Saturday, December 19, 2015

Guest Blogger Year in Review

Hello everyone!  I just wanted to bring a guest blogger on here to talk about her year in running. She has a err, very unique take on running.  My guest blogger today has completed almost 1200 miles running this year while training for various races including her very first real half marathon (not virtual) and multiple trail  runs including a very technical trail 10 miler.  She also trained for her very first marathon but due to stupid rules, couldn't actually run in said marathon.

Without further ado, I am happy to introduce STELLA!
Hi there!   My name is stella ella, and mom and the little red two legged toddler call me Stel, La, or La La.  When I am in trouble, I am STELLA ELLA COLEMAN.  I am a red tri australian shepherd, meaning I am red, tan, and white with no spotties like my brother Deuce.  When I am not taking care of my human family (I am chief boogey man guard and head of my doggy pack), I am running with my favorite human.
She totally understands me and my need for speed and daily exercise.  We do long runs together and easy runs together, but also speed work, hill repeats and any other crazy work out her coach puts her up to.   I am her favorite cheerleader, and I sometimes get so excited that I nip her to remind her to speed up or LET'S GO!
I also like to run with her favorite running human friend like speedy Mel or rocking Robin.  Honestly, I love all runners because, hello, I am a runner too!

Mom and I trained for several races this year, and i got to do my actual first half marathon race.  I helped mom cross the finish line at the first annual Wicked Half marathon in our hometown.  I even came in first place dog!
 We also did a 10 K together, and I pulled mom to a 10 K PR!  This was a dog race that benefitted the  KSU veterinarian sophomore class and an organization called KSDS.  KSDS is a really cool organization that helps raise and train service dogs, and pair them to humans that might benefit from canine assistance in daily life.
We also did a few 5ks together, including one that benefitted a school that my little two legged brother will be attending some day soon, and a local animal shelter in Topeka.

I sure do love racing with my mom.  She isn't as fast as me, and i sometimes have to pull her up those hills, but we manage.  Sometimes at small races, I pull her to something called an age group award.  I don't care about that stuff, just give me some treats!

We also ran a thing called a virtual half marathon.  I did one last year to benefit cattle dog rescue, but this one this year was pretty cool, mainly because I got my own medal and bib with my name on it!  This virtual run benefitted an organization that pairs service dogs for veterans.  Pretty cool huh?
Then, after we had all this fun in the spring and early summer, we got serious and started putting in mega miles.  We started doing runs that involved double digits, even during the weekly runs.  It was tough, but I would like to think that due to my pacing, my mom was able to finish the Chicago marathon without any issues.  I was just sad I never got to do the entire 26.2, but i am sure looking forward to training for something called a 50 K, maybe in 2016 or 2017.  Mom tells me that they allow dogs in the one she is looking at, and I am excited to finally get to run the race with my mom, even if it is this crazy distance.  
 Mom and I got bitten by the trail bug at the end of this year.  We got muddy, and i had to show her the way several times, but we finished with a huge smile on our faces and I got my very own medal!
Mom says these trail nerds people love having dogs at their races, so we are going to do more of them, even if they are a couple of hours a way.  I personally loved getting to eat fig newtons on the course, and loved the up and down and round and round.  Although, I was really confused on those switch backs, because I really felt the quickest way down was straight down, not going back and forth over and over again.  Heck, I even trudged through some super deep mud and had to steady mom a few times so she wouldn't fall flat on her face.  Let's just say we are seriously thinking about doing this race again in February.  Of course by then, we might be trudging up and down snow covered hills instead of mud covered hills.  I am sure I will be pulling and steadying my mom up again!
Overall it has been a great year for me and of course my mom.  I have kept her injury free.
I have watched her do some boring stuff called strength training.
I helped my older brother appreciate running.
I stared holes into the back of my mom's head when she either a) ran on the mill instead of taking me out or b)went to a race without me.
I also learned how important rest days were.  
 I also did lots of baby sitting of my younger brother.
Mom says some day he will run with us.  For now, he is just going to have to walk with us.  He says he wants to run some of the kid races next year, but we will have to see.  
Well, that is my year in review!  I want to thank my mom for keeping me active. I get pretty grumpy, just like my mom when she doesn't get her run in.  I can't wait to tear up some trails this year and run my favorite races including Tails on the Trail, Dog and Jog, the Wicked Half, and some trail nerd races.  
Have a great 2016 everyone!

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