Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cobwebs, Dogs, and World Running


I felt a lot like this dog waiting to run again.

Well, I hope I am back to running. This past weekend, I had a determination, a will power, a goal to get back in the saddle again (er...running shoes); I wanted to run. Since sunday was World Running Day, it seemed a match made in Heaven to start last weekend. And start I did.

Saturday morning, I got up early enough to head to Hermann Park with Remington in tow. It's been so long since the little man and I have gone out on a run. I tried to take both Lady and Remi to the park for just a walk the week before, but that experience made me want to cut off my arms so that I would never do that again. Anyways, I got my iPod ready, my shoes laced up, my dog leashed up (with baggies), and headed out. This time of year in Texas has been just wonderful. It's cold in the mornings (but not too cold), sunny, and absolutely no humidity. Unfortunately, every man, woman, and child (by child I mean dog) was out at the park, too. It was packed and reminded me of Memorial Park.

Did I mention it has been awhile for Remi and I? This meant Remi forgot a lot of his training to be a good boy, but he's gotten better with other dogs since I have taken him to the water park.

Does it look like he's smirking?
We started out slow and easy, with a little walking and then to the running. Okay, it was a light jog. At first, my stomach was sore and tender and I could feel it in every bounce. However, within a couple of minutes, it went away and I didn't really feel it anymore. It was so good to get out there, although my mind wasn't calm. I kept thinking about when I should stop and if I was pushing myself too much, too soon. I also noticed that my foot thing only hurt during the walks, but not too bad. So, I worked on heel striking, which eliminated a great deal of the pain.

I read another blog and she has the same weird and mysterious foot thing in the exact same foot. I'm no longer convinced this is not running related. Sad face.

Remi was so out of shape; he was worse than me. Poor doggie. Finally, I could see he was struggling and I made the decision to walk more. But I'm proud to say that I made it over half the 1.5 mile loop around without stopping. Remington was just wore out at the end.

Mom, I am so over this whole running thing.
I was also so excited to try my new Garmin Forerunner 110 watch for the first time. I got it pretty much at the time of my mysterious foot injury and never really used it for running. This watch is for the most part comfortable and easy to use once you figure out how to use it. It's weird, I am a Technical Writer and required to love all new technology. However, I think sometimes that I'm an old man from the 20s trapped in a 34 year old woman's body. I held on to my Blackberry for as long as I could, because I hate the finger screen tapping. It took forever for me to get an iPad and I still don't use it to the full extent. I was finally forced (mother...cough...mother) to get a Kindle a couple of months ago. I can't understand my Nike + iPod app. I long for the days when I could just call up a pizza place and order a small, medium, and large. Okay, that last part doesn't have to do with technology, but you get my drift. I read these instructions (usually done by people that designed the product and from another country) and I don't understand them. Everything is just so simple to use, they say. Just click, click and go. But it isn't that simple. I didn't realize that starting the timer, starts your distance counter, as well. I figured this out halfway in to the run. But once I learned it, I was golden. It gave me all the information I needed. Now, if I can figure out how to properly use the heart rate band thing, then it would be like Heaven. Although, I don't like how you have to risk loading the satellites if you let up on the button every single time you want to turn it on just to view the history (just happened).

According to my watch, I burned 115 calories for 1. 29 miles in 22 minutes. My pace was a slow 16 minutes. I can't complain too much. This was my "dust the cobwebs off" run. It wasn't about speed or distance; it was about being able to run again.

Sunday was World Running Day. I opted out of the virtual registration and run to just do my own run without paying. That's the key here. Some of these runs are getting out of hand with the registration fees. Anyways, I digress.

My day was slammed with things to do and I knew that I could only run in the early early morning. I took the dogs out for a quick bathroom break, laced up my shoes, plugged in my iPod, and got Remi ready to go.

Mom, why are we up so early on a Sunday morning?

Shut up and run!
I decided not to drive up to Hermann Park, but instead just run the 1.5 mile loop around my apartments. I haven't done this in sooooo long. I started out slow and easy and just kept a steady jog. I immediately felt my tummy and the soreness from yesterday's run. It wasn't too bothersome, but it was there enough to let me know not to do this running thing too much. Remi and I rounded the main street and finally walked for a short time before picking up the run again. He was better than yesterday, but he was also sore. I did feel some pain in my knee and my foot hurt more than yesterday. All in all, not only did I feel like that old man from the 20s on the inside, but now on the outside of my body, as well. I felt creaky. I didn't like it. But that didn't matter since I was out there running. Like the day before, it felt good to run.

Must get the lawnmowers. Must get the lawnmowers. Must get the lawnmowers.

I did try to hurry it up since I wanted to beat the incoming storm so I could take out Lady for some ball throwing. It wasn't pretty. I made it home just in time for it to rain all hell down on me.
Oh and this time, I used my watch correctly and I put on the heart rate band. My stats include 1.49 distance, heart rate of 149 (not sure if that's good or not), 257 calories, and a pace of 16.35 minutes. Still not great, but whatever. Cobwebs...GONE!

This brings me to the end of my post and I want to bring up the five things I love about running with my dog.
  1. I have a protector. No matter who or what gets near me, that dog goes in to super alert and watch mode. He doesn't do anything, but he's ready if anyone or anything tries to harm me. This makes me feel safer in the park known for some scary things.
  2. Dogs are great for running when just starting back up again. They don't go hardcore unless you want them to go hardcore. And in my case, Remi would rather run just a bit and walk more. I will have to remind dog owners that your dog is like you. Just because you can run five miles, doesn't mean your dog can run five miles on his or her first time. Be wary of this, especially if you are running in the heat. I remember Lady falling down in the bushes with full on diarrhea, because she overheated.
  3. Remi no longer wants to tear the living soul out of any dog who passes us by on the trail. In fact, I get compliments that he is a good dog, while their yippy dogs are trying to destroy my baby. So, I feel pride when I run with him.
  4. He gives me somebody to just be there with me. I know he can't talk to me, but I like to think he feels my accomplishments. I also give him a high-five or hug at the end of really good run, especially on a sprint.
  5. I get to spend time with Remi alone away from the cat and away from Lady. He loves it and is so appreciative. Remi can get grumpy when he doesn't have his mommy and me time.
However, the two things I hate about running with my dog is the constant stopping. I have to keep an eye on him, otherwise, I'm trying not to fall over him when he cuts me off. I also hate picking up the poop, but it's a necessary evil. Since I changed their eating times to morning, my two dogs are pooping so much in the morning. On our Sunday run, he went through so many baggies before we even got out of the apartments. Then, he pooped again using my last bag. It's not like the park with an abundance of trashcans. So, I had to carry that bag of poop around the entire way. UGH!

My next run is tonight (I think). If not, then for sure all weekend, starting Friday. It looks like I will be trying on some clothes Thursday (shhhh, it's a suprise). I'm looking at running in the turkey trot. Anyone want to join me, hit me up with an email!

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