Sunday, April 24, 2011


Oh, life is busy.

I've got 12 days until the half marathon.  I ran 10 miles on Friday, my first double digit run.  It went better than I thought, and was encouraging for the race coming up.  My knees were incredibly sore for the rest of the day, and I'm not sure my legs have ever felt the way they did when I was finished... I had to have B come pick me up after I hit the 10 mile mark.  My muscles are still sore today, but much better.

M has had a rough week.  Been to the vet twice, and on 4 different pills right now.  Long story short, we're treating her as if she has Lyme disease (she tested positive for Lyme exposure a few weeks ago and 90% of dogs that test positive for exposure never show any symptoms) since there is no way to confirm if her symptoms are from Lyme, and she seems to be getting better - which would make us, and the vet, conclude that's the issue.  Fingers crossed, she'll continue to get better and be back 100% to her normal self.

Work is crazy.  School is ramping up, with only about 7 weeks until I'm D-O-N-E.

Lately it's felt like my brain and body haven't been connected.

Like when I faxed myself 54 blank pages (aka upside-down in the fax machine)
Or when I thought something was wrong with the truck because it was hot on my feet.  It's okay - it was just the heat.

Playing catch up on life is exhausting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

T minus 1 month

1 month from today I will be able to say I finished my first half marathon. (um, I better be able to say it!)

I'm in surprisingly good shape - as in no real injuries *knocks on wood*.  I have some sore legs, my knees act up, and I get shoulder pains. But its nothing I haven't been able to fight through.

My longest single run so far has been 7.3 miles.  I have an 8, 9, 11, and 10 left before the race.  My highest weekly mileage has been 20, which included two long runs.  Provided I complete my 5 miles tomorrow and 8 on Sunday, this week will be 23.  And the remaining weeks will increase from there.  Hopefully my body can handle it.

I've been using the Garmin B got me for my birthday for all of my runs and its amazing.... I just haven't been able to fully utilize all the features yet (the heart rate monitor, pace alarms, etc.).  Hopefully I'll find myself from free time to figure that out soon, but I'm not holding my breath.

My sneakers have about 240 miles on them.  I got them last July, but haven't been running consistently.  The rule of thumb is 300-500 miles.  Having worked in a sports shoe store (no literally, it was called Sportshoe Center) and knowing how important the right shoe, and replacing that shoe at the appropriate time is, I'm starting to panic a little.  Because I'll be over 300 miles by the race.  But you shouldn't wear brand news shoes (or anything) at a race.  So, I think I have to cough up the dough so I can run in them for a few weeks prior.  And then I can just switch back and forth for a while until my current shoes turn into my dog walking, mud, gardening, everyday sneakers.

Since I'm cheap, and picky, I have to try and find my current shoes in my size, on sale somewhere.  They came out with new ones, and the color choices are all ugly.  Which stinks, because looking good is clearly the most important part of running.

My fundraising is going awesome.  I have some very generous people in my life, that I am very grateful too! (Oh, and if you'd like to be one of them, go for it!) (Is it tacky that I just linked that twice? Yes? Oh well.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Old Dog, New Tricks

To quote a friend from the other day "I love my dogs more than I love most people."

It's true. M isn't like a part of our family, she IS a part of our family.  She's adorable and fantastic and wonderful.

90% of the time.

The other 10% of the time... she's possessed by some doggie devil.  Like on walks when she slows down, and then runs as fast as she can to the end of her (8ft) leash, flying in the air and yelping.  Or when we have people over for dinner and she's trying to crawl in their laps or barking until someone pays attention to her.  Or, the worst is the mailman.  She has destroyed the trim around our bay window from her daily freakouts when he arrives.

She's been to basic obedience, clicker off lead training, and achieved her canine good citizen certificate.  She took over a years worth of agility classes, and probably could have competed and done well if we had the time, desire, and money.

Yet, she can't walk on a leash. She begs. And she hates anyone that delivers things (this is not limited to the mailman, she hates UPS and Fedex men as well, even if she just sees that brown truck drive by.... and one day she flipped out when the neighbors got a delivery from Lowe's.)

