Rocket the Ice-Eating Dog!

Every time I walk to the refrigerator to get water and ice, Rocket, our 9 month old australian shepherd, plants himself under the ice dispenser waiting for his loot.  The dog is driven.  Rob is worried Rocket might figure out how to push the bar and get ice out for himself.  I think he might win America’s Funniest Home Videos.  I have not started teaching him to get ice for himself, but he does now assume his perfect sit at the ice maker as soon as he sees me head toward the glasses.  He is a very goal oriented dog.

I wish I was as goal driven as Rocket. After the half Marathon I have had a difficult time figuring out what to do next, and an even more difficult time getting out there and just running.  I had considered doing the Sprint distance triathlon, but my swim class taught me I’m not quite ready for that this year.  I have a true fear of swimming in the river, and I need time and practice to overcome that.  So I scratched the Dash.  I finally figured out my next race the Monday before the race on Saturday.  This weekend I ran a 10K at the Deschutes Dash.  I wanted to do it in 1 hour or under, but I made it in 1:06:26.  It was hot, not Texas hot, but when you’re used to running in snow and 46 degrees, running in the high 70s is hot.  By the end all I wanted was to find some shade and more water to dump on my head.  During the last mile I didn’t want to stop running so with every exhale I found myself chanting, “I can do it, I can do it!”  I ran past the roadies setting up for the Barenaked Ladies concert chanting, “I can do it.”  I ran past a grandpa waiting for his wife to exit the restroom chanting, “I can do it.”  I ran past a local anchorwoman chanting, “I can do it.”  When her cameraman said, “Did you hear her, she said she can do it.”  I realized, I guess I’m saying this out loud.  But I did it!  And then I poured as much water as I could grab over my hot head.  After the race I grabbed an orange slice and a glass of beer and waited for my friends to finish.  I was so proud! And yelled for them at the top of my lungs!  When Rob and the kids got there, Rob was so motivated by the rush of the race that he signed up for the Sprint Distance Duathlon on Sunday.  (Sprint=5K Run:12 mile bike: 5K run)  He did great even though he hadn’t gone for a bike ride in a year.

My new goal: August 8,2010.  Haulin’ Aspen 8 Mile race.  I’m excited and motivated.  I never realized how important these goals are.  I guess I’m lucky to have such a goal driven dog.  Every time I see him go for an ice cube, I’ll think, “I can do it!”



  1. LOVE this post! And what a smart dog to keep cool and hydrated 🙂 Nice job on the Deschutes Dash. I had another friend run it and she had a great time too. I totally know what you mean about running in the heat. I’m such a wuss about anything over 55 degrees! That’s what we get for running in Oregon. Keep us posted on your next adventure – the Haulin Aspen. Sounds fun. ~Laura

    • valhelp Said:

      Thanks Laura!

  2. Kelli powell Said:

    I love the ice story. Cosmo used to do that. YOu’ve inspired me again, although my goals are much smaller than yours, they are still needed, I realized after reading this. My goal is to run 2 miles without stopping to walk by end of August. Ugh, this is when I wished I had Oregon weather.

    • Valerie Johnson Said:

      Kelli! I love your goal. Sometimes it’s easier to think about it as a time instead of distance. Just say, I’m going to run for 20 mins. And then do 25 mins. And then keep building by 5 mins and before you know it, you’ve ran 4 miles. Cosmo was a great dog. I’m glad Rocket shares that trait.

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