Archive for Dog Running

A bit of a post Lemming Loop status report and look ahead to Goofy Challenge 2017

Just a quick post today to give a bit of a status update on things now that the Lemming Loop is done for another year. Plus today marks 13 weeks until the Walt Disney World Marathon that I will be doing as part of my 6th Goofy Challenge (or 5th plus one Dopey Challenge depending on how you want to do the math) and I wanted to mention some things about my training plans there.

The day after the Lemming Loop (Sunday) was pretty good – unseasonably warm and I spent quite a bit of time with the family in the pool and relaxing. My legs were feeling pretty good except my right ankle.

Monday – back to work and of my small group I was the only one in and I was rushing around fixing issues between meetings. The legs felt great and I was moving very well. The only issues came after I had to sit for a period of time in various meetings. My leg joints would get very stiff. But otherwise I felt really good.

Tuesday / Wednesday – lots of sitting at work and my legs were feeling that for sure. I also started sneezing regularly and had a running nose. Yay! That cold / flu hit pretty hard as I ended up going to bed early, getting about 8 hours sleep, getting up to feed the dogs and then laying down and going back to sleep after I sent an email to my manager letting him and my team know I wasn’t making it in. I then crashed for another 7-8 hours where I was completely oblivious to the world. It took everything to move to the couch from bed and then I still ended up falling asleep on the couch later. Rough.

Thursday – back to work again. I was still feeling wonky but didn’t want to miss any more work. (plus I had called a couple meetings that I didn’t want to have to reschedule). Felt ok through the day but was definitely light headed. After work we had swimming lessons for the kids and by the time that was done and we had supper it was too late to run.

Friday – busy work day but I was feeling ok and made it through. I did a couple easy treadmill miles after supper and felt a bit woozy by the end. I don’t think this was an after effect of the Lemming Loop but instead a bit of the cold/flu still in my system.

Saturday – 11th anniversary! Holy crap! No running today but did mow the lawn – last time for the season by the looks of things!

Sunday – cooler morning near freezing temps (interesting that we were able to swim just the previous Sunday!). After I fed the dogs I took them out for a run. With the cooler temps I figured I would be able to run the hairy buggers a bit longer. Well, after a quarter mile one of them started pulling up and sitting and laying down – he was done already. It is interesting – one of the dogs loves to run but will not play catch and the other is the opposite. So I took them home (total of 0.55 miles round trip) and left the catch player at home and ran with the runner. With the cooler temps he pulled off another 2 miles (which I think is the longest run I have had him out for) and still would give me the occasional tug on the leash to speed up. It was a nice feeling to run with someone/something that was genuinely excited and happy to get out and run! After I dropped him at home and went out for 4.45 miles on my own bringing my daily total to 7 miles. I felt good with no wooziness like I felt on Friday’s run so I think I am generally recovered from the Lemming Loop and the cold/flu. However I did have some aches in my right ankle for the last couple miles. This same ankle hurt during and after the Fort Garry Rotary half marathon a few weeks back and during the Lemming Loop as well. I will have to watch it and potentially use a support for a bit during training to make sure I don’t make it worse!

Coming up – Next Sunday is the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services half marathon (WFPS Half Marathon) that both my wife and I are running. Not sure what to expect on that one but I am not counting on being sub 2 hours on that one. I will still shoot for it but I will understand if I don’t make it.

After that I will be dedicating my training to the Goofy Challenge in January and I am current finishing formulating my training plan for the next 13 weeks. It is going to be a bit different than previous plans as I have to move some of the days around a bit to work around the kids’s activities. I will be posting that up once I get it finalized.

Other news for the Goofy Challenge? Well, I have finalized my accommodations finally. I am using Disney Vacation Club points and most of the places I wanted to stay end up selling out at around the 11 month out window. But I did finally get something pretty decent set up after a month or so of trying. I will be spending the first night I am there (Thursday Jan 5th) in one hotel and the remaining nights in another. I was hoping to avoid bouncing hotels but at least I move on a day where I don’t have a race to do so it shouldn’t be bad.

Other thoughts – I have gotten away from writing up a quick blog post for each workout and instead just firing out a quick tweet with the info. I am going to try to get back into blogging each workout instead – the posts will still get tweeted but doing a post about the workouts makes me do a bit of an analysis on each run. This will help me focus more on what I am doing and catch issues faster but will also make me take ownership of each run which should help me become more engaged and dedicated to running again. Plus, I enjoy the writing aspect…and could definitely use the practice.


Anyway – this short post got pretty long but look for more posts in the near future.

10.77 slow and steady outside miles in 1:44:36 followed by another 0.7 with heavily distracted dogs.

Two days into my updated recovery plan and I was already off track. A few family things took over the time I had scheduled for running on Wednesday and Thursday – this left some miles to try to recover today.

