Ahh to Have a Dog’s Attitude…

A post run drink for two.

A post run drink for two

Dogs love running. Love it! Why is it the best thing ever for them? It’s one of the pinnacles of their lives, along with finally catching that squirrel that’s been teasing them all summer, chewing bones and sleeping. I wish I could just naturally love it like they do. I also wish I had four legs. Then maybe I could spread the tired out a little more and run faster.

They know when I start getting ready that they’re going out and they do not hesitate to let me know how excited they are. Switch actually vibrates and makes Chewbacca like noises. (I just learned that the dictionary on this computer doesn’t know Chewbacca. Not nerd friendly I guess. It wanted to change it to backache… so I guess it is new runner friendly and that’s something)

I think they see me put my shirt on and Switch says to Chinook “Hey! She’s putting on that shirt!”

Chinook replies “that one? The one that’s more glaringly bright grey than all her other shirts?”

“Yes! I THINK WE’RE GOING OUT” he shouts.

“YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!” They both say until we get out the door.

My shirt is bright pink… that was a – dogs are colour blind – joke, just in case you missed it. Har har har 😉

The point is I can’t imagine feeling that way about running. I hope to get that feeling one day but it wasn’t today. The weather was niceish and the running part went well. Switch decided he was a lead dog coming up on the finish line of the Yukon Quest and would not stop pulling for a while. We worked it out but then he had some focus problems and cut me off while staring down neighbour driveways about four times. He was like me at the mall, unable to walk in a straight line because I’m marveling at everything. Ask Svelte, I exasperate him and sometimes he just lets me walk into signs and such.

I ran into him the first three times but managed to slow down before disaster occurred and he figured it out. The last time he cut me off the only thing that saved us from a terrible limb flying, leash tangling pile of princess and dog was some crazy pudgy ninja move that I pulled by hurdling over him and managing to stay upright. It was a Christmas miracle! Now I’ve used that up for everyone. Sorry guys.

Today was C25K Week 3 day 3 and I’m on to week 4 after my night shifts tonight and tomorrow. Princess Sweatsalot and I are going to do a run together on Wednesday. I took a sneaky peek at the run and I will be up to 5 minute run sections on this one. That seemed impossible to me three weeks ago. That’s something I have to remember when I think about how long a half marathon is (and it’s just HALF).

It seems impossible now but it isn’t, I can do it.

~PP

(Almost) 5k Today

Here is my route today

  

  
Thanks Fitbit Surge watch for that awesome map! You’ll notice I’ve blurred out the street names so you can’t come a murder me in my sleep… although I’m sure if you were intent on murdering me you could figure it out by the shape of the roads. Just to remind you, I have a huge German Shepherd who is really mean and not silly at all. For reals though, I have a big shotgun… in my bedroom. 

So I know it’s not even 4.5k, BUT it’s a lot closer to 5k than I’ve walked/ran most days of my life. Also… I just yelled at Svelte “runned??” and he said distainfully, “ran.” I fancy myself somewhat of a wordsmith at times, but apparently ran was not in my vocabulary until today. Rum may be to blame, there’s no way to know. 

If you look at my pace you will see that kilometer 2 was mostly a big uphill, kilometer 3 was mostly trying to breathe again and kilometer 4 was mostly downhill. I have to get that pace down to about 9 minutes a kilometer for the half marathon. The slowest you can run it is 16 minutes per mile without being shamefully taken off the course. The Disney website recommends training at 15 minutes per mile. 

My goal is to be at 9 minutes per kilometer by race day. That will be a (very) approximate half marathon time of 3 hours. I’d love to be faster but right now this is my goal. If I reach it with time left I’ll pick up the pace. 

Serioulsy though, if I can finish this race in last place and not be hauled off the course it will be a VICTORY!

Today my rum was pretty good. Did I say rum? I mean run, yeah, run. 

I left at approximately or exactly 13:12 as you can see on the map (ooooh she uses 24 hour time, neat!). Dem puppies were with me as always. Everything started well and then about 1k into the run I realized that the battery had died in Switch’s electronic collar. Remember he is HUGE and occasionally he needs to be reminded to listen to me. So a dead battery meant that he pulled me about 80% of the run and the other 20% I was yelling at him to stop pulling me, between attempts to breathe. He’s pretty smart and he knew that fecking thing was dead. 

