Who is the canine cop who takes his dog “running” at the 4-H Park while he sits in his SUV, leash in one hand with the other (presumably) on the steering wheel?
My sister and I have done our last two long runs at the park, both on a Friday, and this happened both times. Now, to be fair, it was raining on the most recent occasion. But just as we’re trying to make Friday long runs a habit, it appears that this canine-cop duo might be forming a habit of their own…
I must admit, it is harder to get going in the rain. But we’ve done it before — most memorably during Day Six of our “90 miles in 9 days” project in 2011– and during this run we laughed several times recalling how much more miserable we were then, exhausted before we even took our first step, trudging along in uncharacteristic silence.
It was daunting, at first, to see that two large sections of the drive were washed out, forcing us to cut through the soggy grass. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Part of the appeal of this park loop is that ¾ of it is unpaved, which means less pounding on Traci’s achy joints. Adding the grass segments meant even less time running on pavement, and Traci thought she felt better at the end of this 12-miler (done with a 4:1 run/walk pattern) than after last week’s 10. So as it turns out, we’ll probably stick with this course correction on future runs.
Here’s how this week’s training went:
Monday — yoga
Tuesday — 4-mile Greenway run in freezing wind with Traci.
Wednesday — 48-lap, 6-mile speed workout on 200-meter indoor track that’s fairly similar to the one at Goshen College, where the race takes place. Details on that here.
Thursday — Rest day. Registered for Wells Weighs In as extra incentive to drop a few pounds before the race. On a team with my sister, my dad and one of my sister’s co-workers. Rowan and Colleen formed a team with my brother Brent and sister-in-law Darcy (who lost quite a bit of weight last year and is just toning up after the holidays). Ben formed a team with some weight-lifting buddies.
Friday — 12 mile run/walk with Traci (see above). Eighteen laps around local 4-H park in intermittent rain. Once again, we finished faster (under a 12-minute pace) using a 4:1 run/walk ratio than we would have if we’d jogged the whole thing. The only bummer was that my Darn Tough running socks – which come with a lifetime guarantee and I’ve had less than three months – developed a hole in the toe. Funny thing is, I was just gushing about how much I love these socks earlier in the run. Hope I hung onto that receipt…
Saturday — 2-mile recovery run on YMCA treadmill, followed by Colleen putting me through an abridged crossfit-style workout she’s learned from going to conditioning sessions with the high school softball team. Not surprisingly, The seventh-grade drill sergeant was disgusted by my wimpiness.
Sunday — 6 miles on the treadmill, watching a documentary on “Forest Man,” a guy in India who’s planted a forest larger than NYC’s Central Park since 1979. The Brahmaputra River is gobbling up the island on which he and 100,000+ other people live, but his forest — now home to elephants, rhinos and tigers — offers one small shred of hope of saving it. Filled out the rest of the time watching snippets of “The Big Chill” and mentally assigning old college classmates to appropriate roles.
Total: 30 miles
Regrets: That I didn’t get in any runs with Loki this week. Luckily Rowan’s taught her hyper husky to play soccer in the rec room, so he’s getting in some exercise even on days when nobody runs with him. (Thus far we haven’t stooped to running the dog while driving the car…)