Training, Month 4

Half Marathon

I’m not prone to whims. But signing up for a half-marathon certainly falls into that category. So does deciding last weekend – 3 hours ahead of race time – to do a half- marathon might, most definitely, qualifies as a whim.

The race was in the neighborhood, at night (dark so non one can really see me too well) and the toughest part, other than the sheer distance, was the “hill” that I have been tackling in my training on a regular basis.

I had in my training plan that I needed to do some practice races. I did not plan to start those practices off with a 13.1 but I guess it eliminates the needs for the other ones.

So, luckily my husband is a good sport (and in much better shape than me) and said let’s do it. I have been doing a lot more walking than running in my training. I have accepted that my first 13.1 will be more walking than running but I still only have 3 hours and 30 minutes to finish it in.

So, some good lessons learned.  Get my race playlist done and local – I could not access any of my music and had to walk with NO music.  Not how I’ve been training.  Most importantly, I can do it! I walked the 13.1 under the time limit.  I would like to shave 20 more minutes off but I’m not sure that is realistic unless I add a lot more running into my mix.

I learned that my ankles need a bit more strengthening, going down hill sometimes really sucks and it is time to step up my training and work on getting a bit faster.

And like I said in the beginning of this 13.1 journey, Run. Run. Run. (or maybe now, Run. Walk. Run… repeat).

 

 

July in Georgia

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Of course the peaches are ripe.  And the blackberries, strawberries, watermelons….yum!

It’s so hot you’ll sweat in places  you did not think were possible.

The days are long and more days then not there is a terrific, fast thunderstorm in the early evening.

No, it doesn’t cool it off, it just makes everything more sticky and then the bugs come out.

Sports are in full swing – baseball, soccer and more.

Kids are away at camp or lazing around the house.

Traffic is not quite so awful.

Every one has a bit more color – suntans and sunburns.

Women always carry a sweater – go out to eat or in a store without one and pay the price of being unbearably cold – I know where frigid air got there name now.

Festivals, concerts and parties abound.

Weekends are for escaping to the mountains or the ocean.

Love July in Georgia.

 

 

Training, Month 3

Half Marathon

So, a bit of panic is setting in.  I’m moving a lot more – more walking then running but some running thrown in. I’ve been trying to use the interval method of walk one minute, run three minutes.

I’m getting a bit nervous as it feels like October will be here in a flash. I’m not worried about walking 13.1 miles, but in my run/walk fashion I am worried about getting it done in the 3 hours that I have set out to complete it in.

And I would like to be in pretty good shape after the event as I have big Halloween celebration plans for that evening.

It is hotter than blazes in Georgia right now which has made training even more difficult – it’s literally close to 100 degrees every day  – from before dawn to way after dusk.

But I’m still at it and now need to increase the mileage beyond the four mile mark several times each week.

Next up is buying the plane tickets and finalizing hotel and other plans.  That will give me a shot of motivation for July as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Dog cheats!!!

I’ve noticed a growing trend and just had to check it out. And yep, my research shows, dog cheats are on the rise.

What’s a dog cheat? I’m so glad you asked.

A dog cheat is… wait don’t google that one, I made that phrase up.  A dog cheat is someone who buys a service dog “license” and vest on the internet (for about $180 bucks) so that they can take their dog anywhere with them (flights, stores…).  These  fake service dogs are giving the real service dogs a bad name.

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Not to discriminate against dogs, the service dog designation is now being stretched to other animals.  Believe me, you don’t want some of these critters sitting next to you.

The other trend is to designate pets as emotional support animals.  These pets (not just dogs) are afforded much the same treatment.  The big problem with fake service dogs and emotional support pets are that they have no training.  And you are seeing them more and more.  Excuse me ma’am, my 100 pound hound dog needs to squeeze into my middle seat with me.  Say what.  You used to just have to worry about the person next to you taking up half your seat and smelling, now it might be that pot bellied pig!

My neighbor’s son was injured in a fence accident this Spring (pretty sure there was beer involved).  He lives on campus in the dorms. They introduced me to his new dog, an emotional support dog, to help him heal faster.  Hmmm.  Cute dog but 1) it’s a puppy.  And a German Shepard puppy so he’s gonna be even bigger soon; 2) what does his roommate think?; and 3) does this really seem like a good idea?  All I can say is, the new dog has seemed to now join the owner’s other three dogs pretty much all the time. Of course, it’s Summer so we will see what happens this Fall.

Along the service line angle, I was at an airport recently and spotted one of these dogs. He was big and friendly, as exhibited by everyone I saw petting and playing with him.  He came with his own red ball in his mouth to facilitate you playing with him. Or perhaps that was this support dog’s, support aide. Where does it stop?

You would think people would self regulate on this issue, but sadly that does not seem to be the case. I expect we will see more regulation at some point but as the saying goes, I’m not sure you can regulate stupidity.

Meanwhile, this animal lover remains appalled at the growing abuses that I am witnessing more and more as I travel.  Now that I mention it, you are going to start to see it too.

Now you can google it, this will get you started:

https://www.acui.org/Publications/The_Bulletin/2015/2015-09/29508/

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/emotional-support-animals-rise-public-awareness-leads-misuse

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Emotional-Support-Animals-Growing-Problem-on-Flights-318728371.html

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/05/14/emotional-support-animal.aspx

When there are no words, borrow them

A dear friend of mine lost her Mom this past weekend. She knows I understand and is relieved I think to know that I really do get it.

But how do I tell her it’s not going to get better?  The hurt doesn’t go away. You don’t stop missing your Mom. Yes, you’ll laugh again, love again, but your heart will forever have a crack. It’s too early for those conversations – those will come later. Right now she just needs hugs.

She’s blessed to be a powerful woman from a powerful family of women. She’ll get through this.  And we’ll all be right there by her side.

I came across this quote from Jennifer Hudson this evening and it seems to fit my mood and prayers for my friend.

“I’ve seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows and everything in between. But what my mother, my grandmother, and all the powerful women in my family instilled in us – our faith, and how to make it on our own – carries me through.  It’s like they are very much still here.”

So as my friend mourns the loss of her dear Mother and contemplates the birth of her first child without her by her side, my heart cries with her.

 

Training, Month Two

Half Marathon

Okay, so panic is setting in a bit.  I’ve gotten a tad lazy about the training lately. Plus, a holiday at the beach really get me off track.

If I stick to my training plan, I’m still in good shape. But there’s no time left for any more slacking off or getting injured.

I have concluded through trial and error that I have to run in the morning.  If I push it to the evening, there’s a 95% chance it won’t happen.

So, it’s just determination and increasing the mileage at this point.  Nothing glamorous about it.

Just doin’ the work.