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Finding a new running partner

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I talk a lot on this blog about my dog Molly, and my puppy - Grimm. Molly's been my running partner for the last three years, but her recent diagnosis with hip dysplasia means she can't run with me like she has in the past. I wasn't planning on training Grimm to run with me for at least a couple more months, but he seems to be chomping at the bit. So Friday morning I went out alone for the first 20 minutes of my run, then stopped back by the house and picked up both dogs and set back out.

Grimm didn't do too badly for his first run. He's only about 4 months old so I didn't want to run him very far, and he's easily distracted so there was a lot of stop-and-go. It won't be long till he's pushing me to run harder to keep up with him.

That said, I've enjoyed my solo runs this week. It gives me a chance to get out and clear my head. Definitely something I plan to keep up for the long term. I just need to work on challenging myself to run farther, longer, with fewer walking intervals.

I also plan to go to a yoga class this afternoon - even if I feel a little overwhelmed with laundry and school work. I know it will do me good. I've started feeling a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and had a pretty bad headache yesterday. If I don't get some yoga, next week could really spell trouble for me with all I have ahead of me. I need the physical exertion and mental release to approach this week with a clear head.

  


Waffling, waffling... waffles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ok, this really has nothing to do with waffles, with the exception of my recent obsession with breakfast food - made some killer cinnamon roll buckwheat pancakes last weekend and have been enjoying the leftovers all week.

My alarm didn't go off this morning so I didn't get up in time to run. Hell, I hardly got up in time to walk Molly and haul my un-showered butt to work. So all day I was watching the weather, thinking that I'd go home and run after work if it wasn't raining. Hubby and puppy came home this afternoon, and I had plans to make dinner, so running was looking like less and less of a possibility. My plan was to run today and catch a Turkey Day yoga class tomorrow. I hopped on the yoga studio's Web site to check tomorrow's schedule, only to find that they were only offering a 2 hour 9:30AM class that would likely be PACKED. At this point, I started thinking maybe I'd try to go to a later yoga class tonight and save my run for tomorrow. After all, the weather is supposed to be much nicer tomorrow. So back and forth like this I went all afternoon, literally until the point I got home and realized that what I had laid out to fix for dinner was still totally FROZEN. PLAN B!! Off I went for a very nice run. Yoga tomorrow... maybe. Worst case scenario I can finally break out the yoga DVD I keep threatening to use.

One thing I have realized this week is that I'm enjoying my runs without Molly much more than I expected. I'm ashamed to say I think she was holding me back a little. ;) I can keep a comfortable pace that seems a bit faster than I've been running lately and I think I push myself a little harder because I'm not worried about pushing her to hard.

Hubby came home with our (now huge) puppy today and I think it won't be too long before puppy's ready to start running with me. He seems to prefer jogging to walking. Sprinting's even better! He's a handful, but he's going to be an awesome dog, and hopefully his genetics are much better than Molly's and he'll turn out to be a long time running partner. Next trick: Down Dog!

  


Time time time... is (not) on my side

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I realized yesterday that I'm being very unrealistic with my own expectations of how much time I need to allow for the things I'm trying to make sure I do. I'm just not factoring in enough time to get things done. I have this perception that everything takes about a half hour, when in reality a half hour is never enough. I may step out the door for a run and come back a half hour later, but then I need to stretch, eat something, feed the dogs and cat, clean the litter box... Then getting ready should only take about... a half hour right? I shower, brush my teeth, put some product in my hair and occasionally take the time to blow dry it, get dressed, pack up some lunch, warm up the car. Suddenly I realize it's been two and half hours since I got up... and *shocking* I'm late for work. Again.

The same thing goes for running errands, completing school work, even work projects. The time just ticks by. And where does adding exercise fit into all this?

I suppose it has come down to sacrifices. In order to make time for running (and walking dogs after), and stretching, AND yoga, something else has to go. So what's low enough priority to get the ax? TV. The boob tube. I have been fooling myself into thinking I'd really cut a lot of TV time out - telling my friends I haven't caught the latest tv shows because I'm too busy with school - when in reality I still spend way too much time in front of the tv. I'll sit down and turn it on when I'm taking a break from school work and suddenly a half hour (or sometimes an hour) goes by before I realize it. I get sucked into some terrible movie that I've seen four times already and just like that *poof* an hour of my life goes by that I'll never get back. An hour that I could have spent catching up on reading, eventually adding up to two hours I could have used to go to yoga!

