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.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Run Streak Day 88

As I continued to recover from a twelve hour overnight shift, I was thankful for an easy week on the marathon training schedule, bringing us up to today's 5k. I decided to allow myself one more day of sleeping in. That may not have been the best idea as far as the run went, as it was heating up quickly and even at 7:30, it was humid and feeling mid seventies. With little to no shade cover, it was a warm one. 

I thought this was going to be an easy run. Maybe if I had gotten up earlier, it might have been. Probably not. It was pretty warm when I went to bed last night. It just didn't cool off. Maybe if we had done our 5k on Saturday morning instead, but I needed sleep and I probably would have had to leave Henri at home. It looked like it had been rainy. So, today was the day.

We did okay, but just before mile three began, we found some shade and Henri decided to lie down for a second. Of course, I let him. He stopped a couple more times as we came across the small trees that are in our neighborhood, just for a breath. When we were done we took a little walk around the lake, on the shady side, to cool down. 

I don't have to be fast, I just have to finish. And have my Henri by my side.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Run Streak Day 83

A day late...again.

Supposedly, the heat advisory ended last night. It was still really warm this morning. Henri stopped for a drink from a puddle within the first mile, so we only ran three. It didn't really seem much cooler, but there were several people out, walking their dogs, taking advantage of the break. I guess a feels like temperature of 75 instead of 80 at 5am is considered a break. I mean, we did get three miles run instead of one.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Run Streak Day 82

We are still in the midst of a heat advisory. I was trying to decide what we were going to do this morning. There was five miles on the schedule. I could have gone out by myself, but I really wanted to get Henri out if I could do so safely.

I ran thirteen on Saturday with my posse. The first four miles weren't bad, but after that we lost the breeze and the sun decided to shine relentlessly. It was probably the worst run I've ever had. I have decided that thirteen miles is unlucky for me. I run twelve and my confidence is up. Then I run thirteen or I try to run thirteen. I thought it was just my shoes for the half and maybe it was. Running thirteen miles in a heat advisory isn't easy. I also had new shoe inserts. I don't want to make excuses though. It was a bad run.

I wanted to sleep in on Sunday. I wanted to sleep in just one day, but my body doesn't know how to do that anymore. I rolled over until 7:30 and decided I should get my streak run in before the sun ruined everything. Even just that one mile was so sweaty.

So, I decided that a one mile streak run with Henri this morning was sufficient. It's a light week on the running schedule, which works perfectly with my work schedule. We'll see if the break in the weather gives us a chance to play a little catch up or if it just gives us storms. Today, that one mile was pretty decent, with another mile walking home, just to shake out the legs and to give Henri some time outside with a little less oppressive heat. Maybe we could have run three, but I would have worried about him being dehydrated while I was at work all day. He was happy to have gotten a run in, happy to have a belly full of breakfast and happy to chase the toys he kept bringing me afterwards up and down the hall. I did not have to worry about his well-being while I was at work and maybe, just maybe, the heat will break tonight.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Run Streak Day 79: Finish Line

Today was just a one mile run to continue my run streak. I have thirteen to run tomorrow and a heat advisory has begun. Henri is definitely sitting this one out, but he joined me today. This last mile brought our mile count to thirty which means we finished our Rescue Run Club 3030 Challenge! It wasn't planned this way, but my OCD is very happy about it. Thirty miles on the dot, halfway through the month.

And, yes, I did take this picture and save it for this day. We found a finish line in our neighborhood. It was pretty close to our actual finish line that day, which is always nice.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Run Streak Day 78

Today was a beautiful day! It was 60 degrees and it actually felt like 60 degrees, rather than 70 or 80 degrees. It was not a day to waste not running. 

