Monday, October 1, 2018

And We're Off

Henri and I head out for a five mile run this morning, the last run before I get on a plane and head out for this marathon thing. 

We were staying with my sister since Henri is going to be staying with her while I'm gone, so we had a new area to explore. We waited until after she left for work, which was a little later and it was warmer again. We started out and while it wasn't too bad because we had some shade, there was a water fountain with a doggie level fountain. Henri stopped to have a drink.

We had a little bit more of a stretch in the sun and as we were getting close to the end, we came across a decorative fountain in someones front yard. Henri really wanted to drink from it, but water kept coming out at his face while he was trying to get a sip and he didn't like that.

A little bit further and we were in a big stretch of sun, but we we're almost done. I saw a water fountain though and while I knew there wasn't a doggie fountain, there was some littered cups and I made Henri a makeshift water bowl.

We only had a quarter of a mile left at that point, but we weren't quite back home. As we walked, we passed a fire station and they keep a large bowl by the sidewalk full of water for dogs. Henri loved this!


Despite the heat, we were able enjoy our run together. We hung out a little longer, played some Chuck-it in the big yard and then it was time for me to get in the road. Hopefully, I wore him out enough that he will need to rest and he will not be too anxious as he deals with me leaving and staying in a new place.

Sleeping In

(Saturday's run)

Today, we didn't head out for our run until 9am and it was incredible! Well, at least the sleeping in and not rushing to beat the heat part. At what point does this taper start to feel good?

I was ready to go, but upon looking out the window, I noticed the sun was also sleeping in, starting all curled up in the clouds. So, I quick changed from a tank to a tee. The temperature was so much cooler and there was a breeze. Without the sun beating down, I felt pretty good about this run. And having Henri by my side for it, especially since I'm leaving him for two weeks, made it all the better.

I've been giving Henri some herbal meds, to help him with his seperation anxiety while I'm gone. I don't know if they're going to work. He seemed pretty anxious on our run. At one point I stopped him and tried to settle him down before starting again. That seemed to help a little. Maybe he was just excited about the cooler air and the fact that we could see everything (squirrel!!!) in the daylight. Once we got up in miles a bit, he started to rely on me for direction, which I love to see in him.

We've got one more run together before I go! Henri doesn't seem impressed.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Almost There

It was another four mile run today. It was nice and chilly, probably much more like the temperature I'll be running in for the marathon, except for it was still dark. A little sunshine would have made a difference, but for today, we went out in the dark and came back in the dark.

This run felt better, not being a recovery run. We were a little faster today, or Henri didn't stop as much to sniff and pee. Either one is possible. There was a point when a group of four was running in front of us and Henri was determined to catch up with them. Then he must have been offended when they said it wasn't fair I had a pacer and decided to blow them off and pass them. Then it was just time to go home and have breakfast, so we didn't slow down until we made it there. Then Henri ran in circles once we got inside because it was so exciting it was so much cooler outside...and that it was time to eat.

I did remember that I was supposed to be breaking in my marathon shoes. They are the same model of shoes that I've been running in, I've just already run half of the miles those shoes should see. These shoes will be broken in enough by marathon day. Now, if I can just remember to change which shoes I'm running in on my Garmin...


Oh, I'm sorry. You didn't actually want to see the shoes did you? Henri's face is so much cuter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Here Four You

I ran out of time with all of the things going on to write about our run yesterday morning, but since I often forget to post it, even when I write it, I didn't stress about it. So, here you go.

We are in an easy week. Four, four and eight, which is a welcome rest. The weather has cooled off a little bit, but we're still up early in the morning. It hasn't cooled up quite enough to avoid the darkness, and that's what we've got. A lot of darkness, even heading out thirty minutes later.

Despite only a twelve mile run on Saturday, my calves hurt more than any of the twenty mile runs, or almost every run for the past several months of training. Henri didn't take it easy on me though. They actually felt better while I was running. Too bad it was just a four mile run. No. Wait. Pretend I didn't say that.

So, a short run in the dark means little photo opportunity. If you taste this awesome...the photo opp is over anyway. I better make sure he gets his food!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wings and Paws

This run felt fast. I don't know if it really was or not because I'm not going to look. It just felt fast. I think it was partly the wings on my socks. Otherwise, it was Henri...though I think I was in front of him for a lot of it. He must have thought I was crazy, trying to run that fast in the heat with my feet hurting. Or he was just shocked by the stark difference from Monday to today. Or he was just distracted by him rumbling belly and the fact that we keep running miles instead of going home for breakfast. He really is so good to me.



