Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Allow me to describe my day yesterday.  The morning was normal...boring even.  I took Hans to work, I did some work of my own, and I tried to stay cool in the heat and humidity.  Nothing too exciting.  Around 2:00 pm dark clouds started to roll in, and I noticed a bunch of notifications for severe storms about 20 minutes north of here.  It's summer, and it had been a particularly hot day, so this was nothing unusual.  The only reason it really even registered was because I had a 3:00 appointment and severe storms like that also bring on severe headaches.  I was not feeling this appointment.

At 2:30, I was walking out the door, keys in hand, headed off to my appointment when Hans called.  Since he was in the area that the storm was headed I figured it was to give me an update.  The call went as follows:

Hans: Where are you?
Me: About to leave the house.
Hans: Where's your appointment?
Me: The west end.  Why?
Hans: Call them and see if they can move it an hour or two.
Me: Why?
Hans: There's a nasty storm following Interstate 64.  You don't want to drive through it.
Me: How bad?  Should I go to the basement?  Should I get the neighbors' dogs?  (The neighbors weren't home and we watch out for each other.)
Hans: Ummm, yeah.

Since both Hans and I tend to get a little panicky, I decided to check out the radar.  Truth be told, while I looked at the radar, I followed Hans advice more than anything.  I called my client (who confirmed the severity of the storm), ran across the street, put leashes on the neighbors dogs, and started walking them over.  I was in the middle of the road when the winds started to pick up and I heard the low moan of a very bad storm.  I half ran half dragged the dogs into my house.  They're scared of storms and didn't want to leave their own house.  I was in the process of getting everyone downstairs when Hans called again.

Me: Hey!  I'm getting everyone to the baseme-

The call was lost.

I led the neighbor dogs downstairs, ran back up and scooped up Lollie who was hiding in a corner, and called Cody to me. (It didn't take much to get him to me.  He was already following me around.)  I tried getting the cats, but they were hiding under the bed.  I ran downstairs.  I had barely shut the door when the storm hit.  The power went out first.

I was lucky because my phone has a flashlight, and that really came in handy.  I tried calling Hans a few times, but the calls wouldn't go through.  Hans had the brilliant idea of texting me, and that worked for a while.  The last text I got from him said "Be safe.  I love you."  I tried to respond with "I love you too" but it wouldn't go through.  Instead I listened to the storm.

The thunder was loud...really loud, but it was the wind and rain that were the worst.  I heard debris flying around.  The basement started to flood (this is not unusual for our basement, it just doesn't normally happen so quickly).  All the dogs were pacing and trying to climb on top of me.  I held Cody in my arms while the others gathered around me.  We waited for the storm to pass.

After about 10 minutes, I decided it was safe enough to head upstairs.  I left the dogs downstairs as a just in case, but I knew it was safe when I saw the cats had come out from hiding.

I went outside and looked around, and my first thought was that the storm must not have been as bad as I'd thought.  There wasn't nearly as much damage as there was during the tornado two years ago.  Then I went to the front yard.  There wasn't much damage, but a tree from our back yard had a few small limbs in our front yard.  What really got me was that a bird's nest from our back yard had been thrown under my car which was parked on the street in front of our house.

About another 20 minutes later I called my client and decided to head out to her house.  The rest of the day can be called "assessing the damage."  As I drove throughout my neighborhood and through other neighborhoods I saw downed trees, snapped trees, downed power lines, trees on roofs, and even one snapped power line.  Power wasn't back on by dinner time, and since Mom had lost power too we made a plan for her to bring her dogs to our house since it's cooler, and we'd all go out to eat.  All of Richmond must have lost power because everyone was eating out.  Traffic was made even worse by the fact that a good portion of the street lights were out and there were lines getting into gas stations and fast food chains.  We left the house by 6:45 for dinner.  We didn't find a place until 8:00.  Everyone was working hard, but we still weren't able to leave before 10:00 pm.  Thank God, though, when we returned we had power!

The storm left 141,000 people without power.  I was shocked we had it back on so quickly.

