Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Search thoughts

The SOP for greyhound searches is plaster the areas with flyers. The thought is that searchers cannot cover the amount of ground necessary to keep up with a moving greyhound. Most greyhounds stay within a 2 mile area but that works out to be what? 12 square miles? Maybe more? Shoot, where is the actuary husband when you need some math done? In any event, it is a huge area.

When there is that much ground to cover, you need other people looking. And not so much that they are *actively* looking or searching but you want to plant the idea in people's minds that there is a lost dog in the area. So that if they happen, on their way into work or the grocery store 5 days later, to see a dog crossing the street, they think to themselves, "didn't I see a flyer a few days ago about a dog lost? Maybe that was the dog. When I get home, I will see if I can find the flyer and give those people a call".

In urban areas, this strategy has worked extremely well. We followed the same plan on the search for Mercedes but I really didn't know if it would work as well. We were in a very rural area with a fairly low population density. On some roads, there was easily a half mile or more between houses. There were lots of wooded tracts, farm fields and hunting trails crisscrossing hundreds of acres. There was a lot of area she could have been in that no one would have ever saw her. I didn't think we would be getting many calls or that many people would see her.

So what happened? We got calls. People were seeing her and they were calling. How was she found? A woman called, said she was looking at her in her backyard, right then and there. The family was able to get there within minutes and recover Mercedes.

Flyers do work - even in extremely rural areas. Nice bit of anecdotal validation there for the flyer theory :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 3

Dog found :-)

She is home, safe and sound with some owners that are positively sick with relief. Tough, tough way to learn a lesson. They are so, so very lucky.....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lost dog

The end of Day 2.

I hate this, just absolutely hate it....

Part of my angst is I just don't want to search. Riding home tonight with B, I just prayed over and over that they would find the dog tomorrow morning. I don't want to drive over an hour roundtrip. I have other ways I would like to spend my time. I just don't want to be doing this right now. But I have to search for this dog because these people decided to let their greyhounds run loose. Their greyhounds were different - they wouldn't run off. If I had my way, when this dog is recovered, she wouldn't be going back to them. Unfortunately, their adoption group is defunct and I have no say in the matter but I do wish someone would be the voice for this dog.

I can't quite get a handle on the owners - they were ready to write her off as dead ("she ran until she had a heart attack") within 4 hours of her being gone. I am trying to be nice and pleasant to them but I can hardly look at them. My disgust for them is simmering so close to the surface, I try not to have much to do with them. They knowingly and habitually let their 9 year old, spooky greyhound run free. But they thought, she was different than other greyhounds. They could trust her. Yeah, whatever. This is that girl's second night out alone and it is going to get down below 40 degrees tonight. They will be warm, safe and comfortable in bed. As someone said, they might as well as just stuck the needle in her leg themselves and killed her. Harsh, yeah, but undeniably true. Greyhounds can NEVER (and never means no exceptions) be off leash.

The girl is shy and isn't going to be coming to people. I got to within about 100-150 feet of her and she wasn't having anything to do that. She wasn't interested in Cosmo. I tried 'finessing' her to us by ignoring her, yawning, playing with Cosmo, sitting down - none of it worked. We might end up having to trap her.

Yeah, I am a little pissed. I spent 20 minutes tending to Cosmo's feet this evening. Several miles through wet, cut hayfields can be brutal on greyhound feet. That dog is a trooper - he was 100% game tonight.

Tons of flyers are out - they are usually the best way to find dogs. Unfortunately, when I did see this gal, she was about .5 mile from the nearest house and the main road (I am estimating that distance from the time it took me to get back to the farm - and at one point, when we lost sight of her over a hill, Cosmo and I were booking - we were going flat out. I mean, you know how I usually say when I run with Cosmo, his pace to keep up with me is just a brisk walk? Well, he was running this time.)

We are lucky in that we have a community that is willing to come together and search for dogs. And within that community, we have a few really determined, stubborn people who won't stop looking. If they have no success tomorrow morning, Cosmo and I will be out there, walking miles through the fields, looking for this dog. Because it isn't her fault she is out there.

Just venting here.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just when I start to feel all warm and fuzzy about the human race, I come across this. Are people freaking insane? The human race sucks. I am beginning to think I need to climb aboard the Anthony Bourdain environmental train.

I'm a radical environmentalist; I think the sooner we asphyxiate in our own filth, the better. The world will do better without us. Maybe some fuzzy animals will go with us, but there'll be plenty of other animals, and they'll be back. The world will do better without us, when the blight of humanity is removed.

The blight of humanity indeed.

In other news, after rest, ice and massage, the hamstring is a little better - it doesn't hurt when I walk.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who's your candidate?

Found this on a running forum and thought it was fun:

Turns out I am 100% Kucinich. That surprised me. Not that his name came up but the 100% part of it.

The ensuing discussion on the running forum dealt with people being surprised with who they matched with and the whole issue of do you vote for who you think will have a chance to win or do you vote for you support?