Taper Down Now

(Post missed from Monday, 9/17 because...sleep.)

We are officially in the taper. Six miles today, after a long and grueling twenty on Saturday (for me, not Henri). Just a few more weeks now. We just have to make it through a few more weeks of Central Illinois heat and humidity. I hope to return to cooler temperatures. I hope we can run in the afternoons and evenings, before the sun goes down, not having to go to bed to rise early to get all the miles in before work. We are almost there!

While it may cool down by this weekend, this week continues to be humid and in the nineties. That means it's in the seventies before the sun even comes up and Henri and I are just over it. Maybe if Henri wasn't scared of the sprinklers, we could run through a few to cool off. I don't blame him though. They sound like vicious snakes about to attack.

I needed Henri to get me through this one. I just wanted it over. I needed Henri to keep me moving and to keep me moving at a quicker pace if I could handle it. It keeps my feet from hurting if I can fly through the miles. If I'm by myself, I go easy on myself. I'll slow down and not that I shouldn't give myself a break after running twenty miles, but I need to keep going and Henri is all for that.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cool Runnings

Henri and I both needed the run this morning. We still had to get up a little early and run awhile in the dark to get all six miles in before work. The temperature is so much better though. It helps move the feet and get things done. I love to watch Henri's temperament change with the weather. I'm sure moving faster helps, too.



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Runday: Long Run Edition

Because it's been raining for two days and has cooled down, Henri and I made a little Sunday Runday out of it and went out for our ten mile run instead of having to fight the darkness and pressure to get all of the miles in before work. While the forecast was still calling for rain, there was nothing on the radar so I was happy to take Henri along. 

Unfortunately, with all the rain, everything smelled amazing to Henri and he wanted to stop and smell it all. I told him that if he was going to be stopping the whole time, I was going to have to take him home. Of course, when we got to the turn to go home, Henri attempted to take it. I told him I was kidding. I wasn't taking him home. I needed him for this run.

I will credit some of the pacing to the cooler temperatures, which just felt amazing, but the rest was Henri. This is why I needed him. I'm trying to figure out why my arches are hurting as much as they are, but in the meantime, I tend to slow down when they start, which is really the opposite of what I need to do. If I push on and keep my pace up, they don't hurt as much. That's where Henri came in. Once we fall into a pace, he is really good at keeping us in it, even if he does have to stop and smell something. 

It was dreary, but at 7am, I needed the sun to stay behind the clouds. It was windy, but aside from when we were running into it, it kept things cool and we were running in comfortable lower 50's. We were able to get our miles in before it warmed up too much, even with a little extra sleep. Ah...


This was Henri's last "long run" of marathon training. Our last twenty mile run is Saturday and then we start to taper, we are that close. It's really nice timing because the sun is rising later and later. I will not be able to get the miles in before work and while it's been cooler the past few days, the heat and humidity is not done with us yet. It's coming back just in time for our twenty-miler on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bodyguard

“And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII, will always love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.”

Okay, maybe this is not the bodyguard I'm talking about. I did have my friend, Tasha, join us on today's run, just in case the boogie man decided to drive around the neighborhood again and try to pick us up.

Henri was very excited to have someone else with us on our run. He couldn't decide who he wanted to run next to. I was just trying to keep him from tripping her. Our marathon would not go well if anything happened to either one of us. If she was behind us, he was turning to look behind him, to make sure she was still back there. If she was in front of us, he was pulling me to keep up with her. Henri loved having two people there. He bounced back and forth, spinning from one side of me to the other, trying to be closer to Tasha. I'm mean, I know she's pretty cool, but what about me? 



Monday, September 3, 2018

Was It Just My Imagination

Today's run did not go as planned. We head out at 5am, as planned. We were supposed to get eight miles in. It was warm. Humid. Dark. It wasn't going to be great, but we were going to get it done.

Henri made a stop and was spinning, finding the perfect spot when a car pulled up to a stop. When it drove by, the lights distracted him and he forgot was he was doing. We carried on. The car must have turned around or it was another car. I don't know. It went by. We turned onto the path that runs through the neighborhood. Henri still needed to go, so he kept trying to find a spot, which meant more stop and go than I would have liked. While I was waiting by his side, a car went by at the crosswalk. It was dark. I couldn't see the car and it might have been my imagination, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was far too early on a holiday for that many cars to be going by.

