The Dog-spiration and running in the summer heat

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far for running.  The heat index, according to my phone, was 94 degrees.

Needless to say it was hot.

My run went well.  I’ve approached running differently this summer.  Last year I would push through.  Drag.  Run home to get water and keep trying to push.  Of course I was stupidly training for a marathon in the midday Southern summer heat.  This year I run until I am feeling hot and tired and I walk for a minute, then I continue my run.  This has helped a lot.  I am still running 4 miles a day during the week as I haven’t gotten back to a full running week yet, but even so, my pace is still doing well (for me that means I am under a 9:00 pace).

On to The Dog!

The Dog

The Dog

She is an inspiration to me.

When I get back from my run she is ready to get out back and let me throw the stick to her.  She never stops.  Even in the heat, she will pause and pant and then she just keeps going.  I make sure I don’t overheat her because she would probably not stop running after that stick until she couldn’t move anymore.

So when I am beat.  Hot.  Tired.  I come in for my run, I know she will be pushing her hardest, and that somehow helps me to push harder also.

She keeps going, and going, and going.

She keeps going, and going, and going.

Funny.  She has no idea that she helps me push through.

What a great dog she is!!!

Running tired and the “Other Dog”

I’m tired.

I’m not complaining though.

I just haven’t slept well the past couple of nights.  Actually I did sleep well last night, but 3:45 came way too early for me this morning.

I noticed yesterday that my attitude before and during my run was not good due to being tired.  I know that makes sense, but I run so much better when I get a good night sleep.  During the week, that is almost impossible unless I go to bed at 7:00 (which I did yesterday).

I am still doing my 5 mile runs.  I haven’t increased the amount this week.  I think this is partly due to being tired and partly wanting to be careful with my hip.  It does great early on in my run, but I have a long down hill about 3 miles in and it always hurts after that.  Yesterday I slowed way down at that hill and it did seem to help some, but of course hurt my momentum some.

That is about it for today.  Being that this wasn’t a very exciting post, I want to post a picture of TJ’s dog.  He is so happy, cute and content (most of the time).

Happy running.


The "Other Dog"

The “Other Dog”

My impromptu run

Yesterday’s walk with the dog turned out “different” than I had planned.

I hadn’t run for several days because of my SI joint.  So I decided to walk with the dog to have something to do while walking.  I’m sorry, but walking is boring.  I hate it.  But I have to keep the habit going of getting outside and exercising and when I can’t run, I walk.

After about a quarter mile I noticed I had forgotten my phone so I went back home and then decided to leave the dog home and head out by myself.  I was wearing an old pair of running shoes that I don’t use much anymore, but doesn’t have many miles on it.

I headed out the door and did an impromptu jog.  I slowly jogged up the road and on to my walking route.  I’m talking a jog about 2.5 minutes per mile slower than my normal pace.  I walked some and jogged some.  I thought to myself that this was like my mile 20 in my marathon pace wise.

I really didn’t hurt at all.  I had some stiffness in my SI joint, but it went away fairly quickly.

I ended up running/walking (mostly running) 3 miles.  Once again, it was slow.  Barely faster than a fast walk, but at least I RAN.

So I think I will try to run again today.  Not fast, but just a good easy run.  If I feel pain returning, I’ll stop and walk, but hopefully this pain is working its way out and I can begin my running again.

My plan is to take things slowly right now.  I do have a 10K in two weeks, but I may have to run it as a fun run, even though it is my first 10K race I’ve run.

Congratulations to all the marathoners from this weekend.  I’ve been really busy, but I will catch up on everyones blogs this week.

Hangin’ and walking with The Dog

Got to sleep in today and got up and spent some time with the dog.

The Dog may go walking with me today.

The Dog may go walking with me today.

I’m about to go on my walk.  My hip still hurts a little.  I think I could run on it, but I am taking advice I received on this blog and taking some time off to let it heal.  The dog doesn’t walk well on a leash, but I may just take her with me for company.

Have a great Sunday!

A run, a hurt achilles and hangin’ with the dog!

