My Sore Muscles and An Injured Pup

I didn’t end January as strong as I would’ve liked. Although I ran my 1st 18 miler ever (in 3:23:32) and refined my fuel plan last Saturday, I also had to cope with my 7 month old lab puppy and her first injury.

A day's rest before surgery.

That’s Mika, pronounced mee-Kah, but I can see why people will say it differently.

First, a little background: when I returned from my Afghanistan deployment in 2008, I adopted a gray short hair cat, Bronte. I gave Bronte to my parents in 2010 when the Army stationed my John and me in Kuwait. A year later, when we returned, John researched for a yellow Labrador retriever and in August 2011, Mika joined our team.

August 2011, joining the pack!

If you have a dog, you will probably relate to what I’m gonna say next. This dog is my baby. The closest I have to a baby right now. I don’t dress her up (only around holidays) or tote her around in a bag (she’s far too big for that), but I love her and care for her like I would a baby. I love to smell her fur and give her belly rubs and sing to her in high-pitched voices. Spending time with her even when she becomes rowdy and mouthy is something I don’t ever want to give up. Before I even knew I would get a dog one day, I watched the movie Marley and Me and bawled uncontrollable tears while my husband said, “You only have a cat. You don’t even know what it’s like to have a dog!”

Well, my Mika Meeks injured her leg jumping off the floorboard of our bed last week and our life together has slooowed down. At the initial visit to the vet, he believed it was a ligament strain and gave her a steroid shot and some medicine. Flash forward to yesterday, the swelling hasn’t decreased and I needed to know what was wrong so I went to the vet again. It turned out that she indeed has a fracture and is undergoing surgery today. While I’m happy that she is getting treated, I am sad that her puppy energy is thwarted by this. I often think if I had just fed her dinner at the time, she wouldn’t have run off to chase my husband in the bedroom. If only I had done a better job at training her not to jump on the bed, this wouldn’t have happened.

The next couple of months will be full of recovery and trying to inhibit cabin fever. I know that finding a new normal with Mika will take time. She will hobble around, wear one of those cone collars, and sit outside longing for a walk in the field. But she’ll still wag her tail feverishly when I or my husband enter the room, delighted to see us. That’s what I love about dogs.

Stopping for a picture. My pup looks so cute, me, not so much!

As for my marathon training, I chose to do a leg workout on Monday and approached it the wrong way. I added more weight and did more reps than I normally did which resulted in sore and heavy legs for the rest of the week. This proved unwise as I couldn’t summon the mojo to get out and run the mileage (a 5 and 9-er) that I was supposed to. I went for the easier option by not running for two days rather than running slower or running a shorter distance. I knew better than to lift legs so hard early in the week because it would affect my running, but my magical thinking won out: Oh, I won’t feel that bad tomorrow! Lesson learned: When strength training, don’t take on more weight/reps than you can handle or delayed onset muscle soreness will sneak up and git ya!

With 31 days left until RnR NOLA, I still have miles to fit in so that I can get my 1st marathon in the books and start attacking future goals. So here’s to squeezing the juice out of February! Thank goodness I get an extra day this year. 🙂

Any pet owners out there who’ve experienced an injury or sickness? Any words of advice or encouragement?

Get out there, but don’t forget to pace yourself!

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4 responses to “My Sore Muscles and An Injured Pup

  1. JME –

    Your pup will have a full recovery! Don’t what if the situation, you’re a great furbaby mom!

  2. Good luck I know being a mom, grandma and furbaby mom. Tough day for all. Maxx is 6mo old german shepherd and just got fixed a few weeks ago that was scary. I was alarmed by the vet thinking it was a ligament because, Maxx wacked his leg months ago on the coffee table. He limps once and awhile but runs like a track star. Non pun intended. Good luck keep me posted really. My daughter runs and will run her first marathon LA so Run Run Run good luck !

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