I decided to go around the neighbourhood and do this once a week so I can have a good record of how much my time is improving while I train. I work 2 days, 2 nights, 5 days off and have just nailed down a schedule for myself. I will run on the day of my first night shift, and then my first, third and 5th day off. My second and 4th day off are cross training and my day shifts and in between my nights are rest days. So my third day off will always be this 4.4k run (longer when I get there). It’s impossible to do anything on a calendar week when you work shift work. I usually don’t even know what day of the week it is. 

Everything, except Switch pulling me, went well until we were about 500 meters from home when the neighbour’s dog two doors down (the neighborhood is all acreages so 2 doors down is a ways) decided to come out on the road and attack us. So I have a 70ish lb dog running and growling at us and a 105lb German Shepherd with a dead electronic collar trying to run and growl back at him while attached to my backpack. Luckily I spotted this dog first (miracle!) and grabbed him by the short handle on the leash before he tried to defend his mother’s honour. I actually yelled “who’s FUCKING dog is this” as they were about to get into it. Some girl started yelling at our attacker and Switch barked and stared him down until he slinked away. It could have gone so horribly wrong but we reached home with all limbs in tact. 

Then the running gods smiled upon me! It was drizzly and overcast all day and I had taken advantage of a lull in the rain to get my run in. Not 5 minutes after we got home the sky opened up and a torrential downpour commenced. I laid on the couch, breathed and thanked them for holding off until I was done. I will remember that next time I have to run in the rain and give thanks for that one time when they waited until I was done. 

In other news I’ve lost a pound. Two weeks in and only one pound but I wasn’t too focused on what I was eating the first week and half. I am now using my fitness pal which synchs to my fitbit app and the eating is going better now. I’m going for a 1000 calorie deficit per day which scales to the amount of calories I burn. I like that better than a static calorie goal. I must always eat a minimum of 1200 calories (no effing problem!) and then depending on how much I burn I can eat more as long as I maintain that 1000 calorie deficit. Usually that equals at least 1500 calories of eating but if I do absolutely nothing all day I can still eat 1200-1300. 

99 pounds to go. For some reason that seems like so much less than 100 pounds. Sweet!

~PP

Big Butt vs. Small Bike Seat

Yesterday it rained. I had no desire to run in the rain and could still get my 3 runs in this week by delaying a day, so cross training it was. I went with spinning. In my younger days when I once was going to the gym regularly I did an hour long spinning class three times a week. I loved it. About two years ago I decided that I’d get into spinning again but do it at home. We live a ways from any gyms here. So I needed a spin bike. 

The Prince and I play this game which goes like this: Princess wants piece of new fitness equipment for her latest weight loss kick. Prince is very supportive and agrees to buy said equipment but if Princess does not use it he gets to sell it. Equipment is bought. Princess uses it for about a month. It becomes a clothes rack. Prince sells it. 

I lost a beautiful livestrong treadmill last year this way. I could really use that now but hey, it’s my own fault and I’ll probably have to run 3 times a week for at least year to get one again. I digress, the point of all this is that I have a decent spin bike that he hasn’t managed to sell off yet. Well I’m keeping that thing! You hear me Svelte?!? The game is no longer on! 

Here it is:

  
Chinook is making half an appearance in there too. It occurs to me that the bike probably needs a name. I will take suggestions in the comments 😉

So I found an intro 20 min spin class on youtube and spun my little heart out. As the title suggests it was a bit of a battle between my butt and that little seat. Seat for the win! My royal butt is in a world of pain. But (haha, butt) I remember that happening even when my bottom took up much less space. Maybe not this much ouch occured but I know it’ll get better and one day I will be able to sit on a hard chair again. I’ll be back on that bike as soon as it doesn’t feel like I’m sitting on a 2″ wodden rail because it was such a good workout. In 20 minutes I sweat enough to fill a bucket, or at least a cup, a small cup. The point is I sweat a lot more then when doing most other workouts I’ve tried and I’ve tried many. Also it’ll strengthen my knees and legs for that running. 

