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.

Tom

The "Other Dog"

The “Other Dog”

2 days – 2 runs

Another successful run yesterday.  I decided to stop after 3 miles since I was a bit sore from Sunday and my heel spur was acting up.

During my run I came up on 3 women out power walking.  They were taking up the left half of the road, so I had to go around on the right.  As I approached them I noticed that the one in the middle had a jogging stroller.  They were talking and having a good time.  I went around them and they commented about me running so fast (which was a pleasantry as I wasn’t running fast at all).  I looked back after I got around them to look at the baby and there was a dog in the stroller!  Ha.  They called out, “bet you thought it was a baby in there!”  That made my run a bit more enjoyable.

So I ran my route and headed home.

All in all it is nice that I got two runs in a row in.  I am not hurting at all today and feel like I might have turned the corner.  Of course I have 10 extra lbs now I have to work on losing, but it could be worse.

Finally, I have had several blog nominations lately.  Thank you to everyone.  I plan on working on them as I get my life in some sense of order.  I really appreciate you all!

Tom

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.

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.

I can’t run today, but…

Just sitting here with BZL and The Dog.

It is raining outside, but who cares.

I can’t run today.

No figuring out when to run.  No worrying if it would it be better to run in the rain this morning or wait until it clears up this afternoon.   No trying to figure out how to fit my run around football and family time.

I don’t have to take Ibuprofen today for my sore body since I’m not running.

I don’t have to decide which running shoe to wear.  My Saucony Fastwitch feel better, but really are too light for regular running.  My Saucony Mirage hold up better and give me more support, but are heavier and take more effort to run in.  Doesn’t matter today, because I’m not running.

Also I don’t have to decide where to run.  Do I run in my neighborhood (where I am bored of running) or drive out to the State Park and pay to run there?  Doesn’t matter, because I can’t run today.

There are so many great reasons to be happy that I can’t run today…

So why aren’t I happy?

I want to run today.  I want to run in the rain.  I want to figure out how to run around football and family time.  I want to feel my body hurt.  I want have to chose which shoes to wear.  I want to go run in the State Park.

I can’t run today, but at least I can give my body a rest, enjoy my family, hang with The Dog and take a walk.

I’m glad I’m alive and have such small problems.  🙂

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!!!

An amazing run that never happened

Listen to your body…

How many times have I heard that over the past few weeks!

Yesterday I was at my Chiropractor and I was glad to be there.  The track run the day before was horrendous on my body.  My good hip hurt so much that it was hard to walk.  I got up in the middle of the night and limped to the bathroom.  Work wasn’t much better.

After my last few blog posts there seemed to be a theme from the comments and that theme was, “Listen to your body”.

As I was waiting for the Chiropractor to come into the room, I had made up my mind I was going to run after the appointment.  Yes I had been in pain and I was tired, but it was to be an easy run and only 5 miles.  I could do this… But in the back of my mind were the “what ifs”.  What if I run and my hip gets worse?  What if I hurt myself and can’t run the marathon?  All those miles and all the pain would be for nothing.  Then came the other “what ifs”.  What if I don’t run and that would have been “the” best run?  What if I don’t run and in some small way it affects my marathon?  It is only 5 miles after all, I can do that much.  Finally, if I ran all my planned  runs this week I’d be at a 200 mile month which I’ve gotten close to before, but never actually achieved.  “I can’t give that up”, I thought to myself.

The doctor came in.  He adjusted me and asked about my running.  He said I was really stiff and spent extra time trying to loosen me up.  Finally he asked if I was going to run after my appointment.  I told him I was waffling back and forth as to whether I should run or take a day off to recover.

His response…

“Listen to your body”.

Alright, I might be a little obsessive about my running.  I need to be.  If I weren’t I would have stopped long ago.  But eventually hearing all of your comments on this blog and his response got to me.  I knew I had to take the day off.  Sometimes things are said in such a way, and so many times, that I know it is wisdom and not just a coincidence.  This was one of those times.

So I went home.  I got in bed.  I read your blogs.  I rested with heat on my back and hips.  I slept.  I got up this morning and felt great.  I’m still a bit sore and it was hard when I first got out of bed, but I almost beat “The Dog” down the stairs for the first time in weeks.

So yesterday was an amazing run.  I ran it in my head and not on the streets.  It may have been the difference between a good marathon and a great one for me.  It might not make much of a difference.  Either way, I’m glad I didn’t run.

Ten years from now when I am reading blogs and posting comments to help new marathoners, my advice will be:

Hi IrunBecauseIwantTo (made up blog name).
Years ago I was preparing for my first marathon.  I had trained a lot and had a rough couple of weeks toward the end of my training.  I got some of the best advice from fellow runners that I had received in my year and a half of running.  They told me over and over, “Listen to your body”.  Finally I listened.  My marathon was awesome and I can look back and see it was that advice that made all the difference.  So I leave you with the same advice.  Listen to your body and have a great marathon!!!