This morning I went for a run.  It was more of an adventure run as Cody and I avoided power lines, trees, and debris.  I was again struck by the severity of the storm as I saw up close just how many trees had fallen.  I was shocked at how many roads were closed due to fallen trees and power lines.  It was a good run, but it was hard.

A tornado has yet to be confirmed, but funnel clouds were spotted.  The way trees have fallen, some twisted off, some falling to the right, and others to the left, I'd venture to say there was definitely something bad.  Still, I'm just glad that I'm OK.  I'm even happier that Hans called me because otherwise I would have been in my car when it hit.  I was in my car during the last tornado, and it was not something I ever wanted to relive.  I'm particularly grateful that Hans was OK.  The storm didn't hit him nearly as bad.  Now I just have to clean up the trash in my yard, and this storm will merely be a that will take a while to forget.

I haven't taken my camera out, but this is a picture of the storm traveling over 64.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

MTT Week 4

Today's run was completely different from last week's.  Even my attitude going into it was different.  I was in much more of a social mood this week.  Unfortunately, I was not in a social situation.  This weekend, Hans and I decided to visit his grandma in North Carolina.  This, of course, meant running on my own (ironic isn't it).  I had thought about contacting a running club to find some other runners, but I wasn't sure how our schedule would work out, and I figured running with just Cody would be fine.  Luckily, I knew a nice little area to run in, and even better, Hans decided to come out with us.  He wasn't going to run, but he did bring a camera for some nice photo opportunities and book to sit and read.  At least the drive had some companionship.

The run was HARD.  It was only four miles, and the weather wasn't too bad, but I was huffing and puffing.  My legs felt week, and all I wanted to do was stop.  I kept wishing for a SAG stop (Support And Gear), but alas this green-way didn't seem to have a SAG crew.  My pace started slow and kept slowing down, and as I worked I tried to think of why things were so hard.

First, I had not fueled well at all.  You know how they say you should never go to a grocery store hungry?  Well, yesterday I not only went to the store hungry, I went with the sole purpose of picking up some snack foods for our car trip.  I wanted dinner, and I should have grabbed some sushi or something satisfying, so I wouldn't have been so ravenous, but I did not do that.  Instead, I grabbed pretzel M&Ms, Twizzlers, and potato chips.  I also grabbed some crackers, but I never touched those. In addition to all that junk food, Hans and I stopped at Wendy's on the way down.  Yeah, I ate a bunch of crap.  I did have some cherries last night and a banana this morning, but that didn't quite make up for all that sugar.  I don't think I'll do that again.

Second, I was at a higher elevation.  I had never thought about it before, and I didn't think about it this time until after the run, but we're about 600 feet higher.  That makes a big difference.  Either way, I was really having a tough time. 

In the end, though, my times weren't too bad.  I ran at a 10:10 min/mile, but I had to push to get that.  Yay for fartleks!  Afterwards, Cody and I stretched out, I dumped some water on his head, and we went home.  All in all, a good day.

Out on a run.

Almost done!

Is it over yet?

Hydration is important for both people and dogs.

Stretch!  Doesn't he look happy?

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Dog's Ear Infection

Cody's ears have been doing much better, and his attitude and energy levels are back too.  They still require daily cleanings and medication, but he's not in the pain that he was before, and he's no longer running a fever.

Since he's gotten his ear infection, I've gotten quite a few questions.  Most people I talk to didn't even realize dogs could get ear infections.  It almost goes without saying then that people don't recognize the signs of an ear infection nor do they know how to treat one.  So, I thought I'd give some tips.

What is an ear infection?
 Ear infections in dogs are generally somewhat different than ear infections in people.  In people, most ear infections are caused by sinus issues.  They're accompanied with fevers, sneezing, and a lot of mucus.  Most ear infections in dogs are caused by a bacteria build up in the ear.  When one says "my dog has an ear infection," they're generally referring to a build up of yeast bacteria in the ear.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
Some are fairly common to a person's symptoms.  You'll often see itching, shaking of the head, and tenderness around the year.  In addition, though, there will be a lot of dark, waxy build up and a not-so-pleasant smell.  In more severe cases, you may even find that your dog runs a low-grade fever.

