Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Sight To See

Thankfully, the sheet of ice that was on Monday quickly melted away and we were able to go on a run again today. The wind was cold and you can tell another winter system is coming in. I have a cold now and (in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice) my lips hurt real bad! They were already chapped and sore from kleenex rubbing on them, but the cold air did quite a number on them!

I'm pretty proud of Henri. He is getting so good at passing people without interacting with them. He sniffs in their general direction as we go by, but he pushes on as if they weren't even there. Today, we had a real test. A guy was running with his dog, coming from the opposite direction. I was amused by the picture of these two. I saw the guy coming in the distance, but I didn't see the dog, not until we were much closer. This big sporty guy was running a shitz tzu. Not that there's anything wrong with him owning a shitz tzu or a shitz tzu running, but it's not what I expected. I almost wanted to offer to switch dogs for the day because the shitz tzu was probably more my speed today. 

Anyway, this little dog is running and yapping at Henri and he moved off our side of the sidewalk, still moving, to give them space and then looked up at me, the show off, as if I even needed to tell him he was a good boy. I did, of course, but he was already back to the run.

We passed by our smoking friend, yet again. It's pretty much a daily thing now, the days we run, anyway. I'm starting to wonder if it's all a matter of timing, when we pass by his house each day, or if he steps outside to smoke when he sees us coming. We wave. I kinda laugh to myself as I try not to inhale any of the smoke he is blowing. Maybe one day we will motivate him to go on a run. Or maybe we're just a sight to see, the girl dressed in blue, with a dog strapped around her waist, running in the cold.

Friday, January 23, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 4: Dream

Nothing like a run to change the tempo of a day!

It had been a long day. I was feeling extra tired and worn out. I'd been cold all day and while the thought of running in the cold wasn't super appealing, spending that time with Henri sounded perfect. The cold was a perfect way to wake me up. It was almost like hitting the reset button. Now I sit here and my body is cooling itself down and I'm cold again! Henri is laying at my feet, resting, and it feels like everything is okay again.

Since it is nearing the end of the week, it's time for photo of the week. This weeks theme is "dream". 

This is a common occurrence after our runs. Henri likes to be by himself, sleeping in "his" room, which is my office/spare bedroom. It does have a futon pulled out into a bed because he likes to sleep in there. I walked upstairs and this is what I see.

I'd like to think that he's dreaming of our next run. Even if he's not dreaming that specifically, he is happy enough with my shoes and apparently comfortable.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Maxed Out

The idea behind Insanity Max 30 is that you go, go, go and when you reach your max, you stop, take a quick break and jump right back in, coming back stronger than before. You should push through that plateau. As one girl in the video says, "When you think you can't do one more, do ten." 

This is similar to what I've noticed when we're running. Henri, obviously, has no problem running the full time. I, on the other hand, sometimes have to struggle through. Today, I could tell right off that I was going to have a hard time on this run. My legs were fighting me from the very first minute. I know the point where it gets easier, where I hit that max and just have to push through and I'm good. Once we got past that point, it was smooth sailing, but I had to fight to get there. I couldn't give up before that point, or I was missing out.

I really wanted to go farther today, too. Why I chose today, I don't know. We stopped a few times to get around patches of ice, but the rest of the time, we ran. I went at a slower pace once we hit the two mile mark, or at least I tried to, but I have a dog attached to me who sometimes sets the pace a little higher than what I would normally do.

Henri felt good on the run today. He ran beside me at the beginning, when I was struggling to get over the hills. He literally jumped and pranced when we passed the point we normally have to walk because of my ankle. He was so excited and focused. A dog came running out into it's yard, barking as we passed, and Henri barely flinched. Then I praised him and clapped as we ran by a guy stepping outside to smoke. He gave us a cheer and a thumbs up. Thanks for that!

Then it was time for Insanity. My legs were tired, so I probably didn't push as hard or as fast as I normally could have, but as the workout went on, I was able to move easier again. I made it through that and it was bonus ab day, so I popped in the 10 minute ab disc and kept going. 

Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I might have pushed too hard. About 7 and a half minutes into the ab workout, I got a charley horse. It lasted about 5 minutes. It is safe to say that I exhausted myself and my body. I would have loved to jump back to the place where I had to stop because I was rolling around on the floor (I got lots of kisses and attention from Henri for that!), but I knew I was spent. I'm a crazy person, but I do know when to call it. That was a max I could not push through.

