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, July 31, 2007

Just checking in.

Got the first week's run in. Nothing to write home about. 4.25 miles. Forgot to set my watch so no time, but it was slow. It was a little bit cooler and less humid this morning so it was more comfortable for Cosmo. When we got home, I took Wil and T, our greyhound guests for a few days, out for a short one mile+ run. They both have an inordinate amount of energy for adult greyhounds and it tired them out for a few hours. It is going to be a challenge to get two more 4.25 runs in before Saturday. Weather forecast is for hot, hot, hot.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Week's end

Thank goodness. We did get all the scheduled miles in for this week - some slower than others. Cosmo had an "I don't wanna run" epiphany on Friday.
Okay, every dog is entitled to a couple :-) I sure have plenty of them so I am not going to begrudge him his.

Our weekend run scheduled was for 5.5 miles. Usually we run on Saturday morning but I pushed it back to Sunday because Bridget and I spent most of Saturday at the Grapehounds event about an hour and a half away. We went to sell cupcakes (not many sold - who the heck wants to buy cupcakes when there is plenty of booze around and it is 90 degrees?) and to support Jen who was vending her art. She did awesome - her linocuts really seemed to strike a chord with attendees.

So back to running. This morning, I wasn't expecting to take Cosmo. I wanted to give him some more rest days and it was hot and muggy. 85 degrees on my home thermometer at 8:30 am. But I spent all morning listening to this:

I love it how he whines and then looks away as if to say, "I am so disappointed I can barely stand the sight of you" So I am not proud to say I crumbled and decided to take him and see how it went.

Within the first quarter mile when I was scooping Cosmo's usual start-to-run-poop, we saw Bill coming down the path. First thing he said, as he gave me a meaningful look was, 'It is pretty hot'. But we had taken this into account and made some change in plans. The initial dogless plan was to run the out and back loop for 4 miles and then cross the bridge and run on the east trail for .75 and double back to the starting point for the complete 5.5. Instead, we ran the 4 mile loop and then doubled back on it for .75 and back for our total because it was shaded and the east trail isn't. I put a cooler of water at our start/4 mile/finish point. We walked for 2 minutes at every mile marker. I also (for the first time ever) ran carrying a water bottle which I used to douse Momo's ears, underarms, inside of his thighs and belly at every walk point. At about the two mile mark (exactly where he stopped on Friday) he stopped and just stood in the shade. I thought for sure we were going to have to walk back and call it quits. But after a water dousing and his two minute walk he was ready to go again. He seemed to hit his stride and comfort level at this point and didn't really want to take the last two walk breaks but I made him. He did his little biting/mouthing my hand to try to get me to get going again.

Considering the walk and dousing breaks, we still did a 12 m/m. It was hard though, and I was tired for the last 2 miles or so. Makes me wonder how I will be able to do 13.1 or even 6.2 if I get this tired over 5.5.

Friday, July 27, 2007

When you run with a dog.....

The dog rules the run.

Today - 4 miles, 15 minute/mile pace. It was warm and humid but not THAT warm and humid, or so I thought. Cosmo thought differently. Especially at about the 2.25 mile mark. He stopped, didn't want to run. So we walked the 1.75 back to make our 4 miles.

I don't know why he stopped. Maybe he just didn't want to run today. Maybe he thought it was too hot, or he was too tired. He did eat a huge dinner last night and maybe that was why. In any event, when Cosmo doesn't want to run, Cosmo doesn't have to run. Cosmo rules our runs :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mixed Bag

First, the runs:

Saturday, 5 miles. 11:25 pace. Very happy with that. Run felt good all around. Sue did great. I left my tunes in the car so Bridget stayed with us and chatted the whole way. I was anxious and preoccupied with the upcoming wedding so I was distracted and not focusing on my misery as I usually do. Yeah, how hardcore are we? The husband, the wife and me all out for our weekly long run 3 hours before the ceremony. LOL

Monday, 3.75 miles. 10:44 pace. A PB for us this year at this distance. Felt pretty good.

Wednesday, 3.75 miles. 11:26 pace. Death march. Just was not a good run. No need to say anything else.