How can I treat a yeast infection?
Sometimes, if caught early enough, a few thorough cleanings will do the trick (ask a dog professional on the proper way to clean).  I get my cleaner from the vet, so it's actually an anti-yeast cleanser.  For more severe infections, an antibiotic will be required.  This go round, Cody needed cleanser and an otic antibiotic.  We were probably just a day away from needed oral antibiotics too.

Are some dogs more prone to ear infections than others?
Yes.  Dogs with floppy ears and particularly hairy dogs are more prone to ear infections.  The floppy ears and hair trap moisture and foster bacteria growth.  Doodles, unfortunately, have both floppy ears and hairy ears, so they have a rough go of things.  Age can also be a factor.

Are there things I can do to help prevent ear infections?
Yes.  The best thing to do is to routinely clean your dog's ears.  I often pluck hair from Cody's ears, and I try to keep them dry.  While I've never used them, there are some powders that will help dry your dogs ears as well.  Always talk to a vet before using anything new, though.

Cody hasn't had an ear infection this bad since he was a pup, and I hope it's a good long while before he has another one (a.k.a. never).  I try to keep his ears clean and dry, but this summer was rough on him.  The summer humidity was bad enough, but he also had Lollie drooling on and chewing on his ears.  The combination was too much.  Either way, I'm glad he's feeling better!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stretching Out Your Dog

Runs this week have been rough.  The weather is A LOT hotter, the humidity is up, and early mornings don't make me particularly happy.  On top of all that, my legs have not been happy.  I've been loving the runs, but my legs have been tight and sore.  Today they were so bad that, after my shower, I came down stairs and immediately put some ice on my shins.  The runs have only been 3 miles at a time, so it shouldn't be so terrible, but this week has not been pleasant for some reason.  I knew I had to do something, and I knew yoga would do the trick.

After Hans went to work, I pulled out the vacuum.  No way am I going to do yoga on this floor without vacuuming up some of the dog hair!  Then I went and got my yoga mat.  I have couple of yoga DVDs, but I decided to do a YouTube search for "yoga for runners."  I found a great 10 minute video and decided to give it a shot.  There was one thing I forgot, though.  I forgot just how much Cody loves that yoga mat.  I don't think he noticed it until I was on it, but once he did my yoga routine changed a little.  Downward dog meant London Bridge.  Warrior pose became a new practice in balance as Cody rubbed up against me.  Actually, I did substitute Cody for one of my blocks at one point, and that worked surprisingly well.  Still, I knew he needed a little more attention.

Once my short video was done (and my legs felt 1000 times better), I grabbed a different DVD.  I grabbed my Doga DVD.  Yes.  That's right.  Doga is yoga for dogs.

I use doga quite a bit after our runs to help Cody stretch out, but it's rare that I do a whole sequence.  Normally I just stretch his legs some.  I love doing Doga, though, because Cody seems to love it.  It does not take long for my playful, high-energy boy to become putty in my hands.  Generally within the first 30 seconds Cody will lie down (more like collapse) and let me maneuver him into any position I need.  In fact, the hardest positions are the ones that involve him standing, because he simply is too relaxed.

We only did Doga for about 15 minutes, but that was enough.  Cody was relaxed and happy.  We finished with me lying on my back and Cody stretched out on top of me (a rare occurrence for my 60 pound pup).  Before I sat back up, Cody stretched his head out, laid it on my shoulder, and gave me a kiss.  Surely this is the sign of a happy pup!

Yes, I do believe we'll be doing Doga again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dogs Get Sick Too

A lot of people don't seem to realize, but dogs get sick just like people.  The can bladder infections, kidney stones, ear infections, colds, and flu bugs.  They can be sore after a work out, and they can be tired if they don't get enough sleep.  They can even have allergies to things like pollen or ragweed!  Since dogs don't always show their weaknesses, some people tend to assume that their dogs are robots or machines.  This could not be farther from the truth.