I feel better knowing that there was not much I could have done to prevent it. I had warmed up, I had stretched, I was hydrated. Maybe I could have had a banana or two, but I just couldn't go any more. I might not have had the best form on that particular exercise either, but I was tired and I tried a modification that might have been my undoing. Now my calf muscle is sore, but, hey, my ankle feels fine! Pro Compression socks for the rest of the evening!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Racing the Sunset

It's so nice to head out for a run at 5pm and know that you can get back before it's dark! I especially love running into the sunset, as if I'm trying to get to the sun before it dips down beyond the horizon. It escaped this time.

It was another 40 degree day. I know it's only January, but I could get used to this. There was still some snow and ice patches (Come on sun! Do your thing!), but luckily a majority of it is after the two mile mark. I was going to try to push the run a little further, but the snow stopped me. That's okay. I don't know what I'm thinking trying to run three miles, then come home and do my Insanity Max workout.

I know I'm thinking that I don't want my regular personal workouts to get in the way of Henri's workouts and our time together. As much as running benefits me, I do it so Henri can run off some energy, so he can be outside and "play" and so we can do something together after he's been home alone all day while I'm at work. 

It sucks for me because I'm tired from the run. My legs are protesting every squat and lunge, but Henri is laying on the couch, watching me through drooping eyes, resting up for after my workout, so we can get back to playtime. I will just have to try not to push it...too much.

You know I'm going to push it anyway.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 3: Joyful

Bonus run! Yes, it was just the second run of the week, so it's not really a "bonus" per se, but any time I get to run with Henri is a bonus and the snow is melting, so, bonus!

I had to fight my body to go on this run. I REALLY wanted to run! I had a plan to fit everything in today. Wake up, do my workout, eat lunch, take Henri to the park and then, on the way back, stop at the park and do a few laps. I woke up, check. Then I did my Insanity Max workout. I've now been doing Insanity Max for two weeks, so this was the second time I did this particular workout, but it killed me this time. Maybe the difference of doing it first thing, rather than after a full day of work made it that much harder, but I hurt. 

I had lunch, then I vacuumed because all the snow melt salt that's gotten dragged into the house sticks to my feet and it was getting really annoying! That was probably a mistake after my workout. Now I was sore and tired, my hip flexors especially.

I lay down for a minute and Henri immediately jumped into the bed and curled up. He had been cuddly all day, even sleeping in the crook of my legs this morning. We decided that we could probably forego the dog park today. He played really hard yesterday, playing fetch with the Chuck-It for twenty minutes, plus running and wrestling with other dogs. We would rest up and then go for a little run.

That is what we did. Some of the sidewalks were still a little treacherous, but I knew the park was clean. We could walk down, do a few laps, then walk back. Eh, we ran down, carefully. I'm glutton for punishment, I guess. It just felt good to be outside and when Henri smiles up at me, I can't help it! 

We ran almost two laps before I just couldn't go any more. That was still two miles! So, we stopped to take our joyful selfie.

We walked home, stopping to get the mail before we came in. Henri's BarkBox was here! So, we have bonus joy, too! He always finds the plushie. He got this really cool Abominable Snowman that grunts. He pretty much ignored everything else in the box.

I can't tell if Mr. Abominable is happy or in fear of being destroyed by my little plushie-killer! So far, so good. He has played with it for forty-five minutes straight, only stopping because it was time for dinner (He finished his dinner super-quick and returned to his game). He's gnawing on it, soaking it through to weaken the fabric, but so far, he drops it to play fetch rather than play tug. He's only been playing with me though and I'm not the tug/destroy-all-toys partner.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ice, Ice Baby

I wanted to go running with my buddy! It's been cold. It's been snowy. It's been icy. When we get a break and the ice starts to melt, it comes in again before we can take advantage of it. I was sick of waiting. I was determined to go on a run.

Our usual path is either not shoveled at all or it's ice. When I would drive by the park that we usually run around, I could see that the path had been shoveled. I knew we wouldn't be able to run there, with all the sidewalks in between being covered with snow, but maybe I could drive us down there and we could run around a few times. This was my plan. Even if it had a little layer of snow on the sidewalks, I thought we'd be okay. I was wrong. I quickly realized that it was all ice. Henri is my little sled dog, but I'm not so keen on being the sled.