Speaking of running today was C25K week 2 day 1. Runs are up to 90 seconds at a time. I know this sounds like a very short time but I was nervous about it. Luckily everything went perfectly… orrr maybe it went like this:

It was raining again and I was not looking forward to running in it however I put it off yesterday so it had to be done today. I waited, the rain stopped, I geared up. Tights, ultra sports bra, tank top, socks, shoes, jacket, pack, dog collars, headphones, music on, ready to go! I started up my couch to 5k app and heard something. It was the rain, I could hear it on the tin roof of my house over my music. It was now raining way harder than it had all morning before it stopped. The dogs were doing the “we’re going out!!!!!” dance, so I couldn’t let them down. Off came the pack, on went the rain jacket and gloves, pack back on, hood up and I was out the door. 

I did my 5 minute walk warm up and started my first run interval. My hood made me feel claustraphobic, it came off. My head got very wet. My headband was slipping, it came off taking my headphones with it. I fixed it. The dogs refused to heel well, my hands got too hot with my gloves on, I was getting covered in dirt and soaked, I swore a lot, I did it anyway! Triumph! Sore butt and all. 

Don’t miss the post below. Britt at  liveloverunlikeaprincess nominated me for a Real Neat Blog Award! She’s real neat too, check her out! 

~PP

Dog Paw Butter is Ridiculous

Yesterday was C25K run number 3 and I seriously considered quitting in the middle of it. There was no good reason for my despondency, I just didn’t want to do it. But then my traitorous brain came through for once and reminded me that there were ACTUAL REAL PEOPLE reading this. That meant something to me and I decided not to be a douche for once and finished the damn run. 

Afterwards I was thinking about how rough the road is and even though we walk the dogs on it often I though the (very slightly) faster pace might be tough on their paws. So I dug out some paw butter that I bought last winter and never used. I bought it because it gets really cold here (-40C on occasion) in the winter and was a little worried about their toesies. But they were fine so I didn’t have occasion to use it. When it’s that cold we don’t walk. They run outside, pee as quickly as possible while holding up one or two legs and trying not to fall over and then run inside. They also have dog boots which are hilarious the first time we put them on each winter.

SO! I attempted to apply dog paw butter to their paw pads. They were tired when I started which is the ideal condition to trim nails, cut hair and what have you. Chinook was lying on the floor near the couch so she was the lucky one to go first. She was pretty tolerant and let me rub it in to one paw while she lay there with a “wtf are you doing?” look on her face. I had put the jar on the couch next to me while I applied it. This paw butter smells amazing especially if you’re partial to oatmeal, apparently it also tastes amazing because Switch had snuck up behind me and was noming it down while I worked on Chinook’s paw. It was so good that when I reached up to grab it for the second paw he was in the process of picking it up and running away with it! I told him to drop it but that wasn’t happening and he snuck away with his sneaky ears on and his “I’ve got something you want!” trot. Now Chinook doesn’t like it when switch puts those ears and that trot on and so she tried to chase him while also trying to hold one paw up, lick it and bark at the same time. I got up and tried to use my authority voice to get him to come and give it to me…. unfortunatley I’m only the boss about 70% of the time and this happened to be a 30% hour. 

Now Switch is running around with the paw butter, Chinook is limping, licking and barking after him with me in the rear both laughing and yelling as we run around the dining table with carnival music playing in my head. Hilarious. I wish someone could have seen it, although not Cesar Milan. Svelte would have had tears of laughter for sure. 

Eventually I retreived the paw butter but the tired dog state we started in was gonezo. I persevered! The laughter ceased, mom’s the boss was once again established and dogs were calm and lying on the rug. Chinook’s paw buttering commenced without further incident. She licked it all off but I managed to rub some in there first. 

