Saturday, March 19, 2011

One Week Out and (four-legged) Running Buddies

I cannot believe that the race is next Saturday!  My bib number is 327, and I am in corral #4.  I've never been in a race with corrals before.  I don't know if I think it's cool or if it makes me feel like cattle.  I might use a pace group on this race.  Historically I do great on long runs holding on to the coattails of faster runners; why not try it for a race? The question is which pace group: 3:40, 3:45, or 3:50?  3:40 qualifies me for Boston and is 30 seconds faster per mile than my 21-miler and thus within the realm of possibilities.  On the other hand, my training has been really lacking this time around, and 3:50 equals an 8:47 pace, just 5 seconds faster than my 21-miler.  That seems a little too safe, you know?  It's also my time for the last race, on a much hillier coarse.  So then 3:45 sounds reasonable, and if I feel great at the half, I can speed up.  Who knows...

I've picked out my race outfit: Nike compression shorts (too big, but that's another story...), my Off n' Running race tank, my favorite oh-so-soft Balega socks with the little puff on the back so that they don't slide down into my shoes, and my New Balance 759s.  I'm kind of disappointed about wearing them, because I love my Brooks Ghosts, but the latter are dying and now also smell like cat pee.  Great.  I have some arm sleeves, too, but they are shiny black and look a little too serious.  Also, the one time I wore them I got under-arm blisters.

Today I took Jack and Scout, my two wonderful mutts, to the trails for their first run together in a while.  Usually I run with Jack alone these days; Scout used to be my most athletic dog, but she tore her ACL and shredded her meniscus a few weeks before our son was born.  Ever since, she's just like any injured athlete: she desperately wants to run but can't really keep up.  And since she's loyal (and doesn't speak English), I can't trust her to tell me she needs to stop.
Here she is right after surgery.  She's such a good girl!
I let her come along because I knew it would be a slow one anyway.  The sun was shining, it was nice and hot, and the dogs could not remember what the heck to do when running together.  The leashes got tangled, Scout fell behind, Jack peed on his leash more than once, they waded in the lake and shook their loving wet, muddy bodies all over each other and yours truly.  It was, in short, perfect.  Our pace was around 11:00/mile because I didn't want to stop and start the watch every time one of them did one of the things mentioned above.  It was one of those runs that reminds me it's not always about the time or the distance or even breaking a sweat (which I didn't).  It was just fun.


  1. Sounds lovely! I wish I had dogs to run with! Best of luck on your race!

  2. Thanks! The puppies keep me out of my head. Not great for pace, but it has to be really good for the soul.