Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Beauty of Snow

There is still a lot of snow on the ground, covering the sidewalks. The city is also not very good about salting the roads, especially in this neighborhood, so there is no running in the streets either. It's safer to run the drifted sidewalks, so that's what we did. Many places it looked as if no one had been there, even though I know we were just there two days ago. It's kind of mystical and romantic. Who better to share that romance with than my little sled dog?

While these runs aren't helping my pace at all, I'm getting a great stability workout and I can feel it much more in my glutes and hamstrings. I still don't want to slip on some ice or roll my ankle on some packed snow, but I'll miss it a little when it's gone. Maybe I won't be so nervous next time it snows, as long as the temps are good for Henri's paws, which is what I was avoiding last round. It looks like the temps will be up, at least for the next week. We'll see what happens after that, but maybe we can get a "long" run in this weekend. The training plan is calling for six miles. Not a problem as long as the snow is gone. If not, I'm not worried about it. I'm not worried about getting the distance for the half. I'll be ready for that. I've got plenty of time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Hello, friends! I know! It's been awhile. Don't worry. Henri and I have still been running. It was a pretty warm summer that seemed to last a long time. We ran often, but the distance wasn't really there. We had to wait for it to cool off to start working toward our ten mile goal. We made it with a few weeks to spare!

So, what is in store for 2018? Well...there might be a marathon in my future. Actually, there is a marathon in my future. I'm signed up. Tickets are purchased. Lodgings are booked. There is no backing out now. What? Why? Because I'm not signed up for just any old local marathon. I'm running the 3 country marathon starting in Germany, crossing the Swiss border and finishing in Austria, because if you're going to run a marathon, might as well see the world while you're doing it! Oh, and while we're over there, might as well run a 10K in Iceland. What am I doing?

Well, it all starts with a little half-marathon training for the Illinois Half-Marathon, because that's just a half, so I can stay local for that. 

We hadn't been on a run since December 23rd, until today. It's been cold, snowy and icy, conditions that I thought dangerous for myself and Henri. We almost got out last week, but we found a lost dog before we even made it out of our block. By the time we got it home, it started to rain. I guess we were saved from being on the opposite side of the other neighborhood when the rain started, but it was still a disappointment. So, today, I was not letting anything stop us. Maybe slow us down a bit...but just look at Henri leaping through the snow!

So, that's the plan this year. Run a Half in April as part of training for a Full in Germany in October, shortly followed by a 10K in Iceland. Unfortunately, Henri will not be able to run any of these with me, but I will keep him by my side for as much of the training as he is interested and able to do, as a lot of the long runs will be in the summer and I am more concerned with his safety than him being there with me. Besides, I'm going to have to run it without him in Germany. Better get used to it...but not too used to it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

National Pet Day

Yeah, we're way behind on all of our posts, but the weather hasn't exactly been cooperative for the last month or so. Less running means less posting. It's a little frustrating that the Spring weather has been a lot more difficult that the winter weather.

But today is National Pet Day and after some windy rainy days, we got a partly sunny day, which is fine because if it had been sunny, it would have been warmer and we're just not ready for that! Henri waited by my side as I got ready, waiting for the moment that I would grab the harness and hold it out for him. He put his head out for me to put it on and headed for the door. Yeah, he was ready.

We enjoyed four and half miles with no incident. There are some houses going up in the neighborhood and the sound of the nail gun was freaking Henri out, but he kept running. He kept looking back to make sure nothing was coming after him, but he kept going. Brave boy. Of course, every moment spent running with Henri, even the hard moments and the scary moments and the painful moments are still some of the best moments of each day. Happy National Pet Day, Henri!

I'll calculate miles later. They are altogether disappointing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Just A Little Catching Up To Do

We've had a few runs since our last post. It was a bit of an off week. I'm not really sure why. I just felt a little wonky and out of sorts for a few days. I don't know how to explain it. We still got several runs. Tuesday, I didn't feel the greatest, but I wanted five miles. We got four and a half before the throbbing of my head with each step was just about too much to bear. We were both slowing down anyway. We were almost home. It was sixty plus degrees. Maybe that was it. 

