Okay, it’s time for some home truths. Any of you who know Teresa, or have been reading her

blogs, will perhaps get the impression that she’s a hard worker, that she keeps on keeping on, that

she doesn’t let much get in her way. Many of her race reports talk of her plodding along at the

back, sometimes struggling to finish, always putting one foot in front of the other just to get to the

end. She sounds like a flippin’ martyr half the time. Well, I’ve news for you. Sometimes Teresa is

downright lazy. There, I’ve said it. It had to be said. Can’t have people thinking that Teresa is

always on the go! To prove my point, she’s actually decided that she’s not going to write her own

blog this week, and is having me do it for her – how lazy is that?!?!? Anyway, she’s the boss, so

here goes.

I’m Isaac, and I’m a 2-year-old Golden Retriever. I think I actually have two names, my second one

being ‘Gorgeous’, because every time, and I mean every time, I meet someone they say “That dog

is gorgeous”. (I’ve never heard them say “That dog is Isaac” so if everyone says I’m Gorgeous,

who am I to argue?).

I came to live with the McCarthys in January and I get to write Teresa’s blog because I started a

couch to 5k plan with Teresa when she started back on her ‘Return to Fitness’. We started out from

the very beginning, run a minute, walk a minute, and are making steady progress. Now, it has to be

said, this running lark really comes very easily to me. I have lots of energy and Teresa doesn’t

particularly challenge me with her speed, if you get my drift. No, my couch to 5k training revolves

around my learning to trot along with Teresa and stay focused. I’m a really well-behaved dog, I got

the best of training in my early years. But I confess, I have a strong weakness for other dogs. They

are just so adorable! I see one, I want to run over and say hello. Now, this doesn’t always work so

well if Teresa wants to run along in a straight line. So, we have a system and I’m really learning to

have manners so that I can stick to the job in hand. I get rewarded every time I pass another dog

without going berserk. And later I get to go on free runs where I can play with other dogs to my

heart’s content – just not while Teresa and I are out for a run.

I always know when Teresa is getting ready for a run ‘cos she wears these weird clothes that she

never wears any other time. There are all sorts of T-shirts that have a running kind of aura about

them, with writing and pictures of all sorts of running events and numbers, like 5k, 10k, 13.1 – I

haven’t a clue what the numbers mean. Then there’s the skimpy little shorts – not a hope that she’d

wear them if she wasn’t running, I can tell you. She has special socks that protect her feet from

blisters, and there’s the runners (she could really do with a new pair. She has little holes in her

current ones, but she loves them). Then she goes to the press and gets her flip belt. She fills one

section with poopy bags (always has at least 2, just in case), and another section with doggy treats

to teach me to ignore other dogs. At the moment, she puts my lead through the flip belt to keep her

hands free, but she can grab hold of the lead at any time if she needs to. It also means that if I

make any sudden movements, there’s enough give on the flip belt so that I don’t knock her over.

It’s working well enough at the moment.

I’ve really gotten used to going for a run with Teresa. Sometimes we run along the canal,

sometimes we stay on the road and take all sorts of different routes around our area. Recently, we

were on holiday in Wexford and we went running on the beach, up the sand dunes, up and down

hills. She’s also brought me into lovely wooded runs in St Catherine’s Park. But by far, my favourite

is going to Castletown on a Saturday morning. I think it’s called ‘parkrun’ or something like that. I

never know what’s in store for me there. Sometimes we walk all the way, sometimes we run 2

minutes, walk 2 minutes, sometimes we run for 15 minute intervals with a 5 minute walk. Maybe

someday we’ll actually run all the way – I believe Teresa used to do that before she got sick – I live

in hope. I have to be on a short lead for parkrun, but that’s the way Teresa trained me from the

start, so it’s no bother to me. The best thing about parkrun is all the attention I get from the people

who call me Gorgeous. There’s such a buzz about the place. I think Teresa is going to bring me to

a few different parkruns when she’s a bit fitter. At the moment she’s struggling to finish 5k so she’s

kinda sticking to her local. But I know she also loves Griffeen. She’s due a visit there soon and I’m

hoping to come with her. And I’ve heard of the undulating landscape of Waterstown – sounds like

fun too.


Walking at Castletown parkrun – Look, no hands! Thanks, John Dixon, for the photo.

My biggest gripe with running is when Teresa decides she’s going without me. I see her in her

running gear, but the first clue that this will be different is that she wears a special running top. I

think she calls it a ‘club singlet’. It doesn’t have any 5k or 10k numbers on it, so she sticks a paper

number on it instead. Then I see her getting the flip belt, but she takes the poopy bags and doggy

treats out of it and replaces them with money and her phone, and I know, I just know, she’s going

without me. On these occasions, she seems to have a buzz about her that I don’t see on other run

days. She starts talking about ‘race’, and meeting other runners, and club colleagues. I really don’t

understand the lingo. But no matter how excited I get, wagging my tail at her, getting my lead out of

the utility room, she just gives me a great big pat and goes out without me. Sometimes she’s gone

for hours, and comes back with a big shiny circle hanging around her neck and a great big smile on

her face. That smile can last into the middle of the following week, I’m not joking!

Today is Wednesday and Teresa goes on something called ‘Track Training’ this evening – she

never lets me come to that. It’s only for an hour but she really loves it. How she can have so much

fun on a run without me, I’ll never understand.

Anyway, I’m tired now and it’s time for my snooze. I’m hoping Teresa will get her act together,

shake off the laziness and write her own blog next time – it’s really not my forte. But thanks for

reading it.