Sunday, April 22, 2018

Run Streak Day 26: Last Long Run

Today is the last long run before the half-marathon on Saturday. My body is protesting. 

Friday, Henri and I did five miles. We're slowing down because of the warmer temperatures, but overall I'd say it was an okay run. I was getting pretty discouraged that it didn't feel better, but then I remembered that the day before had been leg day. Of course my legs didn't want to move!

So, I took Saturday off, aside from my streak run/warm-up mile and a half before my strength training and pushed the last long run to today, Sunday. In my mind, the ten miles don't sound that long anymore, or that hard. I just have to decide on the best place to run them, and I need to put up with the heat, but then, it's just ten miles.

I decided to do them at home, around the neighborhood. I wanted to take Henri along, but one, he gets confused when we start double looping places and two, again, it's warmer. I didn't think he'd enjoy ten miles in the warmer temperatures, so I planned on running five with him, dropping him off at home and making my second loop to get my ten.

And then my body said, 'no'. Maybe my lunch wasn't fully digested, but I got a horrible stitch in my side. I thought I could push through it, but I didn't make it a half a mile before it was screaming at me to stop. So, I stopped and we walked home, me feeling defeated. Yeah, there's plenty of light left in the day, but I wanted to do my run now. So, I sat down and tried to stay motivated until I felt like I could try again.

Take two!

Yes, that worked much better. Except the wind! Are you tired of me talking about how windy it is? I'm tired of talking about it, so I won't but it was there and we were running into it for a good chunk. Then I did it again after I dropped Henri off at home, but those were the worst miles. I was slower than I wanted to be, especially without my sled dog, but it was good. It was all for the best. It felt much better out when we went out the second time, which was better for Henri. I almost made him join me a little longer, but I knew his internal clock was saying, "Dinner time!".

This is from another day (note the leggings and long sleeves), but it reflects the emotion of every run with Henri and a little bit of the strength I'm feeling. Legs, don't fail me now! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Run Streak Day Twenty-Two

While half-marathon training caps out at 11 miles, I wanted to try 12, just to make sure I could do it. Because 1.1 is not hard to push through if I know I can get to 12. So, Sunday I head back out to my arch nemesis to try to conquer the big 12. Unfortunately, it was windy and rainy, or maybe that was fortunate because if I can run 12 miles at the hardest place I know to run in these conditions, I can make it through the half, no problem. I ran up and down the hills on the forest and the prairie, back and forth until I hit 12 miles. Most of the time, I felt pretty good. Better than the week before when I ran 11. I was running uphill into the wind at parts and I give myself a pass for that. Sure, it was challenging, but I pushed through and felt strong, despite the slower speed.

Monday, I took Henri out for my streak run. One, he didn't get to go on my long run because the forest preserve is his arch nemesis as well, places he is afraid to go by. Plus, we would have to stop and go and I didn't think I've be able to continue pushing through that. Also, rain is another one of the things Henri doesn't like. Two, Henri is having a bit of a stressful time right now and I know he needs to get out as much as possible right now. He was ready to go! I thought I'd be a little stiff after 12 miles, but I felt really good. It felt like we were flying! Henri was super quick to jump back in after the quickest pee breaks he's ever had. I was so glad to see him having a good time. I let him choose which way we went and we even went an extra half a mile.

Tuesdays run was not as good. Maybe the 12 miles caught up to me. Maybe the strength training got me. I felt like I was limping, but I wasn't. I was trying to push, but I was struggling, so I just fell into a comfortable pace and got my 1 mile in.

Today, I wanted 5 miles. I was feeling a little off at the end of the work day, a little woozy and weak. I wasn't sure we were going to get very far, but I told myself that we would just do what we could do. It was windy again. I did my best to calculate the direction of the wind and the direction of our run. We still ended up running into the wind a lot, or with it blowing us off to the side, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of running in the wind. It was a pretty decent run. We got all 5 miles. I really didn't think I would be able to do it.

Also, without even realizing it, we were at 29 miles before today for the Rescue Run Club 3030 Challenge. I guess that means we're at 34! We made it! We did 60 miles last go around. I think we can do that again!

Run Streak Day Seventeen: Friday the 13th

Oops! Looks like I forgot to post this after I wrote it! Pretend it's Friday, April 13th.

I don't know what was up with Henri today, but he acting weird. Maybe it has something to do with the weather, warmer temperatures and potential storms. Maybe it's because it's Friday the 13th. We took a trip to PetSmart to get his nails trimmed, which I knew he would be anxious about, but usually he gets more cooperative once he gets up on the table. He was not very cooperative at all and he cried multiple times. The girl trimming his nails might have been new. She had definitely not ever done Henri's nails before, but I don't think she was doing anything to hurt him. Once she finally got all his nails grinded down, he head for the door as quickly as he could. We got home, I got him dinner (so he wouldn't be distracted by his belly while we ran) and we got ready to run.

As I mentioned, it's warmer. It was in the mid-seventies, but thankfully, it was windy. Yeah, I can't believe I was that thankful for the wind either. Since it was so warm and so drastically different from what we've been running in, I made sure to keep it slow and steady and let Henri stop whenever he wanted. Despite the rain from earlier today, he didn't stop to sniff as much. Maybe feeding him worked better than I expected. He was actually totally calm and fell in step with me right away. I think it was just what he needed. We pushed through five miles and he drank up lots of water when we got home.