Thursday (technically Friday's run), 3.75 miles. 11:14 pace. Yeah, a little faster than yesterday. Of course, WE WALKED TWICE FOR A MINUTE EACH YESTERDAY.... It is very, very humid today which didn't help. Neither W or I are great 'two days in a row' runners. I overslept so couldn't stick to my coffee, water, brekkie, bathroom routine. On the plus, we didn't walk today although I really, really wanted to. Since I have broken down and walked a few times in the last week, it has been like a dam has broken. All I can think about now when I am out running, is how much I just want to stop and walk. Unlike previous runs, there was no reason to take a walk break today - heartrate and breathing felt fine. I was just tired and didn't want to run.

We are leaving Friday for a long weekend in Lake Placid, camping and watching the IM, hence Friday's run today. There are four of us humans and 5 greyhounds going up. This will be B's first camping trip, yeehaw! One, maybe two of us might be OTR, so B is worried about bear attacks :-)

Our training schedule calls for 5.25 on Saturday so we are going to get up early and run the route around Mirror Lake twice. It is about 5.5 miles. I am so looking forward to that - it is so pretty. I am hoping a change of scenery and locale might give some joie de vivre back into my running routine. Of course, with the race the next day, I know the village is going to be full of IM triathletes so I am prepared to look like a dork, huffing and puffing. I should probably put a sign on my back, saying, "I am NOT racing tomorrow!"

Wedding. The source of lots of anxiety for me Friday and Saturday morning. During the run, I had this song stuck in my head (that was why not having my tunes wasn't a big deal- this was looping through my brain!)

Of course, my brain version was with a Cockney accent but I chose this one because we are going to see Brian Setzer in November.
The vow renewals all went off without a hitch. Bill and Andrew looked very dashing in their suits.

The Happy Couple:

My wedding present for the happy couple; wedding tiered cupcakes:

Jen got them a six pack of beer. What can I say? Alcohol and huge amounts of sugar, fat and starch for wedding presents. We are way too classy :-)
The ceremony was great - very lowkey. Their priest was just as funny and nice, as they said he was. His dog, Danny Boy, was present during the ceremony. It doesn't seem as though he was impressed all that much.

We also had the vegan brunch on Sunday. Frankly, I am too tired and lazy to write much about it and post the pictures. You can read about here (much better writing than I am capable of too!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Slap me with a pardon*** and call me Scooter

Pardon from what, you might ask? A pardon from the oppressive heat and a string of 11's in my training sidebar. The weather broke a day or two ago and it is downright breezy and cool - high 60's for this morning's run. Cosmo, after my imposed hiatus, joined me. No W or T. She took off on a last minute FL roadtrip and won't be back until Sunday (she did promise to get her runs in).

We did the first mile at 10:56. Don't remember the other splits but our overall pace was 10:47. I do know that twice, once at the 2.5 mile mark and again at the 3 mile mark, we slowed down considerably. I was feeling tired and thought it would be better to slow down than walk. I am very happy to see the return of a 10 in my sidebar, after that streak of 11's. Tomorrow is a 5 mile slow run so it won't be joined by another 10 but that is okay :-)

So, with the best of intentions, here is what my schedule will look like for the rest of the summer, up to the Bud 10k (the red 6.2)

Now, I am 'Scoot'-ing off to make some wedding cupcakes. Seems like someone is getting married tomorrow.......

***Yeah, I know it technically wasn't a pardon but still.......

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ode to Cosmo and Bridget

They comprise a Mutual Admiration Society. She thinks he is hilarious because he sleeps in our closet when he is upset.

Seriously, a few years ago, we went on a trip somewhere and left the dogs in the care of the semi-grown children. After two days, I had to call Bridg and tell her to get over and get Cosmo. He hadn't come out of the bathroom or eaten in two days. She went over, got him, hauled his bed up to their bathroom and he spent the rest of our absence eating and happy.

He loves her because she talks to him in squeaky-eaky voices, kisses his teeth and gooses his bottom. Oh, and she doesn't mind that he sheds white hair all over her. It is true love.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

If prodigal son #1 ever has his life story written, that should be the title.

My niece was in town last week from NC. We were all getting together last Friday up at my sister's to visit her. Numerous phone calls to prodigal son #1 from both me and his aunt went unanswered. I didn't think anything of it. I figured he had taken off some place. I only hoped he had told someone where he was going, because he sure didn't tell me! His aunt was a little more offended. She has known the kid his whole life but I guess she really doesn't know him all that well.

