My introduction to Canicross
One year ago, I didn’t even know what Canicross was. Running with a dog ? Not quite. Actually, Canicross is the sport of cross country running with a dog attached to the runner. Basically, we wear a belt, the dog has a harness, and we are joined by a bungee cord that reduces shock to both human and dog when the dog pulls. (Obviously my equipment is pink. It’s made by Winterson Sports.)
I can’t run with Victoria (my English Mastiff) because let’s get this straight: mastiffs are not meant for running long distance while pulling weight. So if I wanted to try canicross, I’d have to borrow a dog… or several !
I joined a club during the summer and my first attempt was actually a disaster. I’d stopped working out for over a year after my accident, so I was very out of shape, and I’ve never been much of a runner anyway, so I don’t even think I could do 1 km without stopping and wanting to die hahahaha! For the occasion, I was running with a husky named Becky.
I did a second attempt later, which was not really better… but still, I liked the idea of running with a dog, and most importantly, with other people sharing the same passion for animals and fitness!
In November, I did my third practice, and then again, I was always behind, huffing and puffing my way out of my first 5k (with intervals). That time, I was running with Monster.
In December, first event (a fun run). A 5k that I did in a bit less than 30 minutes I think… Let’s say that it didn’t go too well. The track was slippery, and let’s be honest, I was dying hahahahaha ! I was running with Monster there again, but I think we didn’t feel for running that day haha! And we always do intervals when we practice, so running non stop was harder than expected! After this, I decided to change my gym routine. No more elliptic, and go on the treadmill. I wanted to get better. Actually, I decided that I would be better! I needed to improve my cardio and my endurance.
Started 2017 with a goal in mind. Running 1000 km by the end of the year ! So I increased my practices outside with the club, but also by myself. Increased my treadmill time as well. I use the app Runkeeper, which keeps track of my distance and pace and such, so it’s pretty convenient.
February 4th, 2017 – First competition – East Broughton, Québec
I decided to try again for another race on Feb 4th. I signed up for the 2k race (2.24 in fact), with Monster. I had the cold, felt like crap, it was cold, the track had snow on it, and it started with a very steep hill which made me want to walk the whole trail afterwards…. BUT I pushed thru. I stayed focused, I kept running and I did my best. Doing my best in not the best conditions actually led me to my first ever podium! Yes! I got the first place. I could not believe it. In fact when they said my name, I did not even react. “What? oooh wait, it’s me?” hahaha ! What an incredible feeling !
February 11th, 2017 – Competition – La Baie, Québec
I wasn’t planing on going to this event, I didn’t really know it existed, before Amélie, a club member who enters lots of competitions mentioned she was going, so I thought: why not? I love road trips, and going to La Baie sounded like a pretty good idea! I asked if I could run with Monster again and signed up for both the 5k and the 1.7 k, and so did Amélie. I found the track very intense: lots of hills! But the landscape was great. It was the perfect place for an event like that. I ran the 5k with a lot of motivation. I was looking at every hill as a big challenge, but I never gave up, even when Monster decided that he was sick of pulling hahah! When I saw the finish line, I gave everything I had for a final sprint. After the race, I thought: well I gave everything I had. The time I’ll get is what I deserve according to the conditions. I was happy and hoping for a top 10 :). Well, I got third place ! WHAT! another podium for Monster & I ! Definitely did not expect that. Icing on the cake? Amélie got second place !!!! That was awesome!!!!
We also did the 1.7 k race, but I think we were just tired and cold, so we did not get any podium that time, but still got 5th and 4th place, so not too bad! I even did my final sprint at 3min 20 secs per km (18 km/h) ! I thought I would fall face first in the snow hahahahaah ! Thank gosh I didn’t hahaha!
So the results were awesome, the race was very nice and the road trip was perfect! What a great day!
More info coming soon!…