I had 4.45 miles on the schedule, so it wasn’t too hard to add some additional miles – not that I wasn’t tempted to stay in bed instead…but I got out there in the end, and with spare time to boot.

In the end I did a total of 11.47 between my normal run and my add on with the dogs – recovering 7 miles of the 9 I missed earlier in the week. I am hopeful I can recover the remaining 2 miles tomorrow on top of the scheduled run. It should be possible – the weather is supposed to be gorgeous for this time of year and I should have the time.

Normally I wouldn’t advocate trying to recover lost training miles – but my runs this week aren’t too heavy so I should be able to add to them without risking injury or burn out. Also I don’t want to completely screw up my first week of recovery training.

Running with dogs today was a bit strange though – they started off great but got very unfocused fairly quickly. As we left the driveway they ran well and didn’t pull too hard (which is a nice change – usually one of them is pulling hard for the first 3-5 minutes until I get him settled). However once we got near the soccer fields where we do loops and work on speed runs they got distracted and kept pulling in every direction and stopping suddenly. It made getting in a groove pretty tough. It didn’t make any sense until I saw the deer droppings – that was a whole host of new smells for the boys that apparently took priority over running. We did get in a bit of speed work though but the distractions meant I wasn’t running enough to stay warm and I could tell I was starting to chill too much. So I decided to cut my losses, head home and get warmed up.

Ankle is still feeling great at this point so as long as I can keep the mental game strong, I should be able to start recovering!

5 miles tonight in 40:30 – one of my last runs before the 12 hour Lemming Loop on Saturday

Yay! I managed to suck it up and get on the treadmill tonight!

I did get some mileage in this weekend but not many – I was up most of Friday night / Saturday morning with stomach cramps and didn’t get much sleep Saturday night either. I ended feeling ok most of Sunday but felt crappy again for a good chunk of Monday afternoon. That seems to have passed at least.

Some positives from the weekend:

  • the dogs ran great – they are getting the hang of the leash and seem to be working together as a team when they run (not going all over the place but focused on moving forward. Buggers are fast too – Garmin clocked us up over 12 mph for a little while (like maybe 15-20 seconds). So if nothing else they will be able to help me with speed work outside…
  • the super blood moon was great – we had barely any clouds, no wind and a super view from our back yard. We were able to have a fire, roast marshmallows and the kids even got a swim in! Beautiful night. (made the sub freezing temps this morning extra crappy)
  • we managed to get a lot of swimming in – which was great considering the temperature has now definitely taken a dive and we will be shutting everything down soon.

The run tonight was fairly positive as well. I was concerned at first as my device that I use to play videos while I am on the treadmill had crapped out so I had to figure out some other way to amuse myself.

I decided to try out one of the built in iFit courses on the treadmill using what is essentially Google Street View on the lcd display. I picked the Monterey Trail as it was just a touch over 5 miles and that fit with what I wanted to get done. It was pretty cool – it had varying positive and negative inclines which kept me paying attention and focused. The incline went from a low of -3 to a max of +4 – a pretty good workout.

All in all it actually kept my attention and I was able to run quite well finishing out the just over 5 miles in 40:35. Not too bad for an easy run.

I will probably run tomorrow and Thursday night as well – each most likely at around 5 miles – to keep the legs stretched out for the 12 hour Lemming Loop on Saturday without running the risk of injury.

I am going to post something a little later this week to cover my thoughts and plans going into the Lemming Loop so stay tuned for that.


Total of 5 miles this morning – tried a few new things this morning – felt good!

Not too long a run this morning but still pretty good – I tried out a few new things that seemed to work pretty well for me.

First off I went for a 4.5 mile run without music – I had my phone and headphones with me but I wanted to see how I would do without music pushing my energy level up. For the 12 hour Lemming Loop, I have been thinking about running for the first while without music so that I can save the music energy for later when I need it. Basically just enjoy the first part of the run as wander through the park. In theory, this would have me go out a little slower at the start and have more energy for later. But first I had to check to see if me running without music was even going to work (it has been a while since I ran longer distances without music).

And overall I would say that it was a positive experience. I seemed to have a bit of a clearer head and was surprisingly focused. My pace was strong and steady through the whole run and I finished up feeling fairly energized.

I’m not exactly sure why it went as well as it did but I suspect a few things:

  1. My playlists are in need of refreshing – I have used the same playlist for a while now and, as I think about it, I realize that I have been listening to it through some pretty rough runs. It is possible that I am equating the songs on the list to the tough runs and it is messing with my mindset during the runs. Time to refresh the playlist!
  2. The playlist does change tempo here and there so it is possible that my pace is getting messed up as I go from faster to slower songs and back again. Speeding up and slowing down can tire you out and that could be impacting my runs lately too.
  3. I was able to pay attention to what my body was doing better and was able to run at a steady pace and effort because I wasn’t as distracted by or relying on the music.
  4. My mind was able to wander in a better way – I could concentrate but I could also think about other things and as I worked through issues in my head, the run seemed to get easier rather than harder. Mindset thing here.

