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.

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