I talk a lot about running with Cody.  I love running with him, and he loves going out for a run, but there are a lot of precautions we take.  I want to make sure I'm not hurting him, and I want to make sure he's comfortable.  Granted, a run for me is really more of a fast walk / slow jog for him, but the principle still applies.  Below are some of the things I do to keep him happy and healthy.

I cut his hair. 
Summer is brutal.  The heat and humidity can be awful on people and dogs alike.  I run early in the morning to avoid the worst of it, but poor Cody can't escape his coat.  So, every couple of months or so, I take him in to be groomed.  I tell them to cut him short, trim the hair around his mouth, and even keep the hair around his ears short.  He doesn't love the groomer, but he definitely loves the end result.  He has so much more energy after a hair cut.  He jumps higher for his Frisbee, he runs faster, and he just seems happier.  It makes me feel good.

I provide him with high-quality food.
Cody has always had some mild allergy issues.  I've had to make sure his food is low on the filler side for most of his life.  Since we started running, I switched to entirely grain free (no wheat, no corn, no soy, no dairy), and the food I choose is higher in protein.  Someday I hope to just feed him whatever we're eating, or at least people-quality food.  For now, though, I've got him on some pretty decent dog food.

We stretch together.
At the end of a run, my legs start to tighten up.  As a way to keep moving throughout the day, I take time to stretch out.  Cody gets to stretch too.  I'll lift, stretch, and massage his legs and body to help keep him loose and limber.  Occasionally we'll even do Doga (dog yoga) to help him relax.

Hydration is important.
So far, I haven't had to stop for water on a run.  Since we've only run 6 miles, and the weather has been cooler, water hasn't been a necessity.  I can usually wait until I'm back home, and then I'll have some Gatorade or homemade fruit recovery juice, and I'll make sure Cody has a chance to rehydrate too.  As distance start getting longer, though, I know this will need to change.  I'll need to have fluids for myself AND for Cody.  When looking at fuel belts, I've leaned towards the ones that hold 4+ bottles of fluids.  That way half can be for me, and half can be for Cody.  On longer runs I will even need to start bringing snacks for both of us.  Luckily, that boy likes a variety of fruits and veggies (although he'd never turn down a bit of beef).

I watch for signs of fatigue.
This is true both during a run, after a run, and before a run.  It's one thing to be tired due to lack of sleep.  It's quite another to be tired because you've pushed to hard.  The problem is, dogs can tell us when they hurt.  It's our job to make sure they're OK.  I have slowed to a walk because the dogs were tired.  Before going out for a run, I do a fairly thorough physical exam of Cody.  I rub him down, I watch how he walk, I even look to see what he's trying to tell me.  Sometimes he just doesn't want to go.  Sometimes he's actually sick.  Right now, Cody is battling an ear infection.  He was playful yesterday, and his ear was looking better, so I thought I'd try taking him out this morning.  All it took was for me to watch him for ten minutes before I realized that was not the best idea.  His head was low, his body was sagging.  If I had to guess, I'd say he was running a mild fever.  He came down to use the bathroom and then immediately went back up to bed (normally he prefers to be with us).  He didn't show any interest in playing.  I really wanted him to come with me, and if I'd put a leash on him I know he would have.  That, however, would not only have been mean, it would have been dangerous.  Instead, I gave Cody a kiss, told Hans to keep him comfortable, and I went out on my own.  I think Cody appreciated that.

Someday I'll talk about all the types of illnesses a dog can get.  For now, though, just keep in mind that dogs are more like people than we give them credit for.  If you're sore after an activity, it's a safe bet that your dog is too.  The difference is that your dog might not show you in the same way.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Good Day

I feel like yesterday's post needs a bit more explanation.  As I wrote the post, I was feeling down on myself.  I was mad that I hadn't really chatted with anyone.  I felt left out of something that made me feel so happy.  I felt like there were clubs out there I just couldn't join.  The worst part was I knew that I was the only one making me feel that way.  I knew that if I'd only gone up to chat with someone I would have been welcome.  No one would have sneered at me or ignored me or laughed at me.  So why did I fear that they would?  Why was I so hesitant to go meet people?  Why didn't I want to be social like I had in past weeks?