I went to the running store yesterday. I wanted to talk to some experts about my feet hurting lately. Since I got new shoes and switched brands, I wanted to check and make sure I hadn't made a mistake. Since I haven't trained for a marathon before I wasn't sure if it was possibly the increase in miles. I spent an hour talking to a guy and trying on other shoes and inserts. I have enjoyed my Brooks. They feel lighter and less clunky. I have felt faster. It's hard to know if that was because I had run the half-marathon on old shoes and anything would feel better than that, or if they were in fact better shoes. I have had the shoes one month exactly, putting almost 100 miles on them already. I really didn't want to buy new shoes again. It's not like they are cheap. I ended up buying inserts giving me more cushion, hoping that that would solve the problem without spending the money for new shoes.

New inserts mean running on new shoes and since I have a long run on Saturday, I needed to break them in beforehand. There's not really much time for that, so today was happening. Four miles yesterday, leg day, new inserts and a dog tied to my waist, I did my best to take it easy. It was just a little three miler. Remember, the weather was pretty awesome. We both felt good. My shoes felt good, too. 

Apparently, I'm shredding my shoes. I don't know if it's from my running form or if it's from my long runs and my inability to pick up my feet as I wear down. 

Blah, blah, blah. Show me the puppy! Anyone else go to the running store and have them  look inside your shoes and ask you how many dogs you have because, dog hair. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Run Streak Day 77

It's been several days since Henri and I have been out for a run together. I had my long run that I squeaked in before a storm. I squeaked another mile in on Sunday before another storm. More storms Monday morning gave me a chance to catch up on a little sleep, but I still needed to get a seven mile run in. We would have to run in the dark to get that in on a Tuesday, so I went out alone Monday after work. It was too hot for Henri and, again, possibilities of storms. Tuesday morning saw the end of the rain, but not until after we needed to have run, so I was solo again for my streak run. So many miles since Henri and I have been together.

We head out for four miles this morning. It was humid. I had to keep wiping my face and Henri kept stopping to eat the wet grass. Despite these discomforts, we had a good run. I choose to believe that it was because we were together again. 

I didn't think it was going to be a bad run, but it felt so much better than I expected. My muscles had finally recovered from Saturdays long run and I felt strong. We finished the first mile at a nice pace. While mile two is usually my most difficult mile as I hit the park. I pushed a little to get through and ended at a great pace. I might have pushed too much. It was difficult to recover and, upon review, I missed negative splits by six seconds. If I had just kept steady, it probably would have worked out perfectly. We finished mile four and we were done.

Now, what to do tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Run Streak Day 72

Today was just a one mile run since I have a twelve mile run tomorrow. Because there is a chance of rain or thunderstorms, Henri will be sitting this one out and I will be staying close to home, running in circles around my block, which is what we did today, but just one time.

Henri wanted to stop and sniff everything. I know it was supposed to rain briefly yesterday, but I never heard it and I never saw any signs of it. That's the only reason he stops that much, especially when we go a slightly different route and he's relying on me to direct him. It's okay though. We got a mile in, together. It might have taken a little longer with the stop and go, but that's okay because we had the time and, technically, today is a rest day before running all of the miles tomorrow. Henri was just making sure I take it easy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Run Streak Day 70

My count got off track somewhere in the sixties, but I'm pretty confident that today was number seventy. 

Today is National Running Day and it was a good run. For one, I ran with Henri. For two, it was perfect this morning, if only too cold for the first half a mile. 

According to my Marathon Training, I was supposed to run a four mile tempo run. Since that is not really possible attached to Henri, I was just going to run four miles and try a tempo run tomorrow. Really, I think it turned out really close to a tempo run without me even trying. My goal for a tempo run, according to the calculator that I used is something that I have barely ever been able to get for one mile, much less four. It should be approximately 8:50. I don't feel like that's an unattainable goal, but I should be honest with myself that I cannot do that just yet. Almost every time I have run sub 9, it has been with Henri, so taking him out of the picture might not be the right choice. 

I'm surprised at how well my time was, considering the way I was feeling. I started a round of 21 Day Fix and my muscles are a little upset with me. I'm glad to know that I am challenging them in different ways than my previous program. Today was also leg day and I can tell that my legs are glutes are stronger than they were last time I did a round of 21 Day Fix, which is something I suspected and am pretty happy with. As soon as I pushed past mile one I started to feel better. I even had some really strong spurts in places where I normally struggle. I was one second off from a negative split between mile one and two, otherwise, I would have had negative splits, which is only my second time. Hey, the last time I was two seconds off, so I'm improving.

