Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two and Two

Yes! Another day in the 60's! I think Fall is here to stay! I've left the shorts behind, but I still need the tanks. I just have to remember to bring a hoodie to the destination runs because the cool down happens fast between my body and the sun going down.

We saw multiple other people running with their dogs today. It excites me to see this. I still want to get a running club together locally and the more people I see doing it, the more hope I have that someday, maybe. For now, it's our group of two and two, and that's a good group. We have some work to do with Piper anyway, before she can be running with more than just Henri. We're still hoping Henri teaches her a few things, like how to run past others without thinking they are there for you. Henri does think they are there for him, but just to see him, so he puffs out his chest and runs a little faster, a little stronger. Yeah, I'm still connected to you Henri and I'm just not that impressive. Sorry. You're really cute though.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jumping for Joy

Yeah, when I said we would make up for the short run yesterday, I wasn't kidding. We pushed! I bet my trainee is glad he didn't go running with Henri and I today!

So, it was 67 degrees at 4pm today! Hooray! Sure. It's still the high 60's, but we'll take it! It was still a little warm, but it was pretty windy, so that made up for it, except for that I was already pushing and then I was pushing into the wind. Well, I did want to challenge myself today. So, yeah, it was awesome. I'd like to say I did awesome...I did pretty great, considering. Let's keep it going!

Hooray for 60 degree weather!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Safety First

Today was, unfortunately, another warm and humid day. Though I think it might be the last one of the year (Fingers crossed!) it slowed us down a great deal. Even out in the open park, there was very little air flow and Henri was dragging. If Henri is dragging, the run is off. I won't push him or put him at risk.

We did get one full mile in before we stopped and walked. After a cool down walk and some water, we ran for another half a mile, but it was at that point I could tell Henri had had it. Lucky for the other six legs with us, I wasn't going to push. We'll make up for it as it cools down this week.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life} Week 39:Shadow

Sometimes you are running and you need just a little motivation to keep going. Sometimes that motivation comes from seeing yourself running. It's not something you see that often, but sometimes you just catch it out of the corner of your eye and it surprises you. There you are, running with your best friend, looking strong (Hopefully. If not, you straighten up real quick!) and it's enough to get you to push on or push harder. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Focus and Resolve

Today felt like the best run we've had in over a week! I don't know if it was the slightly cooler weather, the difference of running in the opposite direction, or the fight I was having with my body, but it felt good.

I'm constantly battling waves of nausea. This is sided with heat, clamminess and a little vertigo. This has been going on for at least six months, if not longer. I have yet to figure it out, but sometimes, it makes it hard to run. I can be fine all day, but I can get motion sickness driving home, or to wherever we might be running, and it's all over. Today, though I'd had a few bouts of nausea, I was determined to run. I took some motion sickness pills, I kept my eyes focused on one point as much as possible driving to the park and I prayed. Whether any of those things worked or if it was a combination of them all, I was able to run, and I ran pretty well.

We did run in the opposite direction, hoping that by the time we got to the hills, I'd already be going well that they wouldn't effect me as much. This seemed to work. I was definitely feeling better by the time we got to the rolling hills. I was actually feeling really good. I felt good most of the time. Every time I felt like I was slipping, I shook my head at myself and pushed. A few moments later, I was feeling good again. I just needed a little refocusing.

Henri has been very impressive lately. He is super focused while running. He hardly notices the other dogs. He doesn't seem bothered by the bikers, the roller bladers or the skateboarders. One family was somewhat spread across the path and the two kids made just enough of an opening for us. Henri just took the opening and kept going, not even sniffing in either one of their directions. He's finally growing up! He's still a big baby and hates sitting around before or afterwards, but we'll go with a work in progress.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Run of Fall

It's the first day of Fall! Hooray! Unfortunately, it doesn't really feel like Fall till about 7pm so we're still pushing the evening runs.

Today was difficult because it was still about 82 degrees when we started. The air was kinda thick and there wasn't much of a breeze. Plus, the hills! Will I ever get better with the hills!? I think the problem is, depending on where you park, you can get started and get your breathing under control before you hit the hills, or you can head straight into the hills. With some road construction blocking the first option, we're stuck heading straight into them, unless we just ran the other direction, but I don't know if I like that idea...because I'm a creature of habit and I don't like change...but I should probably consider that option.