I shook the feeling, but kept my eyes open. It happened again. Not that I would go without them, but I started to feel like a target with our blue LED lights, signaling where we were along the path. Again, it could have been an overactive imagination, but I was really getting nervous. The difference between being where the car/cars were passing and where we actually were along the path was Henri stopping to sniff, pee or poop.

So, being creeped out at this point and very aware of my surroundings, I decided we were running home. Of course, the sun was coming up at this point, but I didn't want anyone to know our route any more than they might already. While this is a nice neighborhood, I knew there had been a couple of reports of cars stopping or following women running.

We only got three and a half miles in. With all Henri's stopping, we wouldn't have made it eight miles anyway. Not exactly worth waking up early for, but we did get a little run, a little air and we were both safe. Henri did finally find a place to poop, too. Again, I'm sure that everything was fine the entire time, but just in case I plan on taking more than a fuzzy buddy with me on Wednesday.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Keeping Cool

Wouldn't you know it, it was raining this morning when we were supposed to be running. It wasn't supposed to start until 7am when I went to bed, but I guess it couldn't wait to cool things down and showed up early. I guess I can't complain much. It's been a fairly mild Summer, as long as you can get out in the morning. Last August, Henri and I didn't go for a run for a month because of heat advisories. A little rain delay, not the worst thing. Especially since it cooled things off.

I wasn't sure if it was going to work out, but I hoped we could get our run in this afternoon. As long as the sun stayed behind the clouds, hopefully heat and humidity would not climb throughout the day to the degree that Henri couldn't go out with me. He's having quite a bit of separation anxiety and I really wouldn't want to have to leave him to run after I'd been gone all day at work. I look out the window right before I leave work and the sun came out. What!?! No!?! Why now? It was 79 degrees, which is not awful, but it depended on humidity and if there was a breeze. I somewhat regretted our last afternoon run, which was a similar situation, but I wanted to give it a try.

The sun was trying to come out, which was disappointing. I really needed it to be cool. I kept an easy pace, which was still sweaty, but it felt like something that could be maintained for awhile. Henri wanted to go faster, but I knew we wouldn't make it if we picked up too much. By the end of mile three, the clouds won and we got just the break we needed to keep going. It looked like it was going to rain, the breeze picked up, but a drop never fell. I realized it actually felt cooler than Monday morning's run.


We made decent time, despite me keeping us at a slow, steady pace. We finished strong and got some ice cubes, ice water and dinner in our bellies. Not bad for an afternoon run. Yes, the temperature this morning was awesome and would have been great if not for the rain, but this was a fair substitute. Sorry, sun. I just don't need you bringing me and my puppy down right now.

How Many Miles?

(Sleep comes and keeps me from posting these on the actual day we run. Monday, August 27th)

It was storming for this past Saturday's long run, so the fourteen miles waiting until Sunday. Unfortunately, the storm brought heat and humidity with it. Not only was the fourteen miles a hot mess, literally, so was this mornings run. Was I crazy to even attempt to run ten miles the day after fourteen? Well, yeah, but I am running a marathon.

Ten miles means an early morning to make sure that we can get them all in and have time to shower. The shower seems important. When I woke up, a little before my alarm, I let Henri out to see how uncomfortable it was, if it was going to be okay to take Henri with me. It felt surprisingly cool, much better than Sunday morning, so we geared up to go.

Just a half an hour later, it didn't really feel that cool anymore. Despite the run the day before, my body was okay with the running. Henri was also okay with the running. I was trying to slow us down a little, both because of the heat and to survive the ten miles. I was battling mind over body, not sure which to believe. While I knew we could run the miles, I wasn't sure if it was the safest decision. As miserable as I felt, I knew Henri had to feel worse. No amount of marathon training is worth Henri, or myself for that matter, getting sick or dehydrated. I finally gave in and after mile three, we started walking.

As we cooled down, I contemplated what to do next. We would walk a mile, but then what? Run the last mile home bringing us to five miles? The sun started to come out and started to break up the thickness in the air. As we started our run home, we were feeling much better, so I decided we would do seven, which is what we are supposed to do on Wednesday.

As we hit the final stretch home, Henri was really moving. He even ran past the turn into the subdivision, so I recalculated and planned on finishing with eight. Well, I can't say that I'm sorry about that decision, but that last mile took us out of the breeze and it was a struggle for me to keep going. I really do just wither away in heat and sun. So, I relied on my Henri to keep me moving all the way home.