Henri and I were pretty in sync. I always find it really cool when Henri is watching me for cues on direction. I'm sure I just don't notice it all the time, but today I noticed as he looked up at me for a hand signal or checked my feet. We make a pretty good team.

The sunrise was beautiful. Of course, I had to stop to take a picture.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Run Streak Day 68 and 69

Since I forgot to blog about our run yesterday, you get a two-fer.

On the schedule for Sunday was an eight mile run. We started just before six am. It was another beautiful day with a nice breeze. The day itself was fine. The run, was not. On Friday I had a massage to work out that knot in my calf that developed during my run the week before. That process sent pain through my glutes and into my back. I also got my traps worked on. I might have needed more recovery time because all of these spots hurt as we pushed through all of the miles. I got light headed every time Henri stopped. I was on the struggle bus the entire time. I thought about shortening the run to six miles or four. I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to make it through. Thankfully I had Henri with me. It is unclear whether that helps or hurts at times, but if I had not had him with me, I would have given up to try again another day. Even when he got confused as we turned away from home, he still pushed on with me. He made me laugh as he stopped to wade through a puddle and take a drink left on the sidewalk from a sprinkler, even though he will stop dead in his tracks not to run past a sprinkler. And with him by my side, we pushed through all eight miles.

On the schedule for this week is a six mile run and a 4 mile tempo run. Since Mondays and Wednesday are the only days I could get a six mile run in before work, we were back at it again this morning. Yes, six miles after eight miles. It was not ideal, but the six miles were much more successful than the eight, just with a little leg tiredness. We had, yet again, another beautiful morning. Henri was tired as well, but he's such a trooper. Now, he can rest for a day before we go back out again on Wednesday, National Running Day!

I might switch some things up so I can get that tempo run in without Henri - because that just won't work. I also started a new round of 21 Day Fix, so I might be really sore this week. All of this as I look to a twelve mile run this weekend. It sounds like it's going to heat up again, so Henri will probably be sitting that one out, but we're getting plenty of miles in together right now. I'm just going to have to rely on myself to get through my long run. I should print up pictures of Henri and post them at every mile, to get me through to the next one. Hmm...

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Run Streak Day 67: Happy Henriversary

I tried to sleep in today, but my body and the sun had other ideas. I finally agreed to getting out of bed at 7:30am. I opened the door to let Henri out and realized how beautiful of a day it was. The heat and the humidity had finally subsided and while I was only going on a mile run today, I knew I had to take Henri with me. It is our Henri-versary after all.

I brought Henri home six years ago today. While we didn't start running till the following rainy spring, I could not imagine not taking him for a run today to celebrate. And, since it was so beautiful, even after the sun had risen, I knew he would not suffer. It also gave me much hope for my marathon training run tomorrow and allowing Henri to join me.

So, we went out into the beautiful day. The problem is that every one was enjoying the beautiful day. People were out garage sale-ing, riding bikes, walking their dogs, running. Yes, so were we, but I missed the solitude of the early morning and the time spent alone with Henri, not having to think about anyone but us, especially today as I reflect on all that Henri has brought to me. Nevertheless, it was a good morning and a good mile and Henri seemed to enjoy himself. I felt it was a good start to the day celebrating him. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Run Streak Day 66: June 3030 Challenge

Five hours into June and we kicked off the June Rescue Run Club 3030 Challenge with my one mile streak run.

We head out with our lights on to get the mile in early. Pictures don't turn out real well that early in the morning, but we had to document it just the same. It was a good mile with Henri listening very closely to my direction as we ran one of my one mile routes. I don't know if it was the darkness, the slightly different route or if he just sensed that it was going to be a short run, but he watched my moves and even crowded me a little on the sidewalk. Whatever his reason for sticking close and listening to me, it was a good start to the challenge. One mile down, twenty-nine to go.