Thankfully, it cools off fast and it gets easier to breathe as the sun sets. Plus, you really get to enjoy the sunsets! Before long, we'll be running, racing the sun or finishing right before the sun goes down, where we can sit and enjoy it...before it gets too cold. I know I complain about the heat, but I know it will cool down and it will cool down fast. I should enjoy it while it lasts, but it tends to just make Henri and I miserable so...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Way To Go

Yes, that is my trainee(s), running ahead of me. He ran a full 2 miles before stopping today, and even after that, he did intervals the rest of the way, or so I'm told, as I ran ahead, running a full 3.5, just in case he was still waiting where I left him getting a drink of water ;) Either way, just running the 2 miles is stupendous!

I was struggling almost the whole time. I could not get my joints to loosen up! Maybe it was the side effects of the hilly run on Saturday. Maybe it was because I had just been to the chiropractor to get more sticky acupuncture needles for my back, plus an adjustment. I would think that would loosen my up, but perhaps not. Struggle aside, I could not let him crush me on this run, so I kept up as best I could, obviously passing him after mile 2. I was running at a comfortable speed, so I stayed there, not pushing my body too much and so I didn't get too far ahead of him. He was only about 5 minutes behind me, again, stupendous!

No time for a run tomorrow :( so hopefully my back, hip, knee and ankle joints get themselves sorted out for Wednesday!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life} Week 38: Feet

While most of the week was spent training our friends to run, Henri and I were able to go out by ourselves a few times. Sure, a lot of time is spent by ourselves as they are learning endurance, but there is something different about it being just us for an entire run, especially when we go out to the woods and there is no one around.

I knew the location had a route that was really hilly, thus we have not attempted it with our trainees, nor in the heat because it was really hard the day we discovered it. While that route had gone through mostly prairie, thus being in direct sunlight most of the time, I wondered if the opposite direction would head into the forest, thus being mostly tree cover. Even though the temps were in the low 70's, we needed to find a location with either lots of wind or lots of shade. We found the shade!

We found some hills, too. It might have been payback for my "coaching" this past week, choosing something that was difficult for me. It was hard, but I was off for two weeks. I'm trying not to beat myself up about my speed or the struggle. I've eased into running again this week. I've been running at slower speeds to stay with the pack, but that's okay. That has probably been good for me. Really, my speed wasn't that bad. I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself.

So, while there have been many legs on our runs this week, it was back to just ours. We enjoyed a new, scenic run through the woods. The sun was breaking through the trees. Squirrels were snacking on the path, then running away as Henri's nails click, click, click-ed towards them. It was quiet. There was hardly anyone else around. Everything was still pretty green, but I'm sure that will change soon.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Fantastic Four

It was another training day for what we are now calling The Fantastic Four! Two humans, two dogs. Henri and I have been running together for quite awhile. Now, we are teaching everything we know to a new set of running partners.

It was hot. Just plain hot. It didn't matter if we tried to go later, it was hot and muggy, which is hard for anybody (I think), but especially hard for someone who has just started running. Oh, and I decided to go running at a more scenic location, also hilly. I must be trying to kill our new partners! That's what coaches do, right? 

Keeping the heat in mind and the heat sensitivities of all parties, human and canine alike, we decided to do intervals. The heat didn't overwhelm anybody, but we still got a little workout in. I'm sure it was good for human partners training, building his endurance and the shorter distances kept him motivated ;)

All this week, Henri has been in front. I've really taken to calling him my pace bunny. He's got the fluffy tail and all!

Even Henri was feeling the heat towards the end, so I called it. All my little troopers did well! Here's hoping that the cooler weather really does come next week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Territory

I am so pumped to be able to run again, seriously. I can't even believe it. Aside from the exercise that it gives Henri, making him easier to deal with (Sorry, Henri! - It's not your fault you are active...or is could be my fault..), the time we spend together and enjoying the weather, it just feels good. 

Today, we had six additional legs with us again. Today was about figuring out a new route and keeping it slow and steady, so we all stayed together. Our partners are doing well. They'll both be keeping up with us in no time! Our pace was actually pretty good, considering. Our first mile was still a ten-minute mile and they were with us almost the whole way. Not bad for someone starting out! I'm sure his four-legged friend helped with that. They're good like that! I also know she was trying to keep up with me (Henri), as I felt her on my heels several times. I tried to slow down! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Two Down For The Week

We are seriously ready for Fall now. Someone else can have the 80 degree weather. We're done with it (at least Henri and I are).

It's still getting to the low 80's right now, and that's still too warm for Henri, thus myself, to run. We're waiting till 6:30/7pm to run, which is really throwing off my dinner, but at least we get some cooler temperature and the safety of the leftover sunlight.

My legs were still sore from last weeks when we went out yesterday. It worked out because we had some company on our run, both the two legged and four legged kind. Our company doesn't run as much as we do, so we slowed it down a bit. I say that, but it all honesty, I was struggling so the slower pace was good for me, too. Just a reminder from my body not to take two weeks off again, if it can be avoided.