We made it, and only two miles short of the distance planned. If I had been alone, I probably would have pushed through the last two miles, but the back to back runs was probably a good amount of marathon training for the day. I could also have attempted the last two this afternoon/evening, but it's really just not worth it. I will still be running a lot of miles this week with another twenty miler this weekend. Despite the ickyness of this run, it was a good run, with plenty of training in mental and physical stamina. 



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Almost Missed Out

When I got off work Tuesday afternoon, the sun had been behind clouds all day. It felt pretty good outside. I considered taking Henri out for our second seven mile run of the week.

I'm glad I didn't. Besides the fact that the sun came out and we might have wilted, my body probably still needed time to recover. Also, this morning felt amazing. It was well worth the "wait".

It was so nice this morning. Both, my body and Henri, were very happy with the temperature. Either I was well recovered or it just felt that good, but it felt like one of the best runs I've had in awhile. We didn't have any sub ten minute miles, but several of them were close. I almost had negative splits, aside from mile five where my body went wonky for a little bit.

Henri was all about going faster since I could. Even in the quiet neighborhoods, he was going full speed, or at least as fast as he could go dragging me behind him. Even better than watching him run when he's been stressed out or cooped up is watching him when the weather turns cooler. The only time he seems more excited is when he gets a BarkBox in the mail and he gets to open and play with new toys.


If only this was the seasons changing. If only this was a sign of the weather to come and we were past all the heat and humidity. Alas, it is still August and September. I am thankful for the somewhat mild Summer. I hope it doesn't come back with a vengeance in the next 6 weeks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Recovery?

This past Saturday was the first of the twenty mile training runs. When discussing our thoughts of increasing to twenty-four miles during our training, we were advised that twenty-two might be the highest we should go, because of recovery time. While we all had some aches and pains on Sunday, we really felt pretty decent. Then I tried to run my seven mile "recovery run" this morning. 

Thankfully, I have Henri. He keeps me moving, even moving at a pace that might not be the most comfortable. Mentally, he was the reason I kept going this morning. Henri has been struggling with the changes in our lives and his current living situation. He is anxious. He doesn't like me to leave him. He's a little on edge. He is typically better after being outside for awhile and having some activity, so our runs are necessary in getting him to a better place.

That is what kept me going this morning. When I wanted to shorten the run, when I made excuses, I looked down at Henri and had to keep going. He did really well this morning, even on the no sidewalk stretch. He got excited about squirrels and rabbits and just seemed to enjoy himself. He still cried when I left for work, but he's been in good spirits this evening, possibly because of the BarkBox that came in the mail.


Sometimes, I don't know how I get through these long runs without him. I'm sure they would go better with him, but it's just too warm. I can't even figure out my own fueling, I don't know how I would make sure he was properly fueled and hydrated. It's okay. I'm going to make it through and then we'll be back to all of the running being about us...as soon as I can find us a home of our own with a safe running route.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Trust

My little Henri is trying his best to live his best life, but he's having a hard time with the adjustments that have been made lately. The past few days he has come into the bedroom, trembling. I don't know what he's scared of. It's nothing I can hear or sense and maybe it's just a culmination of many things and all of his anxiety. I am proud of him for every moment that he appears to be brave while experiencing something new and there are many of them.

Today, I planned on six miles. It looked like rain may some, so I was just going to take what we could get. The radar looked clear so while every part of me wanted to go back to sleep, I knew I would be disappointed not to do this week as planned.

Henri did well while it was dark. He did well as we passed our turn that would take us away from the scary no sidewalk portion of the run, even as a car came upon us. I know he was anxious about it, but he did not freak out. I like to think he trusted me, which is what I continue to tell him to do.

We were coming to the choice of making it five miles or six when Henri stopped and threw up some stomach bile. Henri does not have a sensitive stomach. He has thrown up only a handful of times in his life, so him throwing up, even just stomach bile, was enough for me to decide that it was going to be a five mile run. I still don't know if it was anxiety or something off that he got into because he has been fine since, but as always, Henri comes first. Is my body going to rebel about running twenty miles because I was one mile short during the week? No. I don't think so.


Monday, August 13, 2018

The Big One

This is the big week, the week that ends in a twenty mile run. It didn't really start small either, with a ten mile run today.

Thus far, I haven't worried about pushing too much to get my weekday long run in. I've only slacked on it twice. I wasn't sure I could even fit ten miles in before work, especially now that the sun doesn't come up as early. I didn't want to look back on this week and feel like I didn't properly prepare for the twenty miler this weekend. If I struggle too much, I might think that if I had only run the ten miles like I was supposed to...