I can't tackle it all in a day, these are learned behaviors we have let go on far too long.  And its time to get this dog in line.  And trust me, it's not her fault - it is entirely ours for letting it happen.  Because you guys, she is SO smart.  Incredibly smart.  As I said, she could have competed in agility.  She knows her different toys by name.  We taught her "paw" in 5 minutes - using peanuts.  Teaching this "old dog" (she's 4... she's not really that old anyway) new tricks is totally possible on her part, we just need to be consistent and make it happen.

My first mission...I hate the thought that the people we walk by in the neighborhood probably think she's some vicious beast, foaming at the mouth with red eyes.  I long to take her for a walk without my arm being pulled out of its socket because a leaf blew across the road.

Today was day one of Mission: Please Walk Normal.  I broke out the 'clicker' we used to use in training.  (There's a whole bunch out there on the internet on clicker training for dogs, and I believe it is also used in horse training.)  And I threw a stick of string cheese in my pocket.

It started out okay.  But the loop we do gets progressively worse - with other dogs, people, and memories of bad experiences.  The first test came when a woman, her daughter, and their dog were walking towards us, but taking a side street.  I made her sit.  It took about 10 tries, and me shoving the cheese in her face to show her she'd actually get something if she listened. (At home, she'll sit on command 98% of the time.)  I used the "with me" command we learned in obedience classes.  I don't know if she remembered or not, but I tried to reward her each time she walked with some slack on the leash.

There's a house with two dogs that always, whether they're inside or out, always bark at her.  And she always flips out.  Armed with my string cheese, we were able to get by - them barking away AND a cable guy in the driveway - with minimal incident.  She was very alert and pulled some, but she didn't bark back.  I'll take it as a victory.

The worst is a house about 5 down from ours.  They have these obnoxious little dogs that have chased us down the street more than once, and there were kids out in the driveway today too.  I spent a good five minutes getting her to sit and stay, to try and calm her as we approached.

She gets this crazy look in her eyes, like she's looking right past me, even with cheese in her face.  We struggled on the side of the road for a while, me likely looking like an idiot, her whining trying to see around me and not keeping her butt on the ground like I asked her to.

Eventually she got the sit, and she got the stay.  There was a lot of pulling as we walked by, but no barking, and no crazy weird jumping straight up in the air at the end of her leash like she's famous for around these parts.

We played the sit and stay game while I opened the garage and the house door.  She did great then.

I'm sure to onlookers she still looked crazy.  But trust me, it was a huge improvement for one day of effort.  She's still pulling, and I have to distract her from other dogs/people/squirrels/objects.  But its better, and I'll take it.

One day at a time.  She's lucky she's so darn cute.
(Yes, that's from last summer. It is no where near warm enough for that yet. 
 Yes, her and I are both anxious for it to be that warm again soon.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

March 2011: Rewind

I'm glad for March to be over.  And for the reason, I'm going to make this a quick post.

B's Gram passed away on the 22nd, after several weeks of being in the hospital.  It's been a very difficult time for the family, a lot of reminiscing, which is painful, but there was laughter as well as stories were exchanged and pictures sorted through.  It's been draining, and exhausting, etc.  She is already greatly missed.


My training is still going well for running.  Have really upped the mileage over the last two months and my legs are feeling it, but I've been able to stay away from any injuries, just the typical aches and pains.  In March I ran 44 miles and did 17 miles on the elliptical for a total of 61 miles (February was 52 miles).  I did miss a few runs last week due to circumstances, but luckily I don't think I lost much, if any, of my endurance from the training I've done so far.  Only 33 days left!!  I've had a few tough runs lately, so just trying to push through the next few runs and hopefully be back on track.

Also, I've started my last term of grad school!  As of today, only 10 weeks until I am DONE with school!

Getting back to routine, which will hopefully include more frequent posts, especially since we're going to be working on some little project around the house that I hope to share soon.