Monthly Archives: May 2011

About a Dog

Hubs and I got Buddy just about six months ago! I cannot believe it has been that long…

Lately, I still feel like I have NO CLUE as to what I’m doing with this animal. Take Sunday night for example: Buddy joined me on the bed for our normal bed time routine. I read (while Hubs watches TV for a little while in the living room) until I fall asleep with Buddy curled up near my feet. When Hubs comes to bed, he puts Buddy in his crate for the night. Well, instead of curling up nicely Sunday, Buddy hopped up, turned around twice, looked at me, and then peed right on the bed!

I was at a loss. There was a little bit of hollering, Buddy was promptly removed from the bed, the bed was stripped (for the second time that day, sigh), and we threw away our comforter. :( I was too wound up to relax again for a while so I did some internet research. After ruling out a UTI for our little dog, the internets concluded that he was asserting his dominance by “claiming” the most important place in the house. Come on, seriously Buddy? It appears that, before hitting one year old, our little dog has hit the teen years. We’ve been retraining him to understand that he should be submissive to us and, sadly, there will be no more bedtime cuddles as Buddy has lost ALL bed priviliges.

Last night, when we were starting to feel more in control of the situation, we took Buddy to the dog park to blow off some steam. It was a little warm and in the process our pooch over-hydrated himself. The result was our (normally 90%) housetrained dog peeing inside about 8 times in one hour — including one spectacular episode inside his crate, all over his blankets. (Our washing machine has been getting a workout lately.) At first, I was worried he might actually have a UTI. However, he wasn’t just trying to go without result. He had plenty of result. In fact, if I hadn’t watched his water intake at the dog park, I would have thought he had consumed a swimming pool with the amount of output he produced.

Long story short, trips to the dog park will now involve extended walks afterwards AND he’s getting a new, smaller crate that he won’t pee in. Doesn’t pet ownership sound awesome? :)

It really is though, and he’s totally worth it. In honor of our six month anniversary with Buddy the hound (and to remind me that I really do love our little pee machine) — here is a list of things I’ve learned in owning a dog.

1. You will always spend more than you think.
2. “Tuff” or “rugged” toys are lies. The dog will rip through them just as fast — but this time you’ve spent more money because it’s “tuff”.
3. If you are reading/watching/doing something you’re excited about/really into — this is when your dog will become crazy/destructive/pee in the house.
4. Dog snuggles are the fastest way to feel better after a long day.
5. Dogs also make excellent nap pillows. (Bonus points if they sigh really big when you cuddle up.)
6. Dogs help you meet your neighbors (especially the ones that own dogs themselves)!
7. They are great exercise motivators and will never turn you down for a walk.
8. If you’ve put something in the trash, the dog wants it. If you don’t pay attention after you put something in the trash, the dog will get it.
9. Dogs really do hate baths. If you want a pitiful dog face, put them in a tub.
10. Specific to my hound: Buddy grunts like a cow if you pet him vigorously while he’s on the floor. It’s probably one of my favorite things about him and his little hound face. When he does it, we tell him he has a “case of the grunties” and he grunts even more. Awesome!

All right, I suppose this brings my dog stories to an end for the day! Has your dog/pet done something infuriating or absurd lately?

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Oh, so that’s what it’s like…

I remember what a good run feels like! 

After my blog post about intimidation and my bad mindset when it comes to running, I chatted with a few of my runner friends and Hubs. Basically, the jist was — if you’re not going to enjoy it, why do it? Hubs reminded me that I need to think of running as fun and enjoy what I can push myself to do.

Tuesday, I came home to a sweaty Husband — fresh off 3 miles from our training plan and the treadmill.  I knew I needed to run, but decided that outside was the way to go. I set out with the aim of running 2 miles. I finished those two. They were not easy, but they were definitely not as hard as I had thought they would be. I decided that, after a half mile walking break, I was going to finish another mile. Hubs was not going to “beat” me! 

And, I did it! Granted, the last .4 mile was spent in the large parking lot across the street from my house. Cops use it for motorcycle training so it’s  closed to traffic. I’m sure I looked like a loon — jogging slowing back and forth across the parking lot. I was BRIGHT RED and at the point in my run where I didn’t give two damns if I even looked like I was running. My level of effort was a run in my mind, so I trekked around that parking lot until my trusty Garmin said it was quitting time. Proud doesn’t cover it!

Perhaps I needed the element of competition. Or, maybe I just needed crunch time? I had another pretty good run on Thursday. That time I stuck to 2.25 straight and walked it out to three miles to complete my mileage. After two recovery days (my poor, sore legs), I hit the treadmill this afternoon. (It was a little warm and sunny  for my pale skin outside.) This time, I ran intervals to keep myself from getting bored. 2 minutes at 5.5 and a minute at 6. With half a mile left, I increased my speed by .1 mile every minute until I finished my 2.5 miles. (Much speedier than normal too!) It sucked, seriously, but I made it happen and I’m pretty pleased with myself. I walked another mile to meet my mileage. (Cannot wait until I can run the full mileage for the week!)