As we were leaving Friday, literally walking out the door, my phone rings. It is the boy.

Me: Where are you?
Him: At the bowling alley up the road.
Me: What? Why?
Him: It is where this dude dropped me off.
Me: What 'dude'? And why there?
Him: He was giving me a ride and he dropped me at the thruway exit.
Me: Oh never mind. Just stay there and we will pick you up. We are going up to see the family and you are coming with us.
Him: Oh good. And also, grab some clean clothes for me.
Me: What? Why?
Him: I haven't changed my clothes or showered in 8 days.
Me: What the??? Don't move. We will be right there.

Turns out the boy headed out 8 days earlier, took a bus to Lake Placid and hiked the Lake Placid-Northville Trail. 133 miles. In 8 days. Most websites say to plan on 13 to 19 days. The boy did it in 8, even after only making 6 miles the first two days due to getting a late start and then losing the trail markers and having to back track.

Twice, where the trail intersects a road, he decided to head into the nearest villages to score some food. Both times he was picked up immediately by people driving by. When he finished the trail, he was sitting on a park bench in Northville, trying to figure out what he was going to do and how he was going to get home. A guy stopped and started chatting him up. Turns out he was heading to Buffalo for a civil war enactment and was happy to give the boy a 3 hour ride home.

The kindness of strangers....... This is the same kid who called me from Washington State last year.
Me: Where are you?
Him: I'm in **** (some little town).
Me: What are you doing there?
Him: Staying with *****
Me: Who are they? How do you know them?
Him: They picked me up hitch hiking and offered me a place to stay for a few days.
Me: Wha...Why... What the heck?
Him: Yeah, I am going to be moving on today though.

This is the same kid who, after dining with some buddies, would go to pay their bill, only to be told it had already been picked up by someone.

When his life story is written, I bet it will be one interesting read.

Monday, July 09, 2007

It just keeps getting hotter and hotter

Today: Hot and muggy. When I got home from my run at 10:45, it was already 92 on my *shaded* thermometer!


After all my kvetching about the weather this past spring, I am not going to complain but it does make running a challenge - I am not a hot weather runner.

Today was a solo run. Even sans Cosmo. Just way too hot for the boyo. I was out at about 9:30 and did 3.75. A little background first. I drink coffee every morning. Only one cup. I used to drink lots. Lots as in if I didn't get my coffee I was practically incapciated from the headaches. I used to try to cut back but I never could do it. Then I got the shingles - facial shingles. I was in pain the likes that I thought my brain was melting. I used that episode to break the coffee addiction. The codeine and vicodin I was prescibed helped :-) When the shingles episode was over, I went back to coffee but only one 6 oz cup a day. In the two years since then, I have only violated the one cup rule once. So, this morning, I drank my coffee, ate some blueberries and drank 8 ounces of water. I visited the little girls room several times before I left. That's the setup to this run's story.

I arrive at the park and as I am getting out of the car, I think, "hmmmmmmm, I have to pee." "Nonsense", I say to myself. "You went 3 times at home. Once you start running all the liquid in your bladder will be absorbed out as sweat and you will be fine." That is a little fact that W has told me at the starting line of almost every race we have done. I don't think it is true but the predictability of her saying it does calm me.

First mile was 10:50 (good). Crossed the second mile mark at 21:50 (okay). Three miles, 33:10 (eh, *shrugs* it WAS hot). Right after the third mile mark, the urge to pee comes again. Strongly. So strong as in I start cursing the three children I gave birth to and the havoc they have wrecked upon my body that no amount of kegel exercises can repair. I stop and walk an upper thigh clenching 15 feet until the urge subsides. I think about heading into the woods but the trail is popular, I was alone and there is an awful lot of poison ivy. So I start running again. The urge comes again. Again, I walk about 15 feet. This time, however, the urge only slightly subsides. I finish the run very slowly, clenching those upper thighs, my pride intact and my panties dry but only just barely. Pace was 11:18 but gosh darn it, those miles were dry!