This could be attributed to a few things.  First I was simply tired.  There has been a lot going on the past few weeks, and I was drained both physically and mentally.  I was feeling overwhelmed by even small groups of people, so being around 100+ people was just too much.  I just wanted to go home, curl up in a chair, and read (and in fact, this is what I did).  Secondly, I wanted my alone run.  Running is my meditation.  I've posted before how much I love the time to just focus on me.  I can focus on my breathing and the sound of my feet.  I can push myself a little harder or back off a bit based on what my body is telling me.  This past week, in my effort to meet more runners, I ran a couple of weekday runs with someone else.  Basically, my last alone run was last Tuesday.  I wanted, nay needed, to have my meditation run.  I needed to have my alone time, my me time.

Yesterday's run left me wholly unsatisfied.  I was OK with my pace and time, but it could have been better.  I was frustrated that I hadn't been able to have my me time.  I wanted to run some more.  Yesterday, I was extremely close to throwing on my running clothes a second time and going out for another run.  I napped and then had dinner with the neighbors instead (also pleasant activities).

This morning was a cross-training day.  Hans and I usually meet a trainer at the park on Sundays, and today the plan was no different.  What was different, however, was how much I wanted to run.  I didn't want to drive there when it was only 4.25 miles away.   I wanted to RUN!  Actually, I really wanted to run with Cody, but since he's suffering from an ear infection that was not a possibility (he's getting better, though).  So, after feeding the dogs and having a little food, I threw on my running clothes, kissed Hans goodbye, and went off.  It was a beautiful morning for it.  The air was cool, the sun was bright, and there was just enough of a breeze in the air to make you feel good.  I ran 4.25 miles to my work-out.  Then I proceeded to have my a** handed to me by a masochistic trainer (I'm still having trouble lifting my arms over my head).  Hans drove me home (no way did I have enough energy to run back), I showered and I went to church.

The rest of the day went wonderfully.  The good mood from my fantastic run carried me through the rest of the day.  I chatted with other girls on the training team (not my group, but in the same program), I was less irritated my others' minor infractions, and I found a lot of things more humorous than I usually would have.  I was eager and willing to meet new people, and I was happy.

After church, Hans, Dad, and I headed to the race track for Fathers' Day.  It's something I haven't done since I was a little kid, and there were parts that were nerve-wracking.  The crowds were huge and a bit overwhelming, but I found I wasn't overwhelmed.  I didn't cling to Hans or Dad, and I didn't have any fears of being separated.  I only got marginally upset when the horses I picked didn't win (I like to win), and I enjoyed a lovely day with my Dad (the World's Greatest) and my husband (future World's Greatest Dad).  We rounded out the day with some tasty ice cream, and I was happy and content.

I think I'm starting to learn there are different sides to running.  Sometimes I need running to be social.  I need it to be a way to meet others and interact.  Other times, though, I need running to be meditative.  I need to take time to breathe and focus on me.  I love the fact it can do both.  Maybe soon I'll learn to understand what I need before I need it rather than after.  Oh well!  At least I'm happy today!

My dad and me...smiling and happy even though our horse just lost.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Marathon Training Week 3

Today's run was...interesting.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't necessarily great either, though.  Let me explain.

I signed up for MTT as a way to meet fellow runners.  I wanted to meet people whom I could call on any given day and say, "Hey!  Care to go for a run?"  I wanted to make a new friend, create a new bond.  On the first day, I met R.B.  We chatted and got along quite nicely.  Last week, while we didn't run together, I saw her after the run, and we had a nice chat.  This past week, I met up with another runner from MTT.  We had two training runs together, and it was pleasant having someone else to run with.  Today, though, was different.