Last night I came home, got Molly and ran a quick errand to the pet store and to grab a quick take-out dinner (healthy - I promise). I came home and started to sit down on the couch and turn on the tv while I ate. Then I thought to myself "this is where I am wasting all my time." Using the excuse that I've worked hard all day and I deserve a break, I will usually talk myself into relaxing and letting a half hour pass by. After last week, though, it's plain that I can't do that anymore. Every minute is crucial if I'm going to succeed, not only in increasing my weekly exercise, but also in my school work and managing stress and staying organized. There's really only one tv show that I am devoted to watching, and if I'm completely honest with myself, I can tivo it and watch it when I can build it into my schedule.

So what about the morning craziness I go through every day? Well, if I'm not wasting a half hour or an hour watching useless tv while I eat dinner, that leaves that much more time for me to finish up my school work and get to bed earlier, meaning I can get up a half hour or an hour earlier. Realistically that's all I need. Time to schedule!

  


Always something

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I really should have blogged this week - several times actually - but things just kept getting in the way. I felt like I was moving through molasses all week. No matter how hard I tried to get ahead on things, I just couldn't keep up. It was like I was in the Twilight Zone, watching the time pass by me faster and faster. Yesterday was absolutely bizarre. I'd look at the clock and then again what seemed like 5 minutes later and an hour had actually passed. An appointment that should have taken no more than an hour dragged on for two and a half.

It started out like a normal week. After my awesome yoga class on Sunday, I got up and ran on Monday even though my legs were kind of screaming at me. I took my dog Molly in to the vet on Tuesday for what should have been a routine dental cleaning that turned into a very expensive double extraction. I had the vet xray her hips while she was sedated because she's been limping lately after days when she's done a lot of running. A couple of her litter mates have already been diagnosed with and treated for hip dysplasia. My concerns were realized when the vet showed me the xrays and informed me that Molly's right hip was in very bad shape and she shouldn't do much if any running. And just like that I lost my running partner.

So I didn't run Wednesday. Molly's face was swollen and it was obvious she wasn't feeling well from her surgery the day before. We took a few short walks on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday I got up and ran by myself, then took Molly for a walk. I resolved to continue to walk her on days that I run - I'll just need to allow a little more time in the mornings - and I'll make her walks longer on the off days. I'm committed to keeping her healthy, keeping her weight down and her muscle tone up. It occurs to me that this is also a commitment I'm making to myself.

I feel like I've been working hard to be consistent with the changes I'm making in my life. The yoga has been the hardest thing to make happen on a regular basis. It's inconvenient, time consuming, and sometimes expensive, but the benefits are worth it. Running is easy - I just have to get dressed and walk out the door and the workout begins. But I've always had Molly as an added motivator and now I have to plan extra time into my mornings if I'm going to make time for my run. I know it's not a huge hurdle, but considering how crazy busy my life already is, I feel like every little hurdle is magnified.

I need to find a new strategy to make sure I maintain my motivation.

  


At last

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It is truly amazing the amount of psychological crap I have to wade through to get myself to a yoga class. I LOVE yoga. Why should it be so hard to go to a yoga class? You'd think the super deal I got on 5 yoga classes almost 2 weeks ago would have motivated me - removing the barrier of the expense of the classes - but no. Even with that there was the interior dialogue regarding what I would wear to this new yoga class, how I would prepare, who would be there, what would they think of me, and how would I perform after having not practiced in several months.

So today I finally put all that aside, drank lots of water, fixed myself a smoothie, threw on some comfy clothes, and went to a new yoga class. It was great. The studio had a homey feel - they share the building with a baptist church among other businesses and the gospel was pouring through the halls when I arrived. I signed in, went into the hot room and found myself a spot. The vibe was great. The teacher was welcoming, there was great music playing, the students were all smiles. And then Etta James came on, wailing "At Last." I knew I had found a new yoga home.

Over the past few years I've practiced mainly Bikram yoga, a series of deliberate postures done in a 104-110 degree room. It's pretty brutal but becomes an addiction if you let it. Tonight's yoga class was a Baptiste style yoga - more focused on movement and flow than deepening and holding postures, and done in a 90-94 degree room. It was lively, challenging, and freeing. The instructor encouraged laughter and release. It was pretty amazing. I feel it in every muscle in my body, and I'm happy and relaxed.

Let's see if I can remember this, and get my rear end to another class next weekend. Gotta get up early and run tomorrow. So far so good, this is feeling like a change I can maintain.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADJQUILTER 11/13/2011 9:07PM

    Yoga is really great. I have been to 4 classes so far, and have really enjoyed it. My back feels so much better, and the stress reducing benefits are enormous. I also had to talk myself through the "What will I wear?", "I will embarrass myself.", "I won't be able to do that.", "I don't feel like going out." But I am so glad I took the plunge. The classes are free, so I didn't have that as an excuse.
Enjoy your classes!

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