Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bring It On, Winter

Whew! That was a cold one!

It's been pretty cold around here lately. It's snowed a little, not accumulating much, but enough that the sidewalks were not going to be safe to run on. We had to pass on our Monday run. Today it warmed up to the mid thirties so I was pretty confident that we could avoid any icy mishaps.

Despite the cold air and few ice hazards, we made pretty good time. Each week we are getting a little faster and running a little farther. It was hard to breath at times, with the cold wind taking my breathe away. My fingers were a little numb at one point, but the blood must not have been circulating yet because they warmed up and didn't bother me again. All in all, it felt like a good run. 

I have a lot of people asking me what Henri and I do when it gets cold. Is Henri sad that it's cold now? Does he miss the dog park? Are you seriously going on a run in this? What do you do when it gets cold? The runs and the dog park do not stop just because it's cold. Does Henri stop needing exercise now that it's cold outside? Does the change in temperature suddenly change the requirements of his care? Nope, thus he is super excited. He still gets to go out and play at the dog park and go for runs and he doesn't get hot. He can play and play and play and he feels great!

We were at the dog park for 45 minutes yesterday and he wanted to play Fetch over and over with me. He wanted to wrestle and run and chase with every dog in the park, even with multiple dogs at the same time. Then he wanted to play Fetch some more. Throw in some Keep Away and it was the best day every! How can I deny him that because I'm cold?

Unless it just isn't safe for us to be outside in the chill, we will be out there, I, with my 7 layers of clothing and Henri, naked, because he really doesn't need anything. Don't worry though, he's got a coat for when he does. Bring it on, Winter. Bring it on.

(Henri, yesterday, after 45 minutes of play and still wanting to play with a dog all the way across the park, thinking this stick would entice the dog to come to him. The dog couldn't even see him, but he was bouncing around with a stick in his mouth, taunting the other dog. I had to lighten the picture since it was almost dark by this point, so pardon the graininess.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Cold is Here

Today took a little bit of psyching up for the run in the cold, but we did it, and of course, it wasn't really that bad. I forgot how I used to dress for the winter runs so I was actually a little warm, but thankfully the wind was cold enough to cool me down when that happened. It was about 30 degrees, but it felt like 20 with the wind chill. Brrr...I imagined Henri and I as little freight trains, chugging along, as you could see our breath.

Despite being pretty achy yesterday, my ankle didn't bother me at all the entire run. I wanted to keep running, past the point that I extended our run to on Monday, but I didn't want to push it. I'll just hope that this continues and that I can continue to be smart enough to know when to stop.

So, I think the cold weather is probably here to stay now. This is our running life. The good news is that Henri loves it and is super excited about going for runs, going to the park or just being outside in general. I don't know how he knows the difference when I walk in the door, but he does. As long as he's excited about it, we're good.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Solid Run

Yeah for 60 degree weather! I walked out of work and immediately knew it was going to be a great run! I rushed home and got ready as fast as I could, which isn't fast enough for Henri, but I try. 

I was right. It was a great run. We moved at a comfortable pace. I knew I wanted to try to run an extra block today, so I wanted to make sure I had the energy for it, since we would be running into the wind at that point. It was another windy day. I know an extra block doesn't sound like much, but my ankle and my foot know the difference. I'm just going to keep adding blocks until I can get back up to 3 miles, then we'll work on the pace. We're at a solid 2 mile run, which still hurts occasionally and I was a little gimpy when we slowed to a walk, but most of the discomfort was gone before we got home.

All that really matters is that Henri has a good time. We must have had a pretty decent run since he got several long drinks of water when we came home and he is already upstairs, taking a nap before dinner. He ran beside me for at least the first mile. He always gets spooked by the skateboarders at the skate park. It's hard to get him to slow down after that. I think after running beside me for so long today, it felt good to go faster. He didn't slow down until we started walking, which means that we passed at least 3 spots where he usually falls back and checks on me. He must have been in a motivating mood today. It worked.

I heard today was the last warmer day for awhile. Glad we got to enjoy it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Yesterday Was Perfect, Today...Not So Much.

It was 60 degrees, making for a perfect after work run. Sure, the sun was going down, but we live in the west so we got the best of all the colors. People were talking about how beautiful it was and we were out there, together, enjoying it.

That was yesterday. Today, it's in the 40's. It was dog park day. I don't know if that's better or worse. I could wear more layers, but there is a lot of standing and walking, depending on what Henri wants to do. At least if we were running I'd be, well, running, warming myself up. Ugh, the windy days are the worst!

I don't know what's wrong with me. Last year, I barely noticed the temperature change. It was more a matter of fact. Well, it's colder now. Still have to go to the dog park. Let's see how many layers I can fit under this coat! I didn't feel sluggish or lose motivation. I hope I'm not getting lazy because of the inability to work out as much because of my ankle!

I'm afraid of how I'll feel when it's time to run in these temperatures. These are the exact temperatures that we first started running in and ran in a lot last year. It never really felt that cold.

I actually like winter. I don't like being cold, but I like heat. Heaters and fires and hot chocolate, oh my! I also love snow. I don't want it to mess with Henri and I getting out and getting exercise, but I love it. And Henri certainly loves winter!

Maybe it's just been the lack of fall. It's been back and forth and never really felt like fall and now it's just getting cold, heading to winter. Maybe it was just a dreary day. Maybe my mood is just a reflection of the light drizzle and grey sky. I need to snap out of it! We've got months of this. I can't be getting the winter blahs already!

I know yesterday was an anomaly. I'm thankful for the days that are beautiful and even the ones that are not, because I get to be outside with my bestest buddy, and watch him enjoy it. Whether we're at the dog park or on a run, we're together and enjoying life and each other, no matter the temperature.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Love This Dog

Have I ever mentioned that I love this dog? Because I do. I really, really do. As I begin to write this, Henri is at my feet, rolling onto his back. He does this when he wants attention. Apparently, the last 40 minutes that we spent together on our run just wasn't enough.

I came home and he was very impatient as I put away the groceries. I don't know how he knows the difference between run days and park days. He seems more excited for the run days. I'm sure he enjoys the park days more, but he acts like he can not WAIT till we go for our run. He's bouncing around, his monkey hanging from his mouth. I make a move that he interprets as going towards the stairs to change and he takes off, only to find that I'm not yet behind him and I'm still putting stuff away. He whines and looks at me expectantly. I'm not trying to torture him. I'm going as quickly as I can!

Finally, we are going upstairs where he dashes up and down the hall, coming around corners and diving onto the bed in extreme excitement. Every move I make is supposed to be to go back DOWNSTAIRS so we can go. More whining. It's annoying, but it's pretty hilarious. I can't even be mad at him.

Today, we ran past several dogs who wanted to visit with him, but he went on by. Henri was busy. He had a job to do, and by job I mean he needed to get me out of the house, around the neighborhood and back home, as quickly as possible, though he seems to get that my injury still slows me down.  Even one of the more "aggressive" dogs behind a fence, Henri ran on by, looking nervously behind him, but he didn't engage.

He gets the command "Front", when plants are grown over the sidewalk and I need him to go in front of me, even though I don't use it that often. He still runs in the grass at the places I used to say "grass" because the new houses had mud running off onto the sidewalk and it was really slippery to even walk through. He's just smart!

Then there his is running beside me, prancing along side me, smiling up at me, his tongue hanging of the side of his mouth. He's cute, too!