Switch was another story. You must understand that Switch is the silliest, most easy going, do anything to him, waggly tailed, laid back German Shepherd ever. He looks scary, but he’s a little sweetheart. Front paws, no problem. I picked up his back leg and he shrieked like an eight year old girl who just had her finger cut off. Lately we’ve thought he might have a sore back leg so I thought I might have hurt him, even though I only picked his leg up a maximum of one inch. So I let him relax for a while and then tried the other leg, SHRIEK! There was absolutely no way I had caused him any pain, he was being dramatic. He’s known for his dramatic sighs and flopping lie downs. If he could put the back of his hand to his forehead and say “woe is me!” he’d do it occasinally. We tried the other leg again, SHRIEK!

Now boss mom really came out! “LIE DOWN!” I said. He lay down. I gently took his back paw in my hand. He gave me the eye and I could see the shriek building. “NO!”. He sighed. Paw butter was applied. We all lived. Now the other paw. No problem. I finished rubbing it in and looked at him. HE HAD THE JAR OF PAW BUTTER IN HIS MOUTH AGAIN! I let go, he ran away, Chinook gave chase, carnval music and general hilarity ensued, he stopped and licked it all off. 

  
So paw butter: I’m sure you’re good for the paws, but you’re ridiculous and I will never use you again. 

Shout out to the King and Queen who called yesterday to say how much they like reading the blog. Thanks parental people!

Also a shout out to all you guys who I don’t know in real life but are reading, liking, and commenting. You kept me going yesterday and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. 

C25K week 2 starts tomorrow, Disney or bust, Huzzah!

~PP

p.s. Yes We’ve had Switch’s leg checked by our Vet as well as Princess America who was just visiting for a couple weeks and is also a Vet. He’s fine. Dramatic, but fine 😉

Introducing dem Puppies

My running buddies

  

 
This is Chinook. She’s a 6 year old Border Collie mix who enjoys barking at squirrels, chewing bones, playing with toys, and lying on the back of the couch looking out the window or on the top of the hot tub in the sun like a cat. Nicknames include Nooks, Nooksie, cat dog, or when we are slightly tipsy Schnorks. 

  
This is Switch. He’s two and half and very silly. His hobbies include stealing things like shoes and dish towels and putting them in his spot to lie amongst his things in glory, shredding paper towels, stealing Nooksie’s bones and toys and putting them in the yard and crawling into your lap for snuggles. He is a small dog in a big dog’s body. His main nickname is Mister Switch. I’m not sure how his nickname is longer than his real name. We’re not even clear on when we started calling him that but it stuck. Occasionally shortened to Mister or BaBAH. Emphasis on the second Bah. Again, no idea where that one came from. Svelte made fun of me for calling him that but I’ve now caught him calling him BaBAH a few times. Sucka!

The next picture is hilarious. Switch is saying “I love everything and I’ll just sit here happy until I get that treat you’re holding!”. Chinook is saying “hey lady, you’re not my mom, give me the fecking treat.”

  
Photo credit for all three of these goes to the Ginga Ninja. A good friend who comes all the long way to my house to let these guys out when I’m working and Svelte is away on business trips. She rocks… and her name comes from her amazing red hair! I work long shifts and I’m not sure what I’d do without her. 

So these guys will be training with me for the next 18 months. At first I thought it would be trickly cause I couldn’t move my arms much when holding the leashes. I need to move my arms when I run. I suspect most people do, although what I know about running can be summed up by this: move forward faster than when you are walking. Anyway, I came up with a method to tie them to my pack on either side of me so I didn’t have to hold the leashes. They heel pretty well, not amazingly well, but good enough to tie them to me and not be skiing behind them. They’re a little in front of me but they are not pulling. 

Why wear a pack, you say? Welp, in my neck of the woods I need to carry bear spray and a bear banger and my phone (music is essential to me) even around my neighborhood. A belt won’t do. There’s too much pudge right now for that to stay in the right place. So I bought a super nice Solomon running pack with a water bladder in it. I love it and it looks ridiculous and tiny on me. But I care not! I can suck back that water, listen to my tunes, tie my dogs to it and have all the bear protection I need. Score! I’ll put a photo of it up another time. 

Did my second C25K run yesterday and loved the shoes. I’ll wait for a bit more time in them to share any more detailed thoughts but after one outing I’m optimistic they’ll be great. I’m a LOT less sore than the first time and my ankes are golden. 

Tomorrow is run #3. 

~PP