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Training & treadmills & puppies, oh my!

Whew!  It’s been a quite a week of training and treadmills and puppies.  I might be exaggerating on the training and treadmill parts but the puppy part…that’s been crazy, man.

TRAINING

My half marathon is coming up and my training time is going down.  I’m pretty sure that’s not how the training books describe the training plan at this juncture.  On Labor Day I did an 11 mile run (miracle in my book) and I pretty much thought I was a rock star.  But then I had an epic allergy situation take place for the next few days and I was out of commission.  By Thursday, I was off my game.  I ran out of steam.  In less that a week I felt like I broke the awesome little running habit I formed.  So, what do I do when I need a  little kick in the butt?   I spend some quality time on Pinterest and look at the Health and Fitness page and ooh and ahh at the beautifully fit bodies, the really cool exercise routines and I promise myself that one day I will make that spinach-banana-chia pet-whatever smoothie.  Yum.

TREADMILLS

I got over my “I don’t want to run anymore” mood when I looked at a calendar and counted only 3 more weekends before the half (well, that and the Pinterest fix).  That was a nice tasty dose of reality…just as tasty as that chia pet smoothie, I bet.  Anyway, I tried running outside but the air quality was very poor due to fires in Central WA.   I busted out my trusty inhaler, ditched the outdoor runs and instead did some running on the treadmill.  I even did an 8 mile run.  EIGHT MILES on a treadmill!  Not a lot of interesting scenery but I felt great and was proud that I accomplished that goal.  I made fantastic use of my treadmill time and watched an episode of Rookie Blue, listened a bit to my audio book (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and I came up with a genius idea for treadmill manufacturers.

Instead of a calorie counting feature, there should be a feature that counts how many adult beverages you just earned.  Let me break it down:  Let’s say a glass of white wine is 130 calories.  As you’re running on the treadmill, burning up those calories, an image of a wine glass starts to appear.  As you burn more calories, more of the wine glass image is revealed.  Once you burn 130 calories, your treadmill lights up the entire wine glass image. BAM!  You just earned yourself a guilt free glass of wine. When you burn 260 calories, two wine glasses light up.  Guess who gets two glasses of wine tonight??  And it doesn’t stop at wine.  You can program it for martinis, margaritas, cosmos, whatever floats your boat.  Anyway, I thought it was an amazing idea…Award winning stuff.

PUPPIES

So when I’m not coming up with ways to revolutionize the world of treadmilling (pretty sure that’s not a real word), I am busy with being a puppy mama which leads me to the Whippet Pupdate:  Finn, the whippet puppy, is ridiculous.  We cannot take our eyes off of him for two seconds.  I’m not exaggerating.  We can take our eyes off of him for one second but not two.  He’s crazy fast and just disappears in a flash.  It’s like his super power…We don’t even know how he does it.  One second he’s at your feet, the next second he has vanished into thin air.  Here’s a typical conversation at our house:

Me:  Who’s got Finn?

Husband:  I thought you had him?

Me:  I thought YOU had him!  Garrett!!!  Do you have Finn?

Garrett: What?

Me:  Do you have Finn?

Garrett:  No.  I thought YOU had him.

Me:  Crap.  Where’s Finn??  We gotta find Finn.

This conversation takes place 4 or 5 times a night.  It reminds me of “The Walking Dead” when the adults always lose Karl.  Karl is probably around 9 years old roaming around unsupervised in a land full of ravenous zombies.  He’s the one and only child on the show that the grown ups must keep an eye on but Karl ALWAYS manages to disappear. Seriously grown ups, how can you lose Karl?  If you’re a fan of all things zombies, you’ll love this show.

Anyway, back to Finn…

finnplaying Finn looking playful

finngarden Finn looking thoughtful

finncollar Finn looking just plain adorable

Finn is a great addition to our family but I can’t wait until he’s old enough to start running with me.  Then it will be Slow Girl and really, really fast dog!  He will be the perfect solution to my “I don’t wanna run blues.”

Hello cemetery. So nice to see you!

Seriously.  That’s what I said as I approached the cemetery at the tail end of the longest run of my life (so far).  I thought I was going to die.  It was hot.  It was uphill.  Two hours and 15 minutes had passed since I started the run.   I saw the cemetery and was I so happy.  That cemetery marked the end of my 11 mile run and that’s one heck of an accomplishment for this slow girl.

Earlier this year I decided to finish a half marathon.   I’ve never run before (except maybe as a kid after the ice cream man).  I actually had to Google, “how many miles is a half marathon?”   For some, running a half marathon is not that big of a deal…especially if you’re athletic, in shape, healthy, enjoy sweating and like to exercise.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t any of those at the time I made the half marathon decision.

Slow Girl at the start of 2012: 

  • Athletic – No Way!
  • In shape – I wish.
  • Healthy – Eh, I’d say 50/50.
  • Enjoy sweating – Ew, gross.
  • Like to exercise – Not so much.

Slow Girl on September 3rd, 2012: 

  • Athletic – Not a chance.
  • In shape – Way more so than at the start of the year.
  • Healthy – Yes, I’d say so.  Now I know what quinoa is (and how to pronounce it).
  • Enjoy sweating – Ew, gross.
  • Like to exercise – Well, I secretly enjoy it now but I don’t admit it to myself until it’s over.

I made the half marathon decision for several reasons:

  1. It sounded challenging and I was up for a good challenge.  Can the ultimate hater of running actually run 13.1 miles?  No.  That’s why I follow Jeff Galloway’s run-walk method.  Run, then walk a little.  Run, then walk a little.  Repeat over and over and over.  Totally works for me.
  2. My sister did it and I was proud of her.  I wanted to do it to and be proud of myself.
  3. I was pretty sure some cute running clothes would be involved.
  4. I wanted to prove that I could stick to a fitness plan that would help me achieve a fitness goal.
  5. I hoped that maybe my body would morph into abs, buns, legs and arms of steel (sadly, this has not happened yet).
  6. It was a great way to be one with nature.  OK, reason 6 is crap but at least my body scored a tiny bit of a tan.
  7. I thought maybe I could learn a little something about myself.   All that alone time might give me the opportunity to be introspective.  OR  I could use that precious time trying to figure out the lyrics to all the songs on my running playlist.  Guess how I spend my time?
  8. I wanted to set a good example for my son.  I wanted to start something, work hard at it and succeed in the end.

So there we go.  Eight really compelling reasons I decided to train for and finish a half marathon, which by the way, is October 14th.  I’m actually getting a little nervous even though I ran the 11 miles with no problem (except for the part where I wanted to stop and cry a little).  Thankfully, my husband and son accompanied me (on their bikes) and cheered me on so I had to suck it up and be brave for them.  I wish they could be with me the day of the half marathon.

I’m supposed to do a couple of long runs between now and the half  but I’m having trouble convincing myself that I need to schedule a 14 mile run before the half marathon.  Seems like that would suck the thrill right out of crossing the finish line.  So, I decided to deviate from the master training plan and just do another 11 mile run.  If I can do 11, I can do 13.1, right?

I can do this.  I can do this. I can do this!