When I got home, Cosmo met me at the door and sniffed me all over. I felt like a husband returning from a business trip and being checked by the wifey for the scent of perfume and traces of lipstick. I failed. Cosmo looked at me like the unfaithful cheater I am and spent most of the day giving me accusatory looks and making his displeasure known.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

No wailing or gnashing of teeth

Yeah, today's pace was a slow 11:40 but I am cool with that. It was a Saturday run so we go longer but slower. I ran with Sue and to start, I felt very tired, my legs fatigued. We hit the 3 mile mark at 11:20/mile so that was pretty cool and then Sue hit a wall. *coughcoughgetthosemidweekrunsinSue!coughcough* We walked for about 100 feet, enough time for her heart rate to drop and breathing to regulate and then started running again. We were slow - our pace slowed enough that Cosmo was giving both of us looks. But the little walk break was just enough of what she needed to keep going and she ended up doing 4.25 and I ran 4.5. No speed records but damn, after a rocky start, I felt good and could have kept going and going. Only slight psychological twinge might be that B finished her 5 miles before I finished my 4.5 but hey, I stopped to scoop poop - twice. What can I say? When the boy has to go, he has to go.

Weekly mileage total? A nice and even 15 miles. I found a calorie counting site that says those 15 miles have burned 1,605 calories. Works out to a whole whooping half a pound folks! That is if I didn't come home and take a nap after every run and stuff my face. Pass me that cupcake! Shooting for 16.25 next week. Good times people, good times.

Friday, July 06, 2007


As Bridg would say, 'What the f*ck?"

As Jen would say, "Ha, ha"

As Bazu would say, "Snap!"

I hear all that and more when I screw up.

And today's run was a screw up.

I guess the one thing that always stands true for running is that it will keep you humble. Our times (pathetic as they are) have been dropping consistently the past couple of weeks. I even had a moment the other day when I thought, maybe I was finally getting 'it' and making some progress.

Initially I thought I was going to run only with Cosmo today because W had plans to go out of town. Then her plans changed....woohoo! I was very happy. Then her plans changed again and she was leaving. I started dreading the run immediately.

I whined to my husband about running alone.

He told me I still had Cosmo to run with but he knew. He knows me too well. His eyes couldn't meet mine when he said that, his shoulders slumped and he sighed deeply.

My time was a good 20 seconds/mile off from what we had been doing. I actually walked about 100 feet at the 2.5 mile mark. Cosmo was pulling at the end of his leash, spinning around looking at me, wondering what the heck was going on. The last half mile, he actually stayed right at my side, occasionally grabbing my hand with his mouth to keep me going.

I can come up with lots of reasons for the crappy showing. Lack of sleep. Lack of water. Lousy breakfast (6 chunks of canteloupe and a cup of coffee). Stiff breeze on the return. The reality is I psyched myself out.


Forgive me, Jen

I can't believe I am doing this. This will be responsible for Jen throwing the NY dirt off her feet once and for all, I know it.

But, anyways, here it is. Just for you, Katy :-)


And this one is a fav. Nice example of Billy's acting chops.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Check it out

My training sidebar, that is. My last four runs have all been between a 10:53 and 10:47/mile. Yeah, I know. I am slow. But the real story here is that on all of those runs our first mile timed out right about 10:50-10:55. What that means is that W and I, with the two dogs, have been able to hold our pace. Big deal, you say? Well, considering the fact that pace has never been a strong point with me - I was always one of those finishing races like the walking wounded on a death march - it is big. It's HUGE, Tommy, HUUUUUGE! And let's face it. When you are as slow as I am, you have to spin whatever you can as progress :-)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Going the distance with a dog

IHT, with this post about her goals and increasing her running distance with her dog, has gotten me to really think about how far I plan to run with Cosmo. W and I have discussed it a few times while running but as we start to really increase our distance, it is something I seriously have to consider. So far, the boy is the picture of health - his feet and pads (a little obsession of mine as we run on asphalt sometimes) are perfect, so says the vet. His heart is strong and solid. After runs, he is tired but he is never stiff or slow moving (unlike me!).

The problem is he loves to run and would probably run himself into the ground before stopping. It goes without saying that is unacceptable. I know he can do 5/6 miles if the weather is cool enough. Can he go longer? Can he do 8 or 9 miles or even longer? I know there is a distance where humans have to start taking in calories to keep going. I assume the same would be true for Momo.

Of course, internet searches have turned up almost nil in the information department - just lists of distress signs you should watch for. Yeah, I don't want to wait to see my dog distressed before I stop him. Just how far can Cosmo go?


Am I the only person who has been unable to slog my way through this book? I think I might just have to put it on my unreadable list right behind Under The Volcano.