I know I spend a lot of time with Henri, but when I went out for a my streak run yesterday, in 77 degree "heat", I melted and was super whiny about it. I'm not ready for the heat yet.  Neither is Henri. He stands at the door when I let him out, refusing to go out because it's so warm. Luckily, we live in Illinois. A cold front is coming. It won't last forever, but we'll take it when we get it.

I was able to sport my new Rescue Run Club tank while we added five miles to our thirty day total. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Run Streak Day 15: T-U-R-T-L-E Power

Let's see, what day is this? Day 15 of the Run Streak. Yes, I'm still on this. Here's how it's been going.

It's been several days since I've run with Henri. I've been hitting the mile runs and then strength training, but this past weekend was time for another long run. Anything over five miles, maybe six gets kind of complicated in the neighborhoods, the turning and looping confuses Henri and it hurts my momentum. Pairing that with Henri's potty and sniffing breaks, I really wanted to hit an outside location. While I felt a little guilty about it, I traded Henri's legs in for some human ones when we decided to run out in the woods. Henri doesn't like to run near a certain point (cars going over a bridge make too much noise) and we were going to have to go by it twice.

The woods are probably my favorite place to run, but they are HARD. I usually only get three miles out of them because of the point that Henri won't pass, but three is enough. It's a long and winding path through woods and prairie with lots of ups and downs. Since I haven't run much more than three, we had to figure out where the paths continued to get us to eleven. I know lots of people marathon train out there, so I know the distance is there.

We didn't figure it out exactly. I mean, we got the distance, we just got creative with a little bit of exploration and trail running. I'll speak for myself and from my experience. It was hard, but it was exhilarating. The moments when I felt good carried me through the times when I had to hustle to get up another hill (which was often). I don't have to proper shoes for the trails (rather I do, but I wasn't wearing them - I haven't trained on the trails yet). We tried to avoid them as much as possible because of mud, avoiding injury and the fact that we haven't trained on trails, but they were fun for little jaunts. 

When Henri and I had been out a few weeks ago, there were rocks, shaped like eggs, painted like cartoon characters. We took our picture with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Michaelangelo because this run took a little T-U-R-T-L-E Power.

I was a little stiff after. My glutes hurt when I sat on them. My inner thighs cramped that night as I went to bed. I didn't even know that your inner thighs could cramp.

I ran a mile yesterday. Aside from pain in my right arch from the trail runs, I felt pretty good. I really didn't struggle at all, which I was surprised.

Today was a five mile run, with Henri! Hooray! No more crying about not being able to go for a run. I might have had to slow him down a little bit, to spare my legs, but we had a good run with just the right amount of potty and sniffing.


So, to review, I've been running at least one mile every day, Friday was leg day, Saturday, AAA (arms, abs and a$$), a challenging Sunday eleven mile run, booty day and five miles today. I'm seriously so proud of what I've been accomplishing. I don't know if it's the streak or it's all a mental game. I feel strong and I'm so glad that Henri started me on this journey.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Run Streak Day Nine: Eventfully Uneventful

Today was about testing my strength and ability. It was a nice day, so I thought we should go for another run. Not just one mile, but three. Yeah, I'm glutton for punishment.

Henri did not seem fazed by the fact that we just ran five miles yesterday. He was ready to go again. For the most part, I was ready to go as well. I had to push, but I've already learned that my body can keep going far longer than I think it can, so even though my legs felt like they were about to hit a wall, they never did. They did hit wind. Yes, the wind is still hanging around and this time we ran right into it. I had a hard time breathing. It was hard, but I kept pushing. I had to laugh at Henri because even he jumped off the sidewalk so that he was being blocked by an upcoming fence. Cheater.

But then there were the trash cans. We were almost home and two trash cans were sitting on the sidewalk. They were separated and I thought we should run in between them. I should have known Henri would not like that idea and went wide, wrapping his leash around one of them as it fell over, freaking him out, of course. He doesn't like trash cans sitting on the sidewalks. He certainly doesn't like them coming after him. We really needed to run another mile to get him to calm down after that, but we were literally five doors from home. Next time, I will remember to just run into the street to avoid them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Run Streak: Day Eight

Today's run was cold and windy. Not as windy as the 30 mph winds from Saturday, and thankfully it was slowing down by the time we got started. It was still a cold wind, blowing just under 20 mph. 

Yesterday's streak run was held up by thunder and rain, so I did my strength training first, then ran. Despite the fact that my workout is core focused, it's still total body and my legs did not want to go for that one mile after, especially with wind. The wind continued into today and so did the struggle with my legs. It was a steady run, except for when we were running into the wind, but for the most part, it felt pretty good. Henri was into it, too. I guess it's been a few days since he's been out, but he was ready to go at the beginning and he didn't stop the last two miles, which is when my legs started to pretend they didn't know what was going on or how to move. 

Henri was fed, I sat down with my dinner and he curled up next to me, the warmth of his body warming up my cold leg. Ah! Perfect!

So, we got five miles in, on a day that I didn't really want to run. First lesson learned from running a streak: When you don't have the option of not running, your run can turn into something unexpected.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Run Streak: Day Six

Short post for a short run. I took Henri on my strength training warm-up run because it's going to be stormy and windy tomorrow. I guess I'll be making it a short one tomorrow as well. I have to suffer, He does not.

Just a quick 1.5 miles around the block, but Henri was all in. He approves of my decision.