Tag Archive for dog running

Update for the past week of Goofy Challenge training and ankle/Achilles issues

Just figured I would do a quick update post for my Goofy Challenge training and how my ankle / Achilles issues are impacting the running.

I managed a decent 5 miles Tuesday night on the treadmill at near the 7.5 mph mark – and my ankle felt good during the run, potentially due to running with my ankle brace on.

Wednesday I only pulled through 7 of my 8 planned miles on the treadmill. I didn’t run with the ankle brace and definitely felt issues with the tendon so I cut out a bit early to reduce any damage that I might be doing.

Thursday was a planned day off and then I ended up not running my planned 5 miles on Friday night due to ankle pain. Instead I did a bunch more icing and stretching.

Saturday morning I did 1.5 miles with the dogs (with no speed work) and 4.5 around the neighborhood after. That gave me 6 out of a planned 9ish miles for the day. I could definitely feel ankle issues during that run and also knee issues on the same leg. I think I was starting to compensate for the ankle and my knee was not happy with the change in stride.

Also on Saturday, our daughter and I took the dogs to the park to give them a good walk. Unfortunately one of them slipped his collar and went after some geese. Luckily he did come back fairly quickly when called because I don’t think I could have chased him down. The pups are just too damned smart for their own good – lesson learned…they don’t go to the park without their running harnesses on!

After that excitement we did a bunch of work around the house and yard taking advantage of the unusually warm November weather. This meant I spent another 3-4 hours standing / walking and I could definitely feel it by the end of the day.

…and that then cost me my planned 17 miles today – instead this morning I rested and stretched the ankle and did some walking around the yard. In the early afternoon we took the dogs to the park again (this time the whole family and with the harnesses!). We gave the dogs a pretty good walk and a bit of running but I felt the running parts pretty strongly in the ankle despite the brace I was wearing.

We also then did some shopping with more walking around (with me still wearing my brace) and as I am typing this I am feeling that I have worked that ankle probably more than it wants to be. So my run for the day may be completely nixed unfortunately.

After supper I will see how things feel but I hope I can do an hour or so on the treadmill tonight to try to salvage some miles but not over doing it has got to be my focus.

So all in all, I am still in the same spot as last week – I need to get more long mileage runs in to be ready for the Goofy Challenge in 9 weeks but if I do myself a solid injury by pushing too hard it won’t be a good thing either.

That means I need to push to the edge of what the ankle can take but really listen to it to make sure I don’t go over that edge and set myself further back. That should be an interesting challenge.

If it was still summer I would try to maintain conditioning using the backyard pool to deep water run but that isn’t an option right now so I will just have to see what other options I can come up with. Maybe grab a couple month membership at a local gym and use the stationary bikes? I don’t know yet but I still have hope that I won’t have to do that. I did get in more miles and more activity this week than last and in all honesty the ankle feels better than last week as well. So I am getting better but I really need to be careful!

Either way I will keep everyone posted!

Test run on my ankle…total of 5.45 slow miles this fall morning

I got up this morning and was surprised to find that there was no aching from my right ankle. There was a nice bit of swelling around the Achilles tendon though unfortunately so I knew a longer run was a bad idea today.

It can take weeks to rehabilitate an Achilles tendon issue from what I understand but it is only 10 weeks today until the Walt Disney World Marathon and I am not sure how long I can back off on the running without losing even more of my running capabilities. So I have the old runners’ dilemma when trying to recover from an injury – how much is too much and too fast? 

I decided I needed to at least take the dogs out this morning especially since it was a such a nice crisp fall morning. I figured I would dress to run, put on a light ankle brace and see how a light jog with the pups went. If the ankle did ok I would maybe try a bit more of a run but if it rebelled I would just walk a bit to get the dogs some exercise.

I didn’t try any faster running with the pups but a light run felt ok. So I took the pups home after a mile and I went out for a slow 4.45 mile loop around the neighborhood.

The loop was not bad either – I certainly didn’t try any speed work on this run either because I was probably already risking my ankle more than I should have as it was.

After the run the ankle feels not too bad, still swollen around the tendon but no worse than when I got up. I am now icing it again and will be doing a bunch more stretching and strengthening today for it as well. And then probably icing again later today.

The big test is going to be how it feels tomorrow – if it is ok then I suspect as long as I take it easy and ice and stretch properly I should be able to keep up some easier light mile runs for the next few weeks to maintain some capability at least. I can then start to ramp back in more mileage from there and hopefully do ok during the Goofy Challenge. I won’t be a speed demon but if I can go in healthy I will be happy!

Stay tuned!

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 Рthis 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.