I will be trying it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke but I suspect I am going to have to put in some regular scheduled runs where I run without music.

The second new thing I tried was to run with both of the pups at the same time. Up until now I have been trying one at a time to get them used to running with me (and for me to get used to running with them). But this morning I decided I should try with both together and see what happens.

Overall, it went well. There are some behavior issues I will need to work through with one of them (pulling mostly but the same one has had some dog aggression issues and both issues are probably related so we are working on that).

On their own, one of the dogs (Arrow) did not want to run because he wanted to be where the other one was (this is not the puller). The puller (Sven) has been a puller since the first run but like I said we are working on that – but man does he ever want to run! The non-puller Arrow loves agility games like fetch but the puller Sven just wants to run.

But having them together went well – Arrow ran a steady pace to keep up and didn’t do anything crazy, just a nice smooth run. Sven tried to pull but he wanted to make sure he was in front but he also wanted to unload and fly. Sven has the most work to do here to get him to pace with me.

We have also seen some dog aggression from Sven, and this being Saturday morning there were a bunch of dogs out. I came prepared for that – I had both pups sit and pay attention to me and fed them treats as a distraction. I did let them move around a bit when the other dogs were near but I had them on short leashes and corrected or distracted whenever Sven started to get wound up.

That went better than expected as in the end I didn’t get any of the growling or nasty barking that I half expected. I guess the training is starting to work but it is an ongoing process. In the end we covered a half mile but it was a good start.

Yeah, so, long story short – not big miles today but several positive things occurred! I’ll take that.

4.14 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill – good solid push after a slacker week.

Tonight was a good solid speed work out – alternating 8 mph periods with 9 mph periods. Finished out 30 minutes with 4.14 miles on the treadmill. Definitely a solid run. It felt good to get moving as I really haven’t had a good running week at this point.

I gave myself a 0.2 mile warm up at 4 mph and 6% incline to stretch out the legs before resetting the treadmill and doing the run.

I also took a 5 minute at 4 mph cool down walk after the run.

I used to do warm ups and cool downs all the time but fell out of the habit – I need to start doing them regularly again. The warm up meant I didn’t spend much of the start of the run working the kinks out and the cool down left me feeling more energized and yet still relaxed after the run. All positive things!

As a bit of a recap for this past week:

I posted about a 10.5 mile run and then another 0.5 mile test run with dogs after on Saturday.

On Sunday I did 13.1 miles on the treadmill practicing run / walk cycles of 5 minutes at 7 mph and 1 minute at 4 mph walk. I need to practice the run / walk cycles more as we are only about 5 weeks out from the 12 hour Lemming Loop and I will need to be doing quite a bit of the cycles in that event. I had planned to go longer but it was getting pretty late and the treadmill broke me mentally. I used to be able to do 20 milers on the treadmill but apparently that wasn’t in the cards that night.

Monday was a planned rest day.

Tuesday, I had some running around to do and didn’t get my run in. Getting to be a common theme…

Wednesday – I decided to take a second crack at running with the dogs – I took Sven out first and he was excited to go…in fact too excited. On Saturday, he ran very well with me with only minor pulling but he kept pulling and trying to lead on this run. He also kept trying to cross in front of me and tripping me up. By the end of a half mile run he was better but I could tell my form was way off. I then took out Arrow and he wanted to go hard too…for about 50 meters…then he kept trying to drag behind and not go. I kept coaxing him to go and we would get going and it would be ok, but then he would drop and sit again. We also had a bit (friendly) pooch who was off leash come bounding up and I wasn’t sure how he was going to react. So I had him sit and he did very well and kept under control (positive points there). But it was a struggle to try to settle into a pace with him as he just kept wanting to stop – basically he just wanted to run free which was not going to happen.

Basically I saw hope for running with both of them but I think in the Sven may be the real runner – the one that enjoys it. Arrow wants to chase Frisbees and balls instead.

I am still playing it by ear but as I watch their personalities, I suspect that my goal of running with both of them together may not happen. They are just too different. I might give it a short try on the weekend as a test.

Anyway, long story short on the dogs is that my legs and back were messed up after those short runs because of the bad form and being pulled in every direction. That blew off any hope of a run on Thursday as I was still pretty messed up.

Tonight’s run (Friday) ended up being a test to see if things had straightened back out…and they had. So, there is yet another thing I need to watch out for while running with the dogs – I need to maintain my form no matter what they are trying to do!