The problem with being on a beginner's team is that you're with beginners.  You might be saying, "Well, duh!" but that's actually a problem.  You see, there's a difference between beginning runners who really want to see themselves improve, who study their form, who read running stories, who research and exercise and eat as a way to improve their running, and beginning runners who are running just because their friends wanted them to or because they want to lose weight.  I understand that I shouldn't take running to seriously.  If it became more of a burden than a joy  I would stop (and I have indeed skipped days for this reason), but part of the joy of running for me is learning all about it.

I love the idea of pushing my body to its limits and seeing how far it can go.  I don't want to be able to carry a conversation through a 6 mile run.  I want to listen to what my body is telling me.  I want to finish knowing that I gave it my absolute all.  I don't want to have regrets that I could have gone faster or could have gone farther.  I want to learn how to understand the signals my body is telling me.

I want to learn about running.  I want to read stories and study techniques.  I want to learn of sprinters and ultramarathoners.  I want to be able to picture myself doing something like that some day.

Not everyone is like that.  Heck, most people AREN'T like that.  Anyway, on my run this morning, I started with R.B., and things were pleasant.  The conversation was nice, but I quickly found myself wanting to go a little faster.  I could have kept the slower pace, though, except we were knit so tightly into the rest of the group.  I don't like feeling confined like that, so I told R.B. I was going to run ahead.  That was the last I saw of her.

A little later, I saw my running buddy from earlier this week.  We chatted for a bit as well, but eventually the same thing happened.  I passed her too.

I finished the run on my own.  I got some water, I signed out, and I went to look at shirts for sale.  As I saw and listened to all the people chatting, I started to feel lonely.  I started to wish that I was running this with my best friend or my husband or my sister-in-law (I'd say sister except I don't have one), or even a coworker.  I waited for R.B. for a while, but I started to feel self-conscious just standing around while everyone else was chatting, so I got in my car and I drove off.

My time could have been a little better, but it wasn't bad either.  I'm not disappointed in it anyway.  My only disappointment today is that Hans wasn't with me.  That would have been nice.

Oh well.  Hopefully next week will be better.  Maybe next week I'll stick with R.B.  Maybe next week, she'll stick with me.  :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Marathon Training Week 2

Before I tell you about the run from this morning, I have to tell you something really awesome.  Last Wednesday I went out for a 3 mile training run.  I had Cody, and I wasn't planning on going to fast.  I just wanted to take things easy.  I planned my route (actually 3.1 or 5k distance, because that was easier), and off I went.  There wasn't much exciting about the route, but it felt REALLY good.  When I finished, I looked at my Garmin, and then I saw time.  29:30!!  I ran a 5k in under 30 minutes.  It's the first time I've done that, and I couldn't be happier about it.  It definitely set the mood for the rest of the week.

Today's run was pretty straight forward.  A big group of people went met at 7:00 am for an "easy" 5 mile run.  It went really well!

I started off at a pace that I could tell was a little faster than normal, and I chalked that up to being in a group.  I talked with a few people, but I was struggling to find a pace that I really liked (without looking at my watch), and the people that I was talking with were either going faster or slower.  I couldn't find my running buddy from last week (we'll call her R.B. for Running Buddy), but I was OK with that because I wanted to meet more people from our team.  I met a gentleman wearing a knee brace as an effort to keep from re-injuring his tibia (yeah, he was faster than me).  I met a woman who had been on the training team for the past two years (I was faster than her).  I talked a bit with one of the coaches.  His first time on the team was three years ago (impressive that he's a coach now), and he had only run a 10k before going in too.  It made me feel good.

We took a route through a park which was nice and shaded and there wasn't any traffic.  There were, however, hills.  Some were big, some were small, but there were plenty of them.  Of course, this made it harder for keeping a pace.