I drove home, disappointed. I knew there was some place that would be okay to run. Some streets are dry. Some streets, like ours, is a sheet of ice. I decided we would run in the streets in the neighborhood. We had enough daylight left that I didn't have to worry about cars not seeing us and I could see ice patches. 

It was 19 degrees. I chose not to listen to the weather report while I was on lunch today. I didn't want to hear any more about negative windchill, though I did hear them mention that the winds were down. I, honestly, wasn't cold for a second. Maybe I was just so happy to be running. Henri was excited about our new running route. He was very focused on where we were going. He listened to me when I told him to 'slow' so we could go over potential ice hazards. It wasn't the most relaxing run, but it felt good to be out there.

Am I crazy to strap myself to my dog and go for a run in this weather? Possibly. The cold doesn't bother Henri in the least and 19 degrees felt like a heat wave compared to last week. The ice was concerning, especially with my ankle, but I made it through, even running farther on it without realizing it. I'm not real familiar with all the twists and turns in our neighborhood. I'm actually surprised I found the way home in under 3 miles. The only real obstacle was our street.  Why is our street the worst in the entire neighborhood, maybe the entire town? I mean, it's not a thin layer of ice, it's a thick, rocky tundra! I almost die every time I have to cross the street to the mailbox.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 2: Music

As with most of the US, or at least the mid-west, we have snow. We have snow and sub-zero temperatures. For the sake of safety, we are not running. I don't know when our next chance will be. I think it is supposed to be better next week, but we'll have to see how the sidewalks are.

I was ready to go on Monday, too. I went in early, so I should have been off early. I was considering taking Henri to the park. I ended up staying late on a phone call. The decision was made for me. It was now going to be too dark for a trip to the park. I was okay with that. It was a little chilly, but when I walked out of work, it actually felt pretty good and I knew our run would be fine. As I got closer to home, it started to snow. I considered going still, but I was afraid of it being slick and I'd rather not re-injure my ankle and have to go through six plus weeks of healing again, assuming that I just pulled it again and didn't do worse. There was always Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Henri went outside and as he was coming back in, he started to limp. He stopped, lay down and chewed on his paw. I'm assuming he got some snow stuck in his pad because he was fine after that, but I wasn't going to take a chance with his safety either so it was another day of no activity. If Henri is bothered by the cold, it's cold.

Wednesday was not pretty. Temperatures barely made it above zero and the windchill was far below. There was no entertaining the idea of going for a run (or the dog park).

Thursday, still barely making it above zero and negative windchill. It started to flurry on the way home from work. Today, Friday, didn't go so well either. I thought it was going to be better, but the -19 windchill kept us inside, yet again.

Poor Henri! He's been cooped up all week! You can only throw a toy down a hallway so many times. Well, there's only so many times he will chase it before he decides he will not go get it until you play keep away. 

He's bored, but he's a good snuggler (when he wants to be). This week's snapshot theme was music. Since we can't go for a run or to the park, that gives me more time to spend on loading music onto my iPod. I'm currently (re?)obsessing over New Kids on the Block. Henri doesn't judge. He does look at me funny as I smile and laugh to myself while watching old music videos on YouTube. Probably because my stomach punches him in the head and disrupts his moping. Sorry, Henri.

Update: We were able to go to the park on Saturday so he could run his crazies out. He played for forty minutes before I felt like the wind was picking up and the sun was going down. It seemed to drop 10 degrees in five minutes. See, I have layers at the dog park figured out, I just can't get that translated over to running.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 1: New

So, this isn't running with Henri related, exactly, but I'm thinking I'm going to try to make it running with Henri related. I mean, let's face it, Henri is pretty much my life.

I have seen these kind of things before, but I don't think I ever saw them in time to feel like I could jump in and participate, but it is a new year and the beginning of the year at that so this will work. The idea is to take a photo to fit within the theme for that week. Here is the themes for each week:

Lucky for me, I already had a photo that fit with the theme for this week, which is 'new'. I got new running clothes for Christmas and took a picture of at least one outfit this week. I posted it in my blog on Monday, but now it can go for this, too. I am hoping to keep the photos within the running with Henri theme, but we'll just see how that goes. So, while I posted it a few days ago, here it is again:

#new #52snapshots