Meet Coco

Coco is my boyfriend’s parents’ dog and she’s the most adorable little thing ever. She’s also my new running partner, and for some reason, she believes, my new best friend. This is what I think people find so great about having a pet, especially a dog. They love you, even if you only do one nice thing for them in a day. I don’t give Coco cuddles and love all the time because, frankly, she smells like dog and I hate when my hands smell like dog. Once she has a shower though I vow to be nicer.

Her on the other hand, she loves me to pieces. Ever since I took her out for her first run I can’t shake her. She doesn’t like anyone else in this house as much as me. And, I have to admit, I like the attention. After our run, I get Coco some water and then I check my e-mails and what-not while I cool off before getting in the shower. And she’ll lie under my chair the whole time. She’ll then get up and follow me to the bathroom and wait outside the door until I finish my shower. She follows me everywhere. She lies on the bed by my feet while I read. She joins me on the sundeck for our hourly sunbathing each day. In general, she just plain old keeps me company.

But the best thing about having her as a running partner is she won’t let me forget it. From the minute I get up in the morning she’s following me around anxiously waiting for the daily walk. She sits there and looks at me with her expert beggars eyes and wonders if we’re going to get out of the house today. And as soon as she sees me putting on my shoes and my iPod her ears perk up, but it’s not until the leash is out that she’s certain we’re going out. She gets so super excited she can barely contain herself. She jumps up and dutifully lets me put on her leash before she completely loses it, pulling me out the front door.

The only downside is that Coco’s a better runner than me. She may be small but she’s fast. It’s kind of embarrassing really. By the end of our mile she’s walking beside me, the leash lax at my side, as I’m visibly still struggling to jog it in. Hopefully in a few weeks we’ll be on the same level though. She’s a great pace setter, I have to say that much. If it weren’t for her I’d still be taking small strides and running a 14-minute mile, but she’s too excited to get going and she won’t let little ole me slow her down.

One week ’til my first 10K since I’ve been back in the States. I’m seriously out of shape for it, which actually might be nice because then I’ll be improving through the rest of the year. As I struggle with one mile each day I wonder if I’ll even make it through a 10K. Maybe I should have thought smaller and gone with the 5K instead …