So, I woke up and got out the door around 4:30am. This is still a fairly new area for me and I was a little nervous about running in the dark when I am still learning the ins and outs of it all. This does seem like a safe neighborhood, probably safer than the former, but strange things can happen anywhere, so it's still a little nerve-racking.

I ran with no music for the first 5 miles, until the sun was a little more prominent in the sky. I skipped the part where the sidewalk ends, just because I didn't think our led lights were enough on a dark country road. I'm sure Henri was thrilled with that decision, even though that took us into a neighborhood we hadn't been in yet and it messed with my route and knowledge of how to get all of the miles. It all felt pretty good though. Henri was moving. I didn't feel like I was struggling to keep up with him. My body didn't hurt too much from the long run this past weekend. The miles were just ticking off.

I hit a small wall at seven miles, but Henri helped me push through. It only lasted half a mile and we were flying again. Then the last mile and a half were challenging because I was running out of time and I wanted to make sure we finished by the house, so we didn't have to walk very far after. Then we hit a bunch of sprinklers. Do I really need to shower if I'm hit hard with sprinklers at the end of a run?

It was a good run. The temperature was decent. Henri and I both felt good. I'm not saying I didn't struggle some, but if twenty miles could feel a little bit like this (which it won't because I won't have Henri), I'll be okay. I'll make it at least.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Today was the day I took Henri out on the new route that I found on my long run on Sunday, one that I hoped would be less stressful and anxiety inducing for him. He had seemed okay with our route for a few runs, but maybe he had had his fill of the busy street. What I have found was much quieter with plenty of straightaway. One tiny glitch was along this one stretch of road, there is not even a quarter of a mile where the sidewalk ends and you have to run in the road until you get past the cornfield where the sidewalk begins again.

Henri was curious as we began our new route. It was different from the beginning. There are still sprinklers, unfortunately, but there is much more sidewalk and the sprinklers are much deeper in the yards, so less water action, if Henri can just get past the hissing of them. He followed my lead with little hesitation as we went places he had never been before. I think he was enjoying himself quite a bit...until we hit the spot where the sidewalk ended. He followed me out onto the road easy enough and while he was confused, he kept going. Then a car pulled out of the neighborhood onto the road. We were running into traffic, for safety, but Henri was not a fan of the idea of a cars headlight pointing towards him. The sun was up at this point. We were easy to see and I was going to move into the grass along the road, but Henri decided a dead stop seemed like a better option. The car was plenty far enough away and I was able to move myself and Henri safely off the road and even keep Henri moving. He did better with the car that came from the other direction. As we stepped back onto the sidewalk I had to slow down, either because I had tried to pick up the pace to hurry Henri along this road that I knew he would find questionable, or I was holding my breathe in anticipation of Henri's reaction and I needed to catch it a little. Either way, I'm proud of him. He continued on the rest of the run with little fuss or anxiety. Maybe a normal amount of anxiety for Henri experiencing new things. Time will tell how he will handle the approach of this scary edge of the world on our next run, but if he's struggles, we will just have to dip into the neighborhood and run around the corn field, sidewalks the whole way.

I wasn't sure how much of a run we would get in this morning. It's warmed up quite a bit the last few days. It was really humid when we went to bed last night. My glasses steamed up when I let Henri out in the morning. A nine mile run was on the plan, which I know I can't get done before work. I thought we'd be lucky to get four, five or six with the heat. It turned out to be much cooler than I thought it would be. Still warm, but a breeze kept it comfortable enough. We actually got seven miles in and it was a perfect route, aside from the scary parts ;)


Saturday, August 4, 2018

More of the Same

Hey! We ran six miles and didn't get lost this time!

I made sure I went the way I was more familiar with, even if that meant we ran up and down the busier street more than we wanted. It was more than Henri wanted. I don't know if it was the repetition or the traffic (even though there was less traffic than on Monday because it was early in the morning), but he was getting pretty anxious towards the end, which is the opposite of what I want Henri to feel while running, especially as he lives in a fairly constant state of anxiety right now with all the changes in our lives. As I saw his anxiety rise, I made a plan for how to get him off the busy road and back into the neighborhoods - without getting lost.

The timing just worked out. We were closing in on our last mile and we were about at a place I knew we could get one more before getting to the house. Wouldn't you know, as soon as we turned into the neighborhood, Henri eased up. It will be interesting to see if he becomes anxious as soon as we get out to the street now or if it was just the amount of time we were on the street for this particular run.

