlehem, crossing the Lehigh River and skirting the campus of Moravian College, it was a treat to run thre course with my daughter.  We managed to finish together in a very respectable 33:50.  I say respectable because Brianne had returned from visiting her lifelong friend Amanda in Malaysia less than 36 hours earlier and it was a wonder she knew what day and time zone she was in.  For me, it was a culmination of 5 months of training for the day.  When I started, I couldn't run  more than about 6 minutes on a traeadmill @ 12:00 miles.   Gradually increasing the distance and pace allowed me to stay injury-free and while I likely could have pushed harder in the training, I'll leave the faster paces for future races

 

A few hours later, it was time for the dog run. My dog Moose, a Havanese, has been in training himself for the big day. Endless 25 yard sprint intervals to chase a tennis ball with 25 yard recovery jogs to return the ball to me, mixed in with his daily 1/4 and 2/3 mile walks.  There were approsimately 100 dogs there of all shapes and sizes.  Young pups and old dogs, Chihuahuas and dogs which could be saddled.  A football family with a pair of "wide retrievers" and a "rufferee".  All were well behaved and the race itself was a hoot.

  We started out at the finish line for the human races, running the course backwards, in a manner of speaking, 1/4 mile out and back, then a second loop.  There were some experienced dogs and owners, one who apparently finished the entire mile in no more than 7 minutes.

They say that dogs and their owners tend to look alike.  Well, they apparently run alike too as we were devoted back-of-the-packers.  We enthusiastically trotted on our way out, made the first turn at the 1/4 mile mark and then Moose felt the call of nature, as dogs often do.  Humans line up at the portapotties before racing, not so for dogs.  Fortunately, I carried bags with me and even more fortunately, there was a nearby trash can.

Returning to the start/finish area to complete the first lap, we were greeted by cheering and laughing throngs behind the barriers.  Of course we were still at an easy pace with no evidence that the 25 yard sprint training would be utilized.

Then we made the 2nd turn just before the finish line.  The best I can figure, Moose, who we sometimes refer to as "The Most Interesting Dog in the World" may be able to read signs, including the one that said "FINISH".  20 yards after the turn, he must have thought the race was over between the cheering crowds and the clearly marked "Finish Line".  He sat down. The look on his face in the photo says "Can't you read? The sign says  'FINISH' and I'm finished!"  

It took a little bit of coaxing, but I convinced him that we needed to complete one more lap. He reluctantly agreed and we ran the rest of the way without incident. We then enjoyed a brief talk by the Senior Nutritionist for P&G Pet Care.  Moose slept very well on the ride home.

Training tips:

1. Increase your mileage and pace gradually to prevent injury.

2. Proper warmups, especially on chilly days.  We saw one runner pull up lame (human, not dog) with an apparent calf/achilles tendon injury less than a mile into the race.

3. Running, walking, or a combination thereof: Go try a race some time if you haven't.  It's a lot of fun, a bit of a test of your training, and you get free food and drink after you run. [Note to RW: the post race snacks were good, but nowhere near the quality and variety of those provided at the Paul Jackson Fund 5K in Clark, NJ last month].  A big race like this, we received finisher's medals.  Moose received some swag from the folks at Eukanuba.

4. Get out and exercise with your dog.  I always tell people that if you have a fat dog, it means that you aren't getting enough exercise.  It's good for both of you.

 

 



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Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470