Everyone has to have a reason to run. My reasons are usually health related, the way I feel AFTER a good run, and so I can eat more. Seriously. But I'm not gonna lie and say that hot boys and cute dogs aren't also a good reason to run. And in my neighbourhood, there's a bunch of both of them. Nothing makes for a better early morning outing than running towards a sexy, shirtless, buffed runner - who then shoots you a mighty fine smile as you run past. Wait - was that actually a smile? Or just an over-exertion face contortion? I mean, these guys are always going about triple the speed that I am, so it happens fast, but I'm gonna go with the former - hehe.
But as much as I am a sucker for a sweet bod glistening in the summer sun, I am even more a fan of the adorable canines on my regular route. A happy dog face makes my day. Anywhere, any time. And when you smile, it gets easier to run. I promise. Try it if you don't believe me.
So I have decided that there are now definite pros to whichever route I choose to take. Neighbourhood runs are good for anything under 8 miles. Lots of stopping and starting, and running sidewalks that pose problems with differing levels - thus they're harder on the knees and hips. But there are more dogs :) Lakefront Trail runs are for those long-run days, give me the ability to run on gravel for a good portion of the trail, involve rolling hills instead of jarring elevation differences and are RIFE with delicious members of the opposite sex.
Like I said - everyone needs a reason to run. And when it's 100 degrees in the shade, I need a mind escape SOMEWHERE other than the hell in which I am exerting every last ounce of "poop" I have in me.
My favorite couple this week was on my 5-mile Friday run - I call them the Business Man and the Bulldog. This particular neighbourhood route has become somewhat of a regular Friday morning routine for me, but this week, rounding the bend of mile 4, I came across a man in business attire walking about a block ahead of the cutest, roly-poly bulldog I have ever seen. The man was clearly in a hurry to get to work, but the bulldog would have none of it - as bulldogs are known to do. The little guy was off-leash and meandering as fast as his attitude and the already warm temperature would let him. The business man would pause, look back, the bulldog would stop, sniff, and look at his owner dejectedly before continuing his slow saunter. I smiled at the man as I ran past, and as I came alongside the bulldog, he looked at me, and then plopped down on the sidewalk with a huff and just watched me run past as though to say "why on earth are you going so fast? Don't you know life is about waddling?" I had to laugh. That little dog made my day, and the rest of my run went by in a blur as I thought about that smushy little face and his utter lack of energy. I get it little guy - I know how you feel - I used to look just like you! Haha!
Technically my runs were good this week. But I am still procrastinating too much with my schedule which is bumping everything back until the absolute last minute, and as I have now found, messing up subsequent weeks. I need to be better about sticking to the daily schedule, but I'm still trying to be as kind to myself and my "drive" as I possibly can with so many other things on my plate.
7 miles on Tuesday night didn't happen until 9pm. A planned effort as it had been 94 degrees earlier in the day and I wanted to wait until the sun had set and it had cooled off a bit before heading out. A beautiful run around the park, I started feeling the heat and my leg muscles in about mile 4 and really had to push to get to those last few miles. Nothing I haven't done before, but I am finding new challenges recently that have been a real struggle. However, I do know that I am a better night runner than a morning runner, so I was well fueled and felt a good energy through the whole thing.
5 mile run was delayed to Friday morning because waking up and running early Thursday mornings after my Wednesday night swims just end up being too close to the realm of impossible. Swimming, though a great cross-training activity, works different muscle groups, and I always find that my legs are too fatigued on Thursday morning to have a "good" run. However, if I give myself the day on Thursday to recoup, runs on Thursday night or Friday morning are always really good after the swimming activity. Upping my miles again for the first time since my Half and vacation this week, so I still felt the pain of running a full 3 times this week, but it was worth it.
I was up way too late on Friday night to run on Saturday morning per the schedule, so ended up putting off my 8 mile run until Sunday night after our kayaking trip. Wow. What I didn't expect was how much my stabilizer muscles in my abs would give me trouble on this run. I am already having a bit of trouble with my right hip (I need new shoes ASAP which I will get this week), but add to that the stress of kayaking for 2 hours on my abs and upper body and then turning around and running 8 miles - I was feeling the burn! "The dogs were barking" as they say. I usually refer to my quads as my dogs - and they bark when I overwork them on a run, but this time it was absolutely my abs. I woke up yesterday morning and felt like I had been hit by a truck. So needless to say - despite a desired schedule of sticking to another 8 mile run yesterday evening, that didn't happen. I needed a day off.
That said - here's this week's schedule -
Week 15 Schedule (Completed):
Mon - Rest
Tue - 7 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - Kayaking & 8 miles
Total Weekly Miles: 20
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3544
Weekly Friday Weigh-In: 185 (lessons in futility...)
Week 16 Schedule:
Mon - Rest
Tue - 4 miles
Wed - Swim OR 8 miles
Thu - Yoga
Fri - 10 miles
Sat - Rest - in Toronto for wedding
Sun - Rest - in Toronto for wedding