I had a great run yesterday with @BigBigGeek at our local State Park.  Well, the company was great, the run was a tad difficult.

We ran just over 6 miles which is good for me.  In fact it is the longest basic run I’ve had since a week before my marathon (so about a month ago) and I felt the burn.  By the end of the run my body felt as if I had just finished a 18 mile run.

One issue that has come back to life is my achilles.  I thought I had gotten past it with all the time off I’ve had to take, but it is obvious that I haven’t.  After our run on my way home I went to the supermarket.  I got out of my car and I could barely walk.  My right achilles was in so much pain.  The good news was that after I got some Blueberries for my LW and paid for them, the pain went away and didn’t come back.

Later in the day I went to a local running store and checked into getting a shoe with a higher heel/toe drop.  Their advice was to make sure I am really stretching my calf during the day.  So I gave that a shot and I’ll see how my run goes today.

I can’t finish this post without the obligatory “Hangin’ with the dog” picture.  I took this a couple of minutes ago as she was enjoying her morning snack.

The Dog enjoying her morning snack

The Dog enjoying her morning snack

Hangin’ with The Dog on a beautiful Sunday morning

It is a great Sunday morning here in the South.  59 degrees and sunny.  It is the type of day you might want to go on a long run or run a half marathon.  Fortunatly for Neill (@BigBigGeek) he is running one right now!!!  Good luck Neill.

I can’t wait to hear from Neill on his twitter about how the race went, but until then I’m hangin’ with The Dog.

The Dog loves her morning treat!!!

The Dog loves her morning treat!!!

She and I have a ritual each morning.  As I come out of my room, she gets up from where ever she chose to sleep that night.  She waits for me to walk down the stairs and follows, but sometimes she leads (depending on how slowly I’m moving at 4:00 AM).

After I let her out, I go get my coffee.  Usually in a few minutes she comes back in and wants her treat.  Notice in this pic how patient she is waiting for me to tell her it is okay for her to take her treat.

She is quick.  She grabs it and goes out to the living room to eat.

She is the best dog ever.  Happy and content.

That’s it for today.  Go Neill.

Hangin’ with “The Dog” and tryin’ to taper

Just hanin’ with the dog this morning and resting after my 5 mile run. I was able to get out and get my run in before it got too hot, but it was not a great run and the reason for that goes back to yesterday’s run with Neill…

"The Dog" hiding?

“The Dog” hiding?

First, my hangin’ with “The Dog” picture of the week. This is courtesy of my eldest son. “The Dog” loves to be under things and in tight places. TJ got her from the Humane Society and she had been abused as a puppy. She was 8 weeks old when we got her. She is a great dog and a great addition to our family, even when she hiding (or thinks she is hiding). 🙂

On to yesterday’s run. I really enjoy running with Neill. We have a great time talking and he is a strong Christian, which is always encouraging. Our run went well overall, but we both had problems to overcome.

My problem was with my left foot. The top of my foot where my laces tie started getting sore. I tired to just run through it, but it became more and more noticeable. Finally at a Gatorade stop, I loosened my shoelace and that seemed to help, but it was still sore. This is the issue I had today also. That muscle on the top of my foot seems just be aggravated, which is bothering since I hope to run 26.2 miles at this time next week.

I may, in my taper, just not run a couple of days and let my whole body heal. I know that just about everyone would agree with that plan, but my head says no. In the end, what a fellow runner at work told me was good advice. He said, “You want to get to the starting line feeling 100% and like you could run the best race of your life”. That is my new goal. Besides, there isn’t anything riding on this race and as long as I finish, it is a PR!

So on to the final week before my marathon. TJ and I are excited and hope to do well. We head to PA on Friday morning about 4:00 AM with HM and RS. RS wanted to run the marathon, but he is too young according to their rules.

I hope you all have a great week ahead and please, run some miles for me. 🙂

A run for the dogs

Yesterday’s run was… Different!

Okay it was 95 degrees and 104 heat index.  It felt hotter than that.  Also I had worked all day and had my Chiropractor yank on my leg and my hip for a while.  I decided to take it slow and not even worry about mileage.  Just see how it goes.

