The things you learn…

Posted: 11/08/2012 in Uncategorized

 So, this not-so-little thing showed up in my life the other week:


Dogsitting for a friend. A combination of helping a friend, getting my lab-mix a playmate for the week, and testing the waters on getting a second dog again (we had a German-Shepherd mix we lost to cancer in March).

Also, a 5-mile a day walking assignment.

Whoever owned this little cutie before my friend took custody of her NEVER exercised the little power-eater and she was OBESE for dog. Like, could barely reach herself to take care of her own little doggy grooming needs if you catch my drift. Obese.  So my friend had been walking the dog 5-miles a day to help her get healthy, and thereby, hopefully up her odds of finding a permanent home.  I told her that, weather permitting (we were due for the Hurricane Sandy trickle-down), I’d try to keep up with the exercise regimen for Ms. Fuzzhead.

So, how in the world do you add in a 5-mile daily walk to a schedule that’s already packed with a running plan & 3 bootcamps a week? Oh – and then a work project that goes BOOM!

Simple, you don’t.  Between the crazy work hours & the extra 4 legs in the house, the running plan had to give. No runs for 11 days. When I was in a GOOD running place and not wanting the time off the pavement. Ouch! I decided to focus on trying to learn something during the off-period, so here goes –

  1. Never skip a run schedule for BEFORE a scheduled distraction comes into your life. I went to my Tuesday group run that week, but skipped my “pick between Weds or Thurs” run. Fuzz came into our home on Thursday night. Skipping the last scheduled run before she came to our home added 2 full days to my off time. I don’t even remember now why I skipped it, but whatever the reason, it wasn’t good enough.
  2. I’ve hit the point in my fitness that a 5.5 mile walk just doesn’t cut it as a workout. I’m sure I might feel differently if the walk had been faster or involved trails, but even trying to view it as a ‘take in the sunshine & fresh air” wonderful experience was not a good substitute for a salty, drenching sweat. I’m actually proud of this. Once upon a time, after dancing & weight training was over, and after I’d been doing nothing healthy for 2 years, I thought a 2.5-3 mile dog walk was enough exercise. Enough. Because you should only do enough, right? Let’s just say my definition of enough was not enough when I also thought salads were cute, but only drenched in cheese & dressing, and I knew NOTHING about nutrition. I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t healthy either. When I consider whether I’ve achieved a goal, I’m usually looking at this year, or my last run. Sometimes it’s helpful to consider where you were 15 years ago and just let that wash over you for a minute. I was very proud of how far I’ve come in both my fitness level and my education on exercise & nutrition.
  3. I started getting twitchy by the following Wednesday. Okay, by the Sunday before that Wednesday really, but by Wednesday, I had to admit the twitchy was starting to affect a few other things. My stabby-mcstabby factor was increasing. I was also starting to worry about what my next run – when it finally arrived – was going to be like. Finally getting used to not intervalling at all, and then no running. I was worried that I’d have to start over on the no-intervalling thing.
  4. Also on the first Wednesday, the scale told me I needed to lay off the comfort food – especially since I hadn’t been running. No burning the crap off the ass = no putting the crap in the tank.
  5. My definition of lazy has changed. Carpool buddy actually called me out on that one. I mentioned that I was afraid to weigh in after 11 days of comfort food & laziness. (this was after 2 runs back & 1 bad scale read already). To which she responded, “if you call lazy getting up at 5am to hit the gym…” True. I was still keeping up with bootcamps. Cutting my workout regimen in half had me feeling lazy & fat. Once upon a time, my definition of lazy & fat meant I’d sat on my ass eating cheese for two weeks. Oh, how far I’ve come.
  6. Everything doesn’t just go away in 11 days – unless you tell yourself you’ve let it go away. First run back was a 2-miler to shake-out my legs before this past Tuesday’s group run. And I told myself, whatever pace it took, no intervalling. I was NOT going to lose my good progress on my goal. I got it done & it went way better than I thought. Then I saw a 4.5 mile semi-hilly run on the group schedule – hmmm. Well, the best you can do is try your best. And that went way better than I thought it would too. Still, no intervalling. And I victored over the last hill again – that’s becoming less & less of a trouble spot.
  7. If I could run every run with someone breathing over my right shoulder, I would win the All the Olympics.  All of it. I’ve noticed that every time I have someone pacing over that right shoulder for a little while, I get very determined to keep them there. Not so much if it’s clear they’re trying to pass & then I let them get on with it. But when someone has been using me for a pacer for AWHILE, and then decides to pass, I start pushing myself to keep them on my tail.  I may or may not be proud of winning what turned into an outright sprinting race to the finish at Tuesday’s group run over this issue. I said ‘Let’s finish this’ to the girl that had been pacing me up & over a large hill and started off fast. Then she sped up to pass. Then I showed her what my tailwind looked like. Then she said “wow, when you said to finish this, you REEALLY meant it”. I can really sprint when I need to. At that point she introduced herself & I’m pretty sure she’ll be looking for me at groups. I may have just got myself a good new running buddy.

Fuzz is back at my friend’s place. Life is back to normal. Lessons learned.

  1. Steena says:

    I think my dog gets about 3 miles a day in, give or take, depending on how nice is it outside. But that 3 miles isn’t all at once, it’s several walks throughout the day. It makes it a lot more sane.

    Neato that you found some motivation from this running group too!


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