Running a Marathon For a Disabled Dog

Samuel Adams trying out a cart at Eddie's Wheels For Pets.

... and a mental game I played

 This world is full of pain and suffering, mostly created by humans. Those that want to help are often overwhelmed by the amount and the variety of different needs. 

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I, personally, save my energy and willpower for disabled animals.  As I take on a case, I have to come up with new ideas for effective fundraisers. I have done countless bake sales and yard sales. I realized, I needed to go to another level,  so I bring more attention to Samuel's needs. 

I have been running since the 8th of April of this year. I remember the pain I felt after walking fast on my treadmill, for exactly seven minutes.  Between April and yesterday, I practiced running until it became a positive addiction. 

Promising 26.2 to a disabled animal seems lunatic to you - it was not to me. 

Some people train a lot for this event. I too, have ran a lot, but I would not call it 'purposeful training' per ce.  It was all in my head. Call me crazy, but I believe that  willpower is all that comes down to. My brain, the most powerful organ, will steer my limbs, muscles to two possible places. One is the goal and one is the ground. 

Fitness watch on, shoes tied, I headed to the treadmill. The first few miles were boring and painful. I was warming up, waiting for the sun to rise. I wanted to take this party outside. As I started to feel the 'runner's high', I needed to picture Samuel and his family. I  transferred  all my emotions toward their needs. This is where the mind game worked and the miles started adding up.  Looking at the beautiful sunrise on Route 10 in Grantham, NH, I imagined Samuel running around the vernal pools newly created by the heavy rain we had. Samuel can of course not run around, but I reap energy from imagining the results. 

I ran back and forth on the road, turning into alley's, parking lots. My breathing was steady and calm, my feet felt comfortable in the recently bought, zero drop sneakers.  I carried my running belt, holding a pink, cheap water bottle and a packet of gooey condiment that supposed to pick me up when the muscle cramps arrive.  Cars whooshing by, some people honk.  I mostly ignored them all, except when they were accompanied by strong patchouli smell I could not ignore. I felt nauseated from the cloud of sweet fumes long after the car carried its source away. 

Samuel's spirit, his owners' hopes kept me focusing more than any songs could. I store hundreds of songs on my headphone, but not even  Frank Zappa can measure up to the love and commitment  I felt  toward the  injured rottweiler.  

I did have a few, minor health scares in the past couple of weeks, so I decided to run around my home town. A few times, I ran home, hopped on the treadmill for a mile or two, yelled to my husband "any donations??" and left again. He yelled back:  "Don't worry about that now! Just keep running!"  

As I past the twenty mile mark, my run felt less and less enjoyable. My mind started to give up. I was becoming weaker and less able to perk myself up.  I hated Route 10. Straight, uneventful. I turned toward the Recreation Field, taking Samuel with me. We walked for ten minutes. Ran again. The soft grass was comforting to my legs and hips. The sun was burning my face now. It was way past noon. I started running at 6:15 am. The muscles  in my legs felt as hundreds of needles were piercing me at every step I took. I did not want to cry. I did not want to give up. My biceps were rigid and painful from holding my elbows in the same position for hours and hours.  

24 miles. 

It is the farthest I have ever gotten.  I am tracking miles on my watch, but it feels like I am watching paint dry. I through the bracelet down (later on, I had to go back and find it!) 

Come on, boy!!! we are almost there!!!!! 

26.3 what???? I passed the mark.  I was numb and silent as I was driven home with my feet high on top of the dashboard. Not a drop of sweat, only mental fatigue. 

Thank you, Samuel for teaching me how to run!! I will never forget my first, fundraiser marathon. 

With love, 

Andrea Conger 

Chelsea's Footprints 

501 (c)3 Grantham NH 

Please 'like' Chelsea's Footprints on Facebook or visit my simple website  here

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