Mom has given me a new job. I have to train her for a marathong. The word “marathong” comes from the Greek root “mara” meaning really, really long and “thong” meaning something that is really uncomfortable but not so uncomfortable that you can’t put up with it as long as you don’t think about it too much. My job training Mom for this marathong is to make sure that she doesn’t get lonely and bored while she’s running all the miles she needs to run to get ready for her marathong. Having a job has helped me with my burn-out and made my runs interesting again.
The most important part of my marathong coaching duties is coaxing Mom through a long run every weekend. I could tell by how long we were in the car that we were going somewhere better than the Wetlands that Smell Like a Fart, so I climbed up into my copilot’s seat next to Mom to see where we were going. When I smelled the ocean, I got so excited that I could hardly contain myself. When we pulled into a parking spot at the beginning of the Haunted Highway, my heart nearly exploded with excitement. Then a cat jumped up and sat on the hood of the car, right in front of my copilot’s seat and I totally lost my composure. “Look! A cat! There’s a cat there! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! HURRRRRRRRR-RRRYYYYY!!!” I squealed and screeched in a really manly way to try to convince Mom to hurry up. But I swear she took even LONGER than usual to get ready. Then, in a stroke of really bad luck the windshield wipers started moving, and that scared the cat away. Only THEN Mom was ready to run. What awful timing! What is it with people always fiddling with clothes and gadgets? They miss the best things in life!
We chased bunnies up the Haunted Highway and ran through overgrown sections where the crab grass slapped me in the face. When the trail is real narrow like that, sometimes I have to suddenly stop and sniff something in one of the really narrow bits, and Mom yells at me to keep it moving. She says it’s a good thing that I don’t have a driver’s license because I would cause an accident, which I don’t think is fair because I help her drive all the time and we never have accidents.
The problem with the Haunted Highway is that it’s only about 11 miles from the car to the beach and back, and we had to run 13. So when we got to the top of the hill Mom took a turn that was new to me, and we kept going up the mountain. I liked this new route because it had never been explored before. But it was real steep and Mom wasn’t doing a good job running at all. She mostly walked the extra mile up, and then when we turned around she ran down the hill like a real sissy pants. I still don’t understand why people use their front paws for grabbing stuff rather than for running. If they grabbed stuff with their mouth like normal people, they could use their front paws for running and they would be much faster uphill and much more stable downhill and they wouldn’t keep yelling at me in a not fun voice at all to quit pulling. But whatever. It’s fine.
When we got down to the beach, we still had to turn around and run another 5.5 miles back over the mountain again to get back to the car. Even though the trail wasn’t even all that steep, Mom started walking a lot more than she had earlier in the run. I’m a real good coach, but not even I could convince her to pick up the pace. “I’m just bonking a little bit, Oscar,” she said.
“You don’t see me getting all cranky and whinging,” I told her. “Know why?”
“Because you’re a dog and you live in the moment?”
“No. Because I eat a diet high in protein and fat, and very low in refined carbohydrates. That allows me to burn fat and ketones for fuel so I’m not constantly riding the insulin rollercoaster and I’m not dependent on carbohydrates to get through my workout.” (The Official Doggie Run Coach Certification includes a nutrition course, unlike most human certification programs.)
“Oh hush. No one likes a sanctimonious diet nazi as a running partner,” Mom spat.
I must have really annoyed her with my sound and thoroughly researched nutritional advice, because before we left the Haunted Highway town she stopped to get herself a snack. “Can I have some of the snack?” I asked, getting my face real close to her banana and sniffing it with serious interest.
“No,” she said. “You eat a diet high in protein and fat, and very low in refined carbohydrates, so you can burn fat and ketones for energy until we get home.” Humans can be so vindictive!
-Oscar the Coach