Sunday, January 10, 2010

To Run or To Bike?

Well I was supposed to run my 10k yesterday to keep up on my mileage to reach 500 miles this year. But I haven’t been feeling good since Thursday and I was out of energy all day yesterday.

I was scheduled to do a bike ride with Kris today. So I was wondering if I could double up on the workouts today so I can stay up on my running goal without missing a ride.

Well being over tired to begin with, it didn’t make sense to me to double up when my body seemed to be asking for rest. Run and bike on the same day? Not today I think. So I had to pick a priority and running won.

I loaded up the dog and off we went for our weekend ‘long’ run. I packed about 32 oz of electrolyte water for me and about 12 oz of clear water for Heather. Don’t scoff that I packed a third of the amount of water for Heather. Trust me. We have ran enough together for me to figure out that the girl doesn’t drink!

I swear, I don’t know how she does it. She will run for miles and when offered she’ll often not partake. She’ll drink a lot when we get home. But she doesn’t like to drink much on the road. That is unless it’s hot out.

I was beginning to wonder why I even packed her a bottle today. I felt so HEAVY and slow! I was just plodding along. And I kept thinking how much water weighs and she’s not likely to drink it anyway. I knew this was going to be a long uncomfortable run.

I just did the best I could and walked when I needed to and ran as much as I could. The point was to cover the mileage so I could count it for the year’s goal. I didn’t have to cover it in a certain amount of time.

Finally, just before the halfway point I decided to stop to adjust my shoe that had been bothering my right foot the whole run. I decided while I was stopped I might as well take a good slug of my drink. When I was done I decided to grab Heather’s bottle and see if she would drink.

I reached behind me to yank the bottle out of my waist pouch. I couldn’t reach it. I slid the pouch around to my front and discovered it was empty! What the? Obviously Heather’s water wasn’t too heavy or else I would have noticed when my load lightened up.

I decided to offer her some of my electrolyte water. There was nothing in it that would hurt her. Though I wouldn’t recommend a steady diet of the stuff for dogs. So I offered her some and of course she didn’t want any. Ok. Let’s go.

For certain pieces of the route I would drop Heather’s leash. She is really well behaved. But I keep her on the leash if we’re running on or next too the busy streets and if there are other people around. Even though I know she behaves; other people don’t and some people get nervous when they see a loose dog. Besides, it’s really not responsible to take your dog in public off leash.  

I’m always surprised when I’m out with Heather and people move out of her way or cross the street to avoid walking past her. If they read her body language it is clear that she wants to say ‘hello’ and is of no threat. But I don’t think the average person or the average dog owner is very versed in canine body language.

Heather is always disappointed when someone doesn’t stop to say “Hi”. You can see it in her face. Maybe if you don’t know her, she looks scary with her dark coloring and shaggy hair. She smiles constantly. Maybe people are mistaking that for a grimace???

So while I was running toward the entrance to a multipurpose trail and saw another lady walking two little dogs, I called up to Heather so she would stop before she reached the lady without me. Of course she stopped and waited for me. I picked up her leash and we started jogging together  toward the trail.

I could see the lady keeping an eye on us as we ran toward the entrance of the trail. We were going to reach the entrance at about the same time. She moved her dogs all the way to the far end of the trail and kept looking out the corner of her eye.

What was she worried about? Maybe her dogs are aggressive and she’s trying to keep them away from Heather? Or maybe I just looked a little spooking in my running gear?

I always wonder what I looked to people on the street. I wear lycra pants or shorts and running shirts should be form fitting and mine certainly are. So I imagine people can see all my rolls through my clothes. (I’ve mentioned before how I feel like I look like the Michelin Man’s little sister in my workout clothes.) And I can only imagine the hypnotizing power I possess as I run down the street, my fat rolls undulating up and down my body.

On top of that I usually wear a hat and my sunglasses cover half my face. So I recon it’s even hard to tell if I’m a guy or a girl. And when people see my short wide frame they probably wonder how I can run at all. Like bumble bees. According to the rules of aerodynamics, the bumble bees shouldn’t be able to fly at all. But you know, us wild animals have their own spirit and we must do what we will do.

So as we jogged past, I smiled and said, “Hello there.” And she smiled back and said, “Hi”. So you know, we’re cool.

There’s always a lot of people on the trail so I had to keep Heather on the leash. We passed a couple other groups with dogs, a speed walker, a couple bikers, and another jogger. One of those skinny, built to run joggers.

By this time in the run I was feeling much better. Probably because I had lost some weight by losing the water bottle, my body was super warmed up by now and with half of the 10k behind me, my endorphins were pumping full strength!

Heather and I came in at a moderate pace. Better than I expected based on how I felt going out.

So I took her in the house and of course she drank her whole bowl of water in one gulp. I kicked off my running shoes and grabbed my biking shoes and told my husband I was off to find my water bottle.

I had a suspicion of where it’d be and sure enough it was there. I thought I must have dropped it while running on grass because I didn’t hear it hit the ground. And there it was just waiting for me.

So I snatched it up, secured it in my bottle cage and turned around and biked home. My bike ride today was a whopping 2.98 miles. But technically speaking, I both ran and rode my bike today. J

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