I had a discussion many years ago with a former boss who told me I 'threw away' and 'wasted' my vote by casting it for Nader. I asked him why and he replied because Nader had no chance to win. Sorry boss. I vote for who I think is best and I don't consider it 'throwing away' my vote. This is really ringing true to me this election cycle where it seems the press is already shoving a couple annoited candidates down our throat. I mean, for crying out loud, if it wasn't for Bill Maher, poor Ron Paul wouldn't get a lick of press. I thought we chose, not the press.

Hamstrung by my hamstring

I did a four mile run this morning and now I am sitting on a bag of ice. My left hamstring has been iffy lately and today just did it in. No one to blame but myself.....I had a sneaking suspicion that this was a possibility. I hate to stretch. I hate to warm up. I hate to strength train. So the chickens have come home to roost. It's a regimen of ice and ibuprofen for me and no hamstring exercises for a few days. Oh, yeah, I guess I will have to stretch also :-( Only good thing is I came across a video for hamstring injury massage. Will have to get A to do that for me - you know, in the interest of complete clinical recovery.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fickle is catching

Jen isn't the only one I would apply the term fickle to today. (And for the record, I might tell her she is fickle but I really suspect she is one of those talented, creative type people that just isn't bound by pedestrian habits like the rest of us).

I have one 'feel good' run and I sign up for a half marathon. Today, I have one struggling run and I want to apply for a refund. LOL

The initial plan was to run 6.5 miles around my house this morning with W. #2 son came home from an overnight shift and said we would be nuts to run on the roads - the visibility was very poor due to fog. So we shifted our locale to the park and I brought Cosmo. We were going to do a run 9, walk 1.

In my quest to lose weight and increase my fitness for the half training, I took a weight lifting class, taught by a friend, JP, at the Y yesterday afternoon. The first weights I have lifted in about 6 months! I told JP I would go on the condition that we do NO walking lunges and she takes it pretty easy. I stuck with very light weights too. I didn't feel too bad after the class or even early this morning. Then I ran this morning and immediately I could tell I was approaching 'over done'. My inner thighs - which I never notice while running, but we did lots of plie type squats yesterday - were screaming within the first mile. My hamstrings felt shredded and I just felt tired the whole way. W wasn't feeling 100% as she hadn't run in about a week so we ended up doing 5.5 miles very, very slow.

I know if I stick with the class, I will get used to it quickly and it will benefit my running. However, right now, it hurts to walk and I have no idea how I will be able to teach a 45 minute cycle class tonight. Should be interesting.

And no. I am not going to ask for a refund but the thought seriously crossed by mind at about mile 4.5!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Deep Breaths

I am trying not to hyperventilate. I have done it. There is no turning back. I just registered for this. Amazing what the first half decent run in 6 weeks (see previous entry!) makes you think you can do :-)

Woohoo! April 27, 2008.

Why this race?

1) I wanted an early/spring race.
2) It is an 3.5 hour drive from home.
3) W agreed to run this one - you didn't think there was any way I would run by myself, did you? Now just to get B & B to run it.........Mwahhahahahahah!
4) 10 bands along the route! I am big on anything that has the potential to distract me from my misery.
5) We will run through a covered bridge! How cool is that? A COVERED BRIDGE!
6) Post race lunch includes Vegetarian Vegetable & Mini Perogie Soup and Vegetarian Sausage Sandwiches. Oh, I am so there!
7) It's a big race and we shouldn't be DFL (not that there's anything wrong with that - I HAVE been last before. The sun still comes up the next day.....)

The plan is to do a 16 week training program for it starting the first part of January. And to lose 15 pounds before starting. Ha ha. I can't even read that sentence with laughing out loud at the hopeful absurdity of it.


I feel like I had a out of body experience. Today's run. W cancelled because of a work commitment so it was Cosmo and I at the park trail. I wasn't sure what my distance would be....3....3.5.....maybe even 4. I was going to play it by ear. Also thought I might throw in a few walking breaks. I really didn't expect much. We started off and hit the first mile at about 10:40. Huh. I thought that we would wait and see how things were lying at the 1.5 mark and maybe turn around there. Hit the 1.5, felt pretty good. Actually, I felt better than pretty good so on we went. I figured if I wanted to, we could walk a minute or so at the 2 mile mark. Got to the 2 mile mark at 21:30 AND I still felt pretty good. I was starting to fret a little by now. After all, it has been a long, long time since I have run and felt good. Specifically, 9/5. That was before I got sick and the last time I clocked a sub 11 mile for a run. On we went, hitting the 3 mile mark under 33, so I decided to go for it. Cosmo, who had been trotting along by my side the whole way, seemed to realize that things were looking up and he picked it up. He trotted (it is really unfair to call his pace a 'run' when he is with me. It is practically a fast walk) up in front of me and stayed there the whole last mile. You could tell he was happy, he was all perky and prancy.

The final verdict? 43:22, 4 miles, 10:50 mile pace. It felt so good, I am a little scared.