When we finished the run, I was surprisingly exhausted.  I knew I had pushed a little harder than usual, but I didn't think I should be huffing and puffing the way I was.  I figured I had run about 10:15 min/mile, about 15-30 sec faster than my usual pace.  Imagine my surprise when I looked at my watch and saw that I had run 9:59 min/mile!  That's 30-45 sec faster than my usual pace, AND it's the first time I've run a long distance under a 10:00 minute mile.  Suddenly I no longer felt exhausted.  I felt empowered!  Apparently I'm getting faster.

As I was stretching out and having some water, I looked up and there was R.B.  She had just finished and was happy with her time as well.  We had a nice, little chat and then we went home.  I'm excited for this week, because I'm going to meet up with another girl from MTT for a run together.  I am really enjoying meeting so many people and finding others with the same interest as me, and I am very happy that I decided to do this.  It may be a bit difficult at times, but I know if I can do this then I can do anything.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's Going to Be a HUGE Year

I know I've been quiet around these parts lately, but it's because I have news...big news.  News I had to keep utterly secret until everything was confirmed.

As you know, I'm running the Richmond Marathon in November (have you donated to Henrico Humane yet?), but there's something else too.  On July 16, 2012 I will be...


That's right!  Impawsible Pups is expanding this summer and will be offering day care, boarding, and grooming, as well as cat boarding.  I could not be more excited!

Things have happened both extremely fast and painfully slow.  There were times when I thought my head would explode just waiting for an answer, and there were times when I felt panicked because I felt like there just wasn't enough time left.  Now I'm looking in the future and I realize that there are only three weeks before I'm in the building and only five weeks before we officially open.  Eek!!!  Again, thank God for running, because I think the stress would kill me otherwise!

There are some big plans for our opening, and a Grand Opening is planned for August 17th & 18th (more on that soon).  My head is spinning with all that needs to be done, but I'm lucky because I have a fantastic support group.  

I also know that running a marathon and opening a kennel in the same year is going to be difficult.  My thought is go big or go home.  Again, I have an awesome and understand support system, and I have no doubts that I'll be able to make this work. 

In the mean time, I'll be busy planning, working, scrubbing, and training.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Marathon Training Week 1

Today began my marathon training.  Let me just say that I know I'm going to love this!  Here's just a little recap.

Doing anything for the very first time can be scary.  It was scary when I started college.  It was scary when I changed career paths and started dog training.  It was scary when I married Hans.  Going to marathon training for the first time when all I've run is a 10k ranks right up there.  I didn't know what to expect.  Would I be out of place?  Would people hear that I'd just run my first 10k and look at me like I shouldn't be there?  So, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and saw people from all walks of life.  I saw super-fit, elite runners as I expected to, but I also saw people who did not obviously run a marathon every month.  That made me feel much more comfortable.

As I walked into the stadium where we were having our first meeting I made a decision.  One of the reasons I signed up for this team was so that I could meet other runners like me, and I wasn't going to put that to wasted.  My plan was to greet as many people as I could and to find someone to chat with.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming that this was not an issue.  In no time at all I was chatting with a group of ladies about our previous running experiences and why we signed up for the full marathon versus the half (they had already run a half), and I was relaxed.

After a brief informational meeting it was time to run.  I wasn't too concerned about the distance since it was only 4 miles, and I normally do at least 6 on Saturdays, but I was worried about being last in my group or doing something really stupid.  Well, those fears were put to rest by two things.  First, a girl passing me almost ran into a poll.  With so many people, it was sometimes difficult to see what you were coming up on.  I guess she got distracted and she almost face planted.  Before you judge me, I did NOT laugh at her.  Rather, it sparked a great talking point.  The pole girl ended up running on ahead, but another girl next to me continued to chat.  For this run, at least, I had a running buddy (of the human variety).

As we chatted an ran the four miles passed quite quickly, and before I knew it we were back where we started.  My running buddy and I exchanged emails and phone numbers, and then I returned home.  I'm looking ahead at the training schedule, and I am stoked!  I'm realizing that my birthday is only a month before the marathon, and our run that day is 12 miles.  The following week we're running 20 miles!!!  I am so looking forward to everything, and I can't wait to provide y'all with more updates as we go along.