I didn't really start out with any specific goals in mind. I knew I needed to start running in August to get in shape for a race in October without injuring myself. I knew I should start slow and build up distance and speed over time. I seriously thought about doing the Couch to 5k program, or something similar, but I ultimately decided against it. I tend to rebel against schedules. Instead, I just made a promise to myself that I would go for a run at least three days per week.
My first few runs were just around my tiny neighborhood, basically circling the same few blocks for a total of about 20 minutes. I even stopped on the beach on the way home from a friend's wedding and went for a 20 minute jog on the sand. Then, last week, I got a smartphone for the first time. The first app I downloaded, even before I got Facebook, was MapMyRun. I thought it would be really fun to be able to map where, how far, and how fast I was running. Its helped motivate me to run in my much broader neighborhood area, covering new paths and different streets.
Unfortunately, the weather has also gotten hot and humid the past week or so. I tried venturing out for a run in the late afternoon once last week, since it was overcast. I ended up having to head home less than 10 minutes into it, because the dogs were having a really hard time and I was barely able to breathe and totally dripping with sweat. So I've been running at dusk or after dark.
I finally took my camera along last night to get some pictures. I headed out a bit before dark. Whether I run in the daylight or at night, Koira always wears her safety vest. She is a black dog, so can be hard to see, and she also likes to be out in front of me, though she is pretty good about not pulling most of the time.
|Double swivel leash set up|
|LED and reflective vest|
Since we are running at night time, I also have a whole safety set up for the dogs. It looks much darker in this photo than it actually was yet, but it lets you see what all we have going on. Both dogs are wearing LED collars (Koira has red, Pallo has pink). Koira has her safety vest on, though I need to remember to put some new reflective strips on it. Pallo has not only a standard leash on, but also an LED leash. We end up being pretty bright when running after dark. I would like a second LED leash so both dogs could have one, but for now, this method works.
Unfortunately my motivation was just not there last night. I've been doing so great with the runs since the beginning of the month. Once I get out and get going, I actually am enjoying myself a lot. I haven't really sped up much, but I feel like I am able to run longer without stopping to walk, and that I can maintain a faster pace more consistently than I first could. But that might just be in my mind, because I haven't seen much to support that in MapMyRun- though admittedly I am jogging just barely faster than a quick walking pace, which makes it hard to tell a difference.
But last night, man, it was just not happening. I did jog for a while, but couldn't even make it to the end of the first street without slowing down. It was still really hot and really muggy, which I think had something to do with it. I kept trying for a while, but running, no matter how slowly, felt like torture. I finally gave in to my body and just walked. We did cover over three miles with our walk, so it wasn't a total waste. But I'm hoping I'm feeling better tomorrow.
And just for fun, LED leash after full dark.
PS: I am totally loving all of the reader input on yesterday's post! If you missed it or have any questions, post/subject requests, etc, please check out yesterday's post and leave me a comment. Or feel free to comment here too!