We went out again on Friday. This time we got the five miles. I wore my "fast" shoes. I was sure I was going to regret it because they don't support my feet the same and I didn't think I should wear them running longer distances. (I know. Five miles isn't really a "long" distance, but I was still hesitant.) I keep forgetting why I call them my "fast" shoes. I could feel the difference in my ability to move my feet. My speed wasn't actually faster than in my other shoes, but it just felt different.

Fast forward to today, where rain and storms threatened our chances of getting out. It was windy, but not raining. It was still sixty degrees, but without the sun blasting down, it was comfortable. Five and a half miles today. Henri needed it. He was pretty focused. Less stops and sniffs, more 'Come on, let's go!' 

It will take us a bit to get used to the warmth and by the time we figure it out, it will be cold again. Luckily, that's our sweet spot. Who am I? What am I saying? 

Runs this year: 21

Miles run this year: 91

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sweetheart Run

On Valentine's Day, of course, Henri and I participated in FitFam's Virtual Run, The Sweetheart Run. Yes, I ran with Henri. Who else would I run it with, really? This year though, being as that we had a goal of running 10k by my birthday, I signed us up for the 10k. I kinda planned on doing them both together, but then I decided by Birthday 10k and The Sweetheart Run should have their own days, so we ran another 10k, because we can do that now.

The weather was much better for The Sweetheart Run. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, there was no wind, so we pushed to get it done in under an hour. Guess what? We did it! I knew we could! Time 57:15. Pretty good for a second time running one! The best part? Running it with Henri. Can't you just feel the love?

There was also a scavenger hunt to go along with the run, which we completed. Here are our findings:

[X] A rose(s) - On my running tights (That I got for my birthday! So Pretty!)
[X] A kiss - From the boy

[X] Flag or signage with a heart(s) - Hearts and roses!
[X] The number '14' - It's really weird to try to take a picture of someone elses house
[X] A lovely couple of things - Aw! Flamingos in love. Henri, leave them alone!

Check and Check. Another FitFam Virtual Run, done! Thanks for challenging us, giving us a fun run and sweet medals don't hurt either :) Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Runs this year: 19

Miles run this year: 81

Monday, February 13, 2017

Redefining "Little"

We took a few days off to recover and celebrate our 10k. Henri was ready to get out again today. I mean, I was, too. I want to try to do another six tomorrow, so I thought we'd just do a little four, four and a half (Funny how that is "little" now). We are having some unseasonably warm weather here in Central Illinois, so it's pretty easy to spend the time outdoors.

This run had it's moments, both good and not so good. Hopefully, we stretched our muscles out a little bit to be able to push tomorrow, but we'll see. I hit my goal, so I can be a little more lax if my body just doesn't feel like it can do it that day. For today, I made my body do it anyway. We'll see if I regret it tomorrow.

Runs this year: 16

Miles run this year: 72

Friday, February 10, 2017

Birthday 10k

No matter what, I was getting this run in today. I was not going to come up even one day short. Yes, there was snow and ice on the sidewalks. Yes, it was really windy. It was also 50 degrees. Also, my birthday. The goal was 10k by my birthday and that's what was going to happen. 

Honestly, I felt sick right before running. The 'I'm about to do something big and important', nervous, excited, sick. Six miles isn't really that big of a deal, but it was a goal for this year and we were about to do it. It felt pretty good. I counted down the miles as they ticked by on my watch. "Down to five." "Only four." "We do three all the time." "Halfway there." "Two left." "One more." "Half a mile. Don't stop now." "Quarter of a mile. Push!" I tried to get it done in under an hour. I pushed as hard as I can the last two minutes, but we came up 26 seconds long. Considering the small bits of slush we slowed down for and the wind we ran into for two of the back half, I'm okay with it. We'll beat it next time.

Now, to get comfortable in this distance and start working on ten miles. Ten might not happen until the fall, but it's a goal, so it will happen.

Also, Henri was so tired by the time we took this picture. Then he got a little boost because he knew we were going home. Now he's sleeping it off next to me. Mission accomplished.

Runs this year: 15

Miles run this year: 67.5