Today felt much better. It might have been a little cooler, which always helps, but I was able to push again and we had some good miles. Henri even slowed down for a few steps. Of course, as soon as I asked him if he was getting tired, he sped back up. I guess that's a 'no'.

We ran through a swarm of gnats and I swear I got one in my eye! Luckily, this was the end of the run. I checked the mirror when I got home, cleaning off all the other gnats that were stuck to my sweaty face (Ew!), but didn't see it. I go to wash my hands after dinner and I have an eye booger at the corner of my eye. I checked it out and it was the gnat, dead of course. I had an eye bugger rather than an eye booger! Okay, I really can't decide if that's gross or funny.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 37: Labor

The Lazy Pit Pull totally stole my idea for spinning this theme from Labor to Labor of Love, but it was for a good reason, so I'll forgive her! My story is going to pale in comparison to hers, but I'm going with it.

My back and hip have been bothering me for quite awhile. If it hadn't been for the addition of heat, I probably would have pushed it, but it really is for the best that I didn't. Finally, after 16 days off, I felt so much better. We were finally able to run again! Unfortunately, the heat was sticking around longer than expected and it was raining. Depressing. Thursday night, I let Henri outside and cool air washed over us. I looked at the clock: a quarter till 7pm. We had time before the sun went down. I hadn't eaten dinner, which was good because I wasn't going to run on a full stomach, but it was bad because I kinda wanted to eat. I went back and forth for ten minutes and I just thought, 'Why am I wasting my time? Let's go for a run and I'll eat when we get back. It's a half an hour! It feels great outside and I want to run!' Henri was very happy with this decision and cuddled with me on the couch long after my dinner was eaten (meaning no chance of getting any food, so no point in sticking around except for the fact that he loves me!).

Friday was rainy as well, ruining our previously made plans for a destination run. The weather report at lunch was that the rain had moved out of the area, but there was still some pop up showers for the rest of the day and it was making it muggy. Those pop up showers turned out to be random downpours, but it seemed clear when I got off work. The forecast and radar looked good, so we loaded up to go to the park for a run. Of course, just as we're approaching the park, dark clouds are rolling in, but they kept on rolling and not a drop fell on us as we ran.

So, 16 days off was a lot and our impromptu run on Thursday night had killed my legs and the park is a little bit hilly. It was still a little warm once the darker clouds rolled out and the sun was shining brightly. I was sore and my pace was steady. It was a challenging run, for me. Of course, Henri was fine, aside from the bit of heat. He didn't droop though. He was having a great time! So, I pushed as much as I could and we walked some extra miles at the end, to make up for my lack of speed.

When we stopped in the grass and he lay down and stretched out, I knew it was worth it. It's always worth it. It's good to be back, isn't it, Buddy?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 36: Technology

Am I the only one that has been going around this week singing, "I love technology. But not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology" Yeah? Okay.

There is a lot of technology out there for running peeps. I mean, there's a lot of technology out there period, but some you just don't want to go out for a run without. Here are my essentials:

iPod - It's big and old and maybe a little cumbersome, but it hold ALL of my music, and that makes me happy. I keep it on shuffle and you just never know what's going to come over the headphones. I know some people use their phones, but did you not hear me? ALL OF MY MUSIC! All of it! Since I started to buy music, and yes, I still listen to the New Kids On The Block. Why wouldn't I?

Phone - Yes, I do take it in case an emergency phone call is needed, like I fall or I get lost or it starts to downpour. Of course phones these days are not just phones. They are cameras, so I can take pictures of us or of our surroundings. For smart phone users, there are apps, like MapMyRun to, well, map my run, and tell me the pace I'm running and probably some other stuff that I don't use it for. I also always have the Walkforadog app running, so that our miles donate money to the shelter Henri came from. 

Fitbit - Going along with the apps, it counts my steps, my route, my pace...but it's been a little faulty lately as far as the miles and pace so I still have to use the other apps.

Shoes - I am considering these technology because if it wasn't for technology and science, we wouldn't have shoes with the right kind of support for all different gaits and turf and all the other things shoes can adjust to.

My little acupuncture stickies - This is a new one, and maybe along the sciencey side of things, but my back has been bothering me so much lately that my chiropractor has added these tiny little needles that will stay on for a week. My hip still hurts, but my back has not.

This week has been the warmest and most humid week we've had, of course right after we had that little teaser of fall. My back has been hurting anyway, so we aren't running, but we're going to hope for good things next week, both in the way of back pain and weather. Henri needs it and I'm really missing it, too.