My plan is to spend my thirteen mile run this weekend exploring the area and finding some more places that are less anxiety inducing. It will take a little trial and error, but I think we can get some good runs in out in this area. Then, just when we get comfortable and figure it all out, it will be time to move again.




Monday, July 30, 2018

Lost

I woke up around 3am, not because I wanted to, but after a day of rain and a 50% chance of rain forecasted for when we were supposed to be running, I took advantage of this rude awakening to check the radar. It seemed to my untrained eye that it was most definitely going to be raining, thus I changed my alarm to two hours later. Those two hours were the best two hours of sleep I got all night.

Then I had this crazy idea. Maybe we could go for a run after I got off work. Yes, Henri and I could run in the afternoon in almost-August. If it rained all day and there was enough of a break and the sun didn't come out, it should be cool enough for us to get six miles in. Wouldn't you know, the forecast was 50% chance of rain then, too. The radar didn't show that though, and while it was probably a little warm, I decided we were going to do it.

Now, I hadn't mapped out six miles in this neighborhood yet, but I had thought about it and I thought I knew how to add just that little bit to what we had done last week. To make it make the most sense, we just reversed one part of our run to keep from looping the same thing over and over. Well, I got lost. I turned into the wrong neighborhood I guess. I still don't know which neighborhood I was supposed to turn into. I ended up at the same street three times. I don't know how. We ran by a family and the wife commented, "We've seen you everywhere today!" And yet, I'm still only squeaking out six miles.

I was very proud of Henri's performance. I haven't found all the quiet nooks and crannies to avoid the long stretches of busy streets, but he didn't seem too phased by the traffic. I know he was nervous and a little stressed. He hardly stopped at all after we went all the way down one busy street and turned to run back up it and when we got "lost". He didn't pull and freak out. He didn't get too jumpy when a noisy truck went by. He listened to me. He followed me. He paid attention to me and what I was doing and where I was going. I know it was slightly warmer than usual with the sun being out, but we have much more shade in these neighborhoods and we did get lucky with cloud cover and no rain. All in all, it was a good run. The best part is that we did it at all.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Five More Miles

Today was much the same as Monday. I tried a few different turns, knowing the area just a little bit better and how Henri was going to respond to them. I also felt like I was limping the whole time, so there's that. I wasn't limping, but my muscles were tight and it made movement...difficult. Hopefully, my muscles can recover before Saturday or those 18 miles are going to be torture.

We're kind of in a fancy neighborhood now, with sprinklers to keep the grass green that run early in the morning. We've been mostly lucky with only a few along our path going when we run by them, but Henri does not like it. He hasn't stopped and flat out refused to go by them, but he tries to go into the street or further into the yards to escape their wet clutches. There's one at the end that is mostly spraying into the air and he still doesn't want to go through it. It's a light misting Henri. I take the brunt of the spray every time, as my shirt or shorts are drenched and he shakes off vigorously. Dramatic much?

It would just be cruel to try to take a picture running through the sprinklers. Also, it's still pretty dark when we're by most of them, so you can have this picture of a new little nook I found. It's a very small path, but it's lined with a wall of trees, which I think is cool.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Priority Shift

After a long weekend, we have moved into our temporary home. Saturday morning, I got up, ran 17 miles, then finished the moving process that I have been working on for months. The last of our things were packed, most put into storage. I sold some more furniture. Our bedroom came with us and we are now all set up in our "apartment" in the basement of friends. Henri is finally starting to settle, but he is still pretty anxious about me leaving him, and I had to go back to work today. We are living with another dog who may or may not like him. It remains to be seen. Poor Henri, he needed this run today.

While the training plan called for 9 miles, I knew I was not familiar enough with the area to find that. Also, I wasn't sure what the temperature was going to be, so I didn't even plan on trying to get that in. While at home I could have ran some of the miles with him and then set back out after dropping him off to finish, I did not think that would go over very well at this point. Henri's sanity is much more important than any training plan. So, I played around with the route on mapmyrun and created a fairly simple to follow 5 mile route. 

Boy, did Henri need that. Also, I considered this run a little bit of speed work because strap a stressed out dog around your waist and take him running in a new area...with sprinklers! Gasp! It was good. I messed up on the route a little, but I still managed to find us 5 miles. The best part? Henri lay down and fell asleep while I got ready for work. Mission accomplished.