So yeah, here I am, less than a week later, with three (for me) fairly strong runs under my belt. Our families are coming into town this week for Hubs’ graduation, but I’m going to try to still get my three runs in this week! Hooray consistency and double hooray for finally enjoying (for the most part) running again!

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Intimidated

Hi friends,

Let’s have a truthful moment, shall we? I am scared out of my mind about this half marathon in September. I mean, I am excited, but I feel woefully unprepared.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not good at not being good at something. Got that? I struggle with running, or really getting back into running, because building up to three miles is hard. I huff, I puff, I turn red, I get tired, I sweat prolifically. And, a lot of times I just quit. This is not a good way to train for a half marathon.

Husband and I met up with our racing buddies: Thea (who has run countless full and half marathons) and Nick (one of our groomsmen who has agreed to take on this challenge as well). Over a nice brunch, Thea mapped out (via crayons on a paper table “cloth”) a training plan for us newbies. It’s very gradual and builds a great base. Each month we increase our weekly mileage and we have a long run of 12 miles three weeks prior to the race. It is a wonderful training plan and I am excited to complete it.

Starting on the other hand, that scares the bejesus out of me. After hurting my back (and re-hurting it on Friday) and not running for two weeks, I am petrified. I am going to suck. I need to accept that. It’s gonna be hard. But, I need to get myself into a good head space. I need to harness some positive thinking and bolster myself up to keep pushing when it’s hard and not just stop to walk. Training isn’t supposed to be easy so I need to accept that challenge. I don’t want to keep coming back here week after week and blogging about how I’m going to start training next week, the week after, on Saturday, next Sunday, whatever. The race is less than four months away. I could probably run a mile straight right now. Maybe a mile and a half if I were chased.

Training starts now – no matter how hard it is!

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MAY-jor Disbelief

Please insert my problems with grasping the fact that it is already May here.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… You know that new months bring new goals!

A quick look back at April:

1. Be ready to start half-marathon training (aka be able to run three miles with minimal walking breaks). Sadly, I can’t report a lot of excellence here. I did get my 5k time down to where I wanted it — but that was with a lot of walking mixed in. I’m happy because I know my time will decrease as I run more but I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t make this more of a priority. I’m putting together my training plan this weekend and know that I need to get serious fast or I will be woefully unprepared come race day. 

2. Complete 6 strength training work outs. (3/6) [Modified KB workout from Women's Health, Abs and Arms on 4/15, Arms and Shoulders on 4/20] Obviously, another work out fail. I need to get on track with all this — no wonder my weight loss progress has been stagnant. I’ll definitely be revisiting this for May.

3. Make 3 more new recipes, including something to share. (5/3) [Spanish Egg and Potato Tortilla, Lentil Stew, Kelly's Chicken Curry in a Hurry, Homemade Stovetop Paninis, Emily's Surprise Muffins] I excelled at eating and cooking this month! I wish I was as good at sticking to work outs as I was about cooking! Stovetop Paninis were probably the biggest winner here — so many variations to make delicious, easy dinners. Very pleased that we finally got to use ANOTHER wedding gift (stove top panini press).

4. Read 5 books, for real this time! (6/5) Another success! Nice to make up some ground from last month.

5. One of these books should be a classic. (1/1) I gave up on finishing Mansfield Park in April and focused on Anne of Green Gables. Success!

6. Stick to our weekly budgets. (2/5) Perhaps not so great here. We did better than March, but I’d like us to be a lot better about sticking to our weekly budget.

 

What’s on tap for May? (So glad you asked!)
1. Create half marathon training plan – Meeting with my “team” this weekend to put a training plan together!
2. Complete six strength trainin work outs (0/6) – No excuses. Half Marathon training means I need to build some muscle in order to carry my body more efficiently!
3. Read six books (1/6) – I have SO MANY library books out right now that I need to plow through!
4. Of those six, read two classics (1/2) [Mansfield Park] and one non-fiction (0/1) – This should go fairly easily since I finished one classic at the start of the month and our book club pick is non-fiction. Hooray for working toward my goal of diversifying my reading!
5. Beat my previous 5k time during this month’s 5k – My first 5k was run in absolutely horrid conditions. I’m hoping to do much better this time!
6. Eat at 3 new restaurants – slightly counterintuitive to following our budgets, but I’m tired of being stuck in a rut getting Chipotle or to go from Whole Foods. Then, at the end of the week it feels like we didn’t really enjoy our meals out even though we had a few of them. I’d rather eat out less and try out new places!
7. Be more consistent with blogging! Post at least 16 times this month. (1/16) Self explanatory! I love comments and reading other blogs, etc so I need to post more and be consistent!

In other news, I think my back is really on the mend! I was able to touch my toes last night without wanting to scream so that’s a huge victory. Hopefully I’ll be able to go for a little run this weekend and start weight training again as well.

What are you aiming to do this month? Do you have any races or big events coming up?

Oh, and if you live in the DC area — anyone want to help me try some new restaurants?! :)

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