Marathon or Bust

Eddie and I ran the El Paso Marathon on Sunday. Our ‘training’ plan was haphazard at best. Eddie’s current job doesn’t lend itself for personal time and I took a rather nonchalant attitude towards the whole thing. We squeezed in long training runs with a few of them with Jack and Bernie. They are both my regular running partners. Jack is the go-getter. He shoots out of bed when I get up, sneezing away showing me is beyond thrilled the day is starting. Bernie, on the other hand, is slow to roll out of bed and he will refuse it if it’s before 5:30am. I can’t blame him for that, especially on the weekend, but when my schedule dictates my early rise, I pull out all the stops for him as a way to encourage his participation.

Jack, Bernie and myself run our regular 4-5 miles a 5 days out of the week and one long run on the weekend of 10 or more miles. This time around, my lack of enthusiasm kept my long runs rather short. I know the only way I got out the door was because of the Bears and Eddie’s few weekends of free time. 

The four of us made it up to about 15 miles together. Jack and Bernie enjoyed themselves as we meandered our way through some backroads, saw some wildlife which had Bernie over the moon seeing deer prancing around in the woods. I know I appreciated the companionship as a long run can feel lonely at times. I love my running partners, there is no judgement of how well the run is going, there is excitement for the route (what are we going to see, smell and hear), there is also the bonding time with Jack and Bernie. I’m not sure what they see as the point of running, but I do know they enjoy spending that time with both me and Eddie. We all run in sync. There is no pulling or lagging behind, we make sure they get water and potty breaks and maybe even a little ‘smell the roses’ time, but for the majority of our 15 milers, we’re running together as a team. I call them my little gang 🙂

After our last long run, I spent some time before the race not running. I took Jack and Bernie out on walks and it didn’t feel the same. Maybe it’s because of walking is a  lower intensity activity or the marathon looming in front of me which I felt ill equipped for was just around the corner. Even though I seemingly dragged my feet the last couple of weeks, time still moves along regardless how I feel about it and marathon weekend was here.

Eddie, Jack, Bernie and myself traveled down to El Paso. I know they love their hotspot there.  Howl A Day Inn is where it’s at for them. HADI has play yards and the dogs who board there spend most of their day out in one of those yards. They are only in their kennel because of bad weather (rare for El Paso) or to sleep. Melina is a dog trainer and she is astute in reading body language. HADI is a model for structuring doggie day cares and boarding facilities. Jack and Bernie also deserve a vacation and HADI is the resort destination of their desire. 

The pictures are courtesy of Howl A Day Inn! 

 My mind was rest assured while Jack and Bernie hung out at HADI. No distractions left for me, only the focus being on finishing the marathon. I needed some mental stimulation to help with slogging through 26.2 miles, so I decided on counting how many dogs I would see along the route. Eddie laughed, but he was way more focused on running than I was at that point. I saw almost as many dogs as miles in the race, 18 in total. Let me try and breakdown some notable ones:

  • 2 Yorkies who were supposed to be potting in the front yard, one of them decided to join the runners which I helped return to her person. Her name is Nahla
  • 1 Labrador with a pinch collar 😦
  • 1 Pit Bull running without a leash alongside his human who was riding a bike. I wish I took a picture, the dog seemed to be in heaven with his tongue out, bobbing up and down with his stride
  • 1 Chiuahua mix bundled up in a blanket and was held in the arms of his person


  • 1 Belgian Malinois sitting in the bed of a truck eagerly watching the runners as they drove by

The marathon weekend was a success, Eddie and I both finished and Jack and Bernie are completely relaxed. I think next time, I’ll have to make it a point of taking pictures of the dogs I see along the next route, oh and take marathon training a bit more seriously. Who am I kidding, the latter probably won’t happen!

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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