So, the runs are going to be more about him right now. Hopefully, he will not disturb the household when I leave him for my long runs on the weekend, but after this week's 18 mile run, we drop back down to 13 for a few weeks, which means less time spent away from him. Hopefully, after a few weeks, he'll be much more settled and much less stressed.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Where It All Started

I realize that this is probably the last run we will run in this neighborhood. The last time running the paths where it first started. The last time running where I learned to run and to enjoy running. The last time running where we bonded and fell in love with running and with each other. All of the miles that we have covered. All of the sunrises and sunsets. All of the snowy, icy, windy, hot and humid mornings, afternoons and evenings. We've had a couple of bad experiences, but those never stopped us. We got up and we got out and we ran.

While we don't have our own home to move to yet, we set out on a new temporary adventure before settling in that place. There are new paths, new miles, new adventures, with new stories to tell. There will be new things to discover, to look at, to watch.

Hopefully soon we will find the place we will call home, the new place that we will spend years carving out the miles and discovering new things, together.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Halfway There

I wasn't sure I could fit eight miles in before work, but I did it. I even dropped Henri off at home halfway through and had 15 minutes to cool down before I had to shower. I mean, I guess we did head out the door at 4:30 when it was still dark. This problem would be solved so much easier if I could just run faster. I can't, so 4:30 it is.

It was really humid. It actually felt better once the sun started to come up, but by then I had already resolved to let Henri go home at four miles and run the last four solo. It takes a lot of determination to wake up at 4am and go out into the dark, humid wee hours of dawn. It take even more to be dripping in sweat, take your dog back into the air conditioning, give him ice cubes and head back out into more humidity. I wished he could have run more with me, so the solo miles could have been so few, so that that push out the door wouldn't have been so daunting and sad. At least it was halfway, and halfway to halfway and "just run home". Yeah, I tell myself it's just a run home as I run away from home.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Go Anyway

Do you know how many times I told myself I should just go back to bed this morning? My dreams were weird. I didn't sleep well. I left the lid off my contacts, so they were dried up. I was dropping things. I didn't really feel the best. It was awful. I was so afraid that this run was going to be bad.

After a week of rest (rest as in only the runs on the training plan and no strength training - just for this week), I had hoped my body would feel so much better than it does. Maybe I shouldn't have cut the strength training this week. I don't know, but my muscles do not feel very rested. So, as we pushed off from the start, my body started to cry.

It wasn't awful and, thankfully, all of the bad omens as we prepared to run faded away. The mental game was still very much in play though. It was a little more humid, so Henri was dragging behind a little. That's okay. It forced me to slow down a little and take it easy, spreading out my energy, which I probably needed. See, this is why I run with him.

Every time I'm out for my long runs, someone goes by and comments on the fact that Henri is not with me. Every time. It's not even the same people. The 16 mile run, every person made a comment. Maybe it was because it was Friday morning and more people were out than during my early morning Saturday runs, but every person! Thanks for rubbing it in, guys! I know I'm missing my dog. And trust me, I'm missing him.


Because Henri didn't seem to enjoy the heat of our run on Monday, nor today, I might cut his run short this Monday. It's supposed to be 8 miles, which I barely have time to squeeze in before work as it is. So, either I run 4 or 5 miles with Henri in the morning and run the rest in the afternoon or we run 4 or 5 miles, I drop him off at home and finish the remainder of the miles. I don't think he'll like it and I wouldn't want to stop long enough to feed him before I went back out and I hate not being with him for awhile after we run in the heat, just to make sure he drinks water and cools down. I suppose the fact that he's bringing me toys to throw down the hall within ten minutes of our return should mean he feels fine.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hold Tight to the Curves

Today was an excellent run, exactly what I needed. It was the same run as Monday, the same route, the same distance, the same temperature, minus the humidity. 64 degrees felt like 64 degrees. It was exactly what I needed to push and Henri was right along with me.

We ran the first mile and the time was pretty decent, but it wasn't until we hit the second mile in less time that I decided to start to push. The third mile brought us into the park, but we hit another negative split. As I crawled myself out of the park and hit the straightaway, where we can always pick up speed, despite the missed negative split, I didn't give up. My plan was to just make sure I kept every mile under ten minutes. 

We kept pushing. Six miles went fast. I was having to push, but we didn't tire out. I don't know how much longer I could have kept that up, but today, I didn't have to. We finished strong. Splits of 9:46, 9:45, 9:40, 9:43, 9:40 and 9:39 . Almost entirely negative splits and a very steady pace. The best part was that it was fun and fun for both of us.