It didn’t go well.  I was sore, tired and hot.  Also I only drank 32 oz of water (but the day before I drank 180 oz).

A new friend

A new friend

As I ran, I debated giving up after 2 miles.  I don’t want to run a hard run and take a chance of getting hurt this close to my marathon.  But I decided to run at least 2 more miles.  Storms were on the horizon, but seemed far enough away to make a go of it.

Then I saw a dog running in the roadway ahead of me.  A car was coming down the road and fortunately saw the dog and almost came to a stop as the dog ran in and our of the road carefree.  I called to it as I ran by to get him out of the street and he moved out of the way of the car and I kept running.

Then I heard a voice of someone behind me saying, “You’ve got a friend with you”.  I looked back and the dog was running right behind me.  He ran up to me and just kept with me.  He ran beside me, ahead of me, behind me, in and out in the street, but was always near me.

At one point we came up on some children with their puppy playing in their yard.  The dog running with me ignored their dog, but their dog ran after “my” dog and the kids (age 7ish) ran after both.  Then “my” dog started chasing their dog.  They screamed and panicked at this point.  So I tried to distract the dog running with me and that didn’t work. Finally I called to him and got him to come to me and I held its collar for a few seconds while the kids scooped up their dog and ran into the house.

And away we went!

Up hills, down hills and throughout the neighborhood we ran together.  I had to point him out to a few more cars and he kept right up with me,photo 1 in the heat, for 2 miles.

Finally we went past a house with people outside.  He ran to them and they called to him.  I never saw him again.  I can only assume he was theirs.  He was a bit mangy and dirty though; like he had been outside on his own for a while.

Then I ran home and threw the stick with “The Dog” outside.

Isn’t it funny how you can have a difficult run in a thousand degree heat and a stray dog can make it a fun run!

Going out to run 11 miles with @BigBigGeek.  My last “long” run before the marathon.  It is 78 degrees at 5:15 AM.  Should be fun!!!

Hangin’ with the dog before my long run…

Great run yesterday with Neill (@BigBigGeek,  We got to run the same route as last Saturday, but I was a bit early, so I ran 3 miles ahead of his arrival.  So all in all I made 13 miles on Saturday and had great conversation and company.

Today is my long run, but I am not going for 20 miles since I am 2 weeks away from my marathon and I did 13 yesterday.  I am going to try for 15.  I am sore, but I had a great night sleep so that will help.

For some reason I’ve noticed that I am usually in a bad mood during the day after my long run.  I don’t know why other than maybe I’m tired?

photoHere is my Hangin’ with the Dog pic for this week.  I cheated and took it yesterday (but I am hangin’ with her this morning).  I think it is funny how she likes to “sit” on the stairs.

Have a great Sunday and thank you everyone who gave insight into tapering yesterday.  It was great help.  I will post my ending thoughts and tapering plan sometime this week.

Hangin’ with The Dog and then Runnin’ with Neill

Sitting here before dawn about to go to breakfast with TJ and then meet Neill  ( at the State Park and run 9 miles.  Should be a lot of fun.

When I first started running with Neill, 5 miles was his longest run and 11:00 pace was pretty fast for him.  Now he is below 10:00 and running a 9 mile long day.  He has a Half Marathon in September two weeks after my Marathon.  It is so much fun watching someone really push forward and, as my friend RunningToHerDreams would say, “run like a boss”.

"The Dog" waiting for me to throw "The Stick".

“The Dog” waiting for me to throw “The Stick”.

So I sit here with “The Dog” and wait for the sun to rise to start my day.  I must post a picture (my Lovely Wife insists on it 🙂 ) each week.  This one was actually from yesterday after my (not so good) run while throwing “The Dog” “The Stick” in the back yard.  The stick is in the upper left corner of the picture.  She is so intent on that stick… Sort of like me at the start of a 5K (ha!).

Have a great weekend and, as my Lovely Wife says to me everyday before I leave for my run:

“Run fast, don’t get hurt, have a good run”.

Tomorrow – the last long run day before my marathon…