Today is my "rest" week in the training for the 1/2 marathon and boy did I need it. Last time I left my mark in the blogosphere, I was talking about my lack of confidence in doing my longer runs as I had what felt like a catastrophic run for my 6 mile distance. Achy knees just a few miles in, the seeming inability to push myself the last mile like I can usually do, and the feeling like my legs were going to literally fall off or break in half for the rest of the day.
Then what I did do? I took the whole Monday-Friday off and picked right back up for my 7 miler the next Sunday. I did it, but it was a bit painful as well. Not as much, but not really enough to gain a great amount of confidence back.
Oh, but then there was last weekend - 8 miles loomed over me like my pile of clean laundry that seems to always be sitting on my bed or dresser waiting to be put away (some may think that doesn't sound as dreadful as 8 miles, but for some reason around here it is). I was going to tackle it in the morning to
This was how I planned on tackling it:
- Wake up 2 hours prior to running start time
- Make a substantial breakfast - I decided my body can't survive on toast or something small - pancakes it is!
- Fill up my water bottle with diluted electrolyte drink (can't do it full strength - the sugary taste makes me seem more thirsty)
- Slurp down a GU 15 minutes prior
- A scheduled walk break every 2 miles (about as often as the aid stations would come up) to drink some electrolyte drink, and 4 miles in another GU.
Shortly after 9am on a beautiful Sunday morning I joined the rabid bicyclists and the runners/walkers who don't know you need to do your thing on the LEFT side of the trail and let Lady Gaga start me out with a little pep talk - something about Bad Romance. She knows me well.
2 miles - good. 4 miles - good, GU = ehh. 5.5 miles - uh oh, there are dem knees. 6 miles - drink, walk, stretch the quads a bit. Stretching the quads seemed to help a little, so I stopped at 7 miles and stretched again. Then I
hobbled hightailed it to the end. I was never so happy to see the 6.5 mile marker on the bike trail as I was this day (a feeling I am sure I will experience again a few more times).
I did it folks. 8 miles. I still am not confident my knees are going to make it. As it is, frozen blueberries are performing their PT on them right now after a 5 mile run that seemed to tear them up a bit.
Say it with me... UGH!
Part two (bear with me!):
Last week I had my first training session with a dog trainer for my pup Baylie. I'll keep this short and simple (yea, right, this is me here).
It's been on my heart for a long time to use animals in a therapeutic way. I am not sure where I first heard about it, but I think I saw a show about animal-assisted therapy somewhere. It involves bringing your pup (or cat, or bunny.. or?) to a hospital or similar environment and bringing him/her around to patients. The therapeutic aspect of it can be as simple as emotional - just being happy to see a pup (who isn't happy to see my Baylie!?) or a bit more complex when it comes to patients who don't really have the desire to rehabilitate themselves by moving their hands/arms, etc. but will do so when offered an animal to pet or throw a ball for.
I am such a baby, but when I see stuff like this play out on documentaries (or real life) I start bawling. I knew somehow, someway I needed to eventually get myself into that field SOMEHOW.
Shortly after I got Baylie last year I saw Shriner's Hospital for Children had a pet therapy program and I didn't think she was quite ready when they did the orientation last spring, but THIS spring we are on it. I go to an orientation in a few weeks and hopefully have her tested a couple of weeks later.
Enter the trainer - she is helping me refine some of the stuff that Baylie needs to be good at or able to do. Most of it she has down well (there isn't a person she won't accept a pet from!), but other things (like staying where she is sitting next to me until I say it's ok to accept the pet) need a little more work.
I am BEYOND ecstatic. I truly hope Baylie and I pass and can bring a smile to little kid's faces. There is always the possibility they will say she'd do better in a different environment (older people, retirement homes, etc.), but I am holding out for the little kids.
Until then - prayers and positive thoughts are accepted!