While when I look back at Monday's overall time and splits, there wasn't that much of a difference. It's slightly disappointing, but the difference is my strength and what I was able to do today. Strong, steady and consistent.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Never Miss A Monday

With the run streak over and officially broken (I didn't run yesterday, no matter how compelled I was.) it felt different to go out this morning, mentally. While this week is an "easy" week with 6, 6 and 10k, it didn't feel easy this morning. 

Both Henri and I were spoiled by a few days of amazing weather. Henri was giving me a look after the first mile. Thankfully, we got a nice breeze coming in after mile three to cool us down. I know it's only July, but I know that both of us are done with heat and humidity. The sneak peak we got this weekend was just so tempting, the desire to push through the next several months and move back into Fall and Winter...but obviously we can have nice weather in July. Friday and Saturday proved that. Why, oh why?


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Run Streak Day 101: The Conclusion

While yesterday was day 100 of my run streak, I have to celebrate everything with Henri, so I extended my run streak one more day so I could conclude this streak with Henri by my side.

Yes, I am concluding my run streak after 100, now 101 days. I don't think it's really been helping me with my speed and I think my body needs more recovery than it's currently getting. As I run longer distances, more often, I think more strength will come from rest and recovery.

330 miles have been run over the last 101 days. There were a lot of 1 mile runs in there, but a lot of miles have been run with Henri, the Half-Marathon and all of these Marathon training miles. There are so many more to go. 

So, today, we ran just a few more miles, together, because it was beautiful outside. Tomorrow, we can rest and we'll start another week, rested. This is an easy week on the training plan, a perfect time to end the streak and focus on being the best I can when the marathon comes around.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Run Streak Day 97: Bonus Heat Advisory

I really wanted to get Henri out for a run today. It's been awhile with the heat advisory that began last Thursday and as it closes in on the Fourth of July, the fireworks in the neighborhood have Henri shaking and trembling every night. I thought a run would help ease his nerves just a little.

It was still really warm. When I checked the weather later, another heat advisory has been issued. Thankfully, because I had run five of my eight miles in the heat of the afternoon yesterday, we only had three to run. Henri was really excited to be out. He was sniffing everything and then taking off again as fast as he could. I'm glad he was enjoying himself. I have the feeling he's been bored stuck inside for the past several days.

He was also smelling the remnants of the fireworks from last night. The smell was in the air, which made him a little nervous, my poor boy. So, between that and his stomach telling him it was time for breakfast, we were moving to get home, which made this a hot and sweaty run.





Thursday, June 28, 2018

Run Streak Day 92

Central Illinois has entered into another heat advisory, this one worse than the last. Why does it have to come just in time for the weekend and my long run?

We ran this morning, to get out in front of the heat. No, not my long run. Just four miles. It was warm. We started as soon as the sun began to come up, but even then, it warmed up quite a bit by the time we finished.

It was a decent run, with the occasional breeze that gave us just enough reprieve to keep going. Henri didn't seem too bothered by the heat, of course, he might have been thinking with his stomach. He was moving, despite the rain the last few days. He kept us at a steady pace. It didn't feel too bad, but my shirt was fairly drenched, reminiscent of my thirteen mile run in the last heat advisory we had.

Sweaty, but home. Henri got his breakfast, followed by ice cubes. I got my shower and ready for the day. 


There is one mile planned for tomorrow. I'm not sure if Henri will be joining me yet, but it will definitely be run in the morning. How it feels in the morning will also determine what I plan to do about my fifteen mile run this weekend.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Run Streak Day 89

Today there was seven miles on the docket. That is a lot of miles for a weekday run. We have just enough time to fit that in without running in the dark. Based on yesterdays struggle with the heat, I was concerned with the heat, Henri and that amount of miles. I was so anxious about it, I lay in bed, tossing and turning for three hours before I finally fell asleep, leaving me with five hours of sleep before a seven mile run in the wee early morning hours, giving me more reason to be anxious. Why am I suddenly so anxious about running?

Anyway, all that anxiety was for nothing. It was a great run! The weather was much cooler than I thought it was going to be, primarily because of the wind and the sun staying behind the clouds until we were done running. Figuring out how to get seven miles in without Henri giving me too much of a stink eye was another thing. We started with a couple of double loops before we went into our normal five mile loop. Henri was a little confused by this, but he went along with it. Around mile five he got so focused on getting back for breakfast, he almost didn't notice that we had to loop again to get our last half-mile. I still got the stink eye though. I did say almost.


The run itself felt pretty good with a pretty steady pace the entire run. I don't know how much longer we/I could have kept that up, but for today, it was good. Now, hopefully my muscles can recover before the fifteen on Saturday as I continue to run throughout the week.