This is a bit of ‘special edition’ post, as its links to running are perhaps marginally tedious – but bear with me and it’ll link up in some way. Last night, we had to put down our beloved chihuahua, Coco. She was 17 and her body had just packed up. I’d looked after Coco for the past 3 1/2 years, since my Nan passed away, and although at times challenging, I loved being responsible for a dog.
When I first took over as Coco’s owner it was tough going. She was used to spending all her time with my Nan and hadn’t mingled much with the outside world much. I wanted to try and introduce her to life. So Coco went on the buses and trains (until Jason came along along and then she rode in the green mobile). She was also a bit of regularly at our local pub, The Magnet, until there was a bit of an incident on pizza night. Coco even made it to Edinburgh, were some Japanese tourists wanted a photo of her – fame at last.
Where does running come into all this? Well my rekindled passion for running and my becoming a dog owner happened at the same time. As a teenager I had ran regularly for Wirral AC, training for 800m, 3 times a week. However, I saw university as an opportunity to try something a bit different, which resulted in me stopping running and giving rugby league a try (this is a true story.) Rugby league, as I’m sure those who knew me can imagine, didn’t go particularly well. For a couple of years, after this, I ran off and on, on my own, even entering a half marathon (which resulted in shin splints) but never took it as seriously as my pre-uni self had.
As mentioned above, when my Nan passed away in July 2013, I became Coco’s owner but I also decided to enter my first marathon and raise money for Cancer Research. The marathon went fantastic, I clocked 3hrs 40 at Chester, and decided that I could run distance after all. The next step was to join a club and at the beginning of 2014, I rocked up to Wythenshawe park in a taxi and began my training with Manchester Harriers, where I’ve stayed since.
2013 was tough but it also encouraged me to grow up, I had a responsibility to honour in looking after Coco. It also rekindled my passion for running and made me accomplish new goals, such as running a marathon, Finally, the marathon lead to Wythenshawe park and more importantly to Jason. Although Coco is now gone, running isn’t, so here we have yet another reason to keep running.