MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




The Number Three

Saturday, December 15, 2007

While typically I am a big fan of the number three, this morning I came across my first reason to dislike it. Three has been my lucky number for quite a while now, and I am normally glad to see its random appearance: on my race number; on my locker number; in my age; in the number of apples, oranges, and plums in my lunch box; and in pretty much everything else. I even used to be number three on my soccer team in high school.

This morning, however, I found a good reason to wish for a different number. As Amanda and I pulled up to the Rez for a short run with the dogs, all four of us were faced with the number three as an indicator of how many degrees Fahrenheit the air temperature was outside. Three! Now that is cold. It’s very awful-damn cold, in fact. Sure, it’s warmer than two, and it’s warmer than -23, but it’s still pretty damn cold. This morning I did not like the number three.

Amanda took off with our snow dog, Luna; and I headed off in a different direction with the Blue Dog. We busted out their coats for the occasion, so we were hoping for the best. The Blue Dog is a pretty lean, mostly hairless whippet, so he’s not too good in three degrees. Luna, on the other hand, is a furry wire-hair Jack Russel Terrier; one that loves to dive her head into the snow. She is pretty hardy.

Blue and I made it for just about thirty minutes before he, in his dog way, with dog manners and dog tact, told me he was not enjoying himself anymore. We cuddled up in the sheepskin seat covers, and waited for our girls with the car heater blasting.

Impressively, about twenty minutes later, I spotted Amanda and little icicle Luna trotting up to the car. Somehow, after fifty minutes, the sun had not warmed the air up above three degrees. And somehow, these two endured fifty minutes in that three degrees. Impressive.

Watch out, folks: Amanda is motivated, and I am predicting some great races for her in the upcoming season! Even if she did chose to wear running shoes with Yaktrax, while Luna went shoeless.

4 Comment(s)

Alberto on 12/18/07 said:

I can’t even imagine running in 3 degrees. I am a wimp. I complain when I have to run or bike in any temperature around 40 degrees.

brian on 12/19/07 said:

I have a dog question. My kids are dying to get a dog, would you recommend a Jack Russel, Is she a good dog to run with?

vatolovato on 12/19/07 said:


This is a tough question. I had to defer to my wife, the JRT expert on this one. If you can find a breeder who has bred dogs to be good with children, this might work. Otherwise, sometimes they are not the best with kids. This definitely depends on your kids’ ages.

They are GREAT to run with. They do require a lot of training, and a lot of exercise. Our Luna is the best running partner, as she can go all day in hot or cold… any terrain. We really worked on training her to be such a good dog. And she loves children!

If you need a tip for a breeder, we do know two great ones, in the MD area and in Nebraska. Plus, we have the best dog trainer who can do “online training.”

Hope this helps.

Cody the Clydesdale on 12/20/07 said:

Running in 3 degree weather is hard core! That’s dedication! When I met your
dogs at Harvest Moon they were so well behaved. That says allot about their

I too am really exited about Amanda’s upcoming season. I can garentee there’s
allot of 70.3 specialists cussing under their breath when they find out she’s
trying their distance.

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