4 Days to Race Day…

(Jesse impatiently waiting for the human to quit taking a picture so we can get to the task at hand!)

 

…and it seemed only right to finish off my last run of race training with my favorite running buddy!

 

Part of the reason I have Jesse is because I’ve always wanted a dog as a running buddy: his need for exercise/stimulation helps keep me consistent with running when there’s not a race on the calendar and a training schedule to hold me accountable. Running with him helps me work on picking up the pace, and he gets to be outside and run around. It’s a win-win situation for both of us.

 

We had a great little arrangement until this past spring when we learned Jesse was actually heartworm positive. He underwent a series of three shots to kill the heartworm, and it required some time off from running. And by time off, I mean a combined 60 days of little/no activity! By the time he was cleared to return to activity, I’d already started marathon training, and I didn’t have the time to stay on top of my schedule and work with him to get him back in shape. Yes, even the four-legged runners can get out of shape. They may be faster than us human runners, but in some respects, they’re not that different from us when it comes to running.

 

I only needed a short run this morning, so I figured bringing the running buddy out of retirement wouldn’t be the worst way to finish out training. And, true to form, Jesse was more than willing to come along! More than the added effort of a faster pace, running with Jesse is a dose of joy. It’s not always a seamless venture (he did try to go after a skunk one time), but it’s hard to be in a bad mood after running with him. Jesse loves to be outside and gets downright giddy when given the chance to run. And I speak from experience when I say his joy and enthusiasm are infectious. So what better way to round out 16 weeks of work, early mornings, cranky calves, tendonitis, and dropping temperatures than a dose of joy compliments of Jesse?

 

All that’s left now is more stretching, lots of carbs, packet pickup…and Sunday morning.

5 Days to Race Day…

…and this morning’s strength training session was replaced by some time on my yoga mat. Ultimately, the goal of these last few days is to take it “easy.” This is the point in the schedule where I get to dial the work back and let myself recharge as I get ready for Sunday. So, for me, that means one last easy run tomorrow morning with lots of stretching & relaxation throughout the week.

 

As it stands, I’m looking at a mix of clouds and sun for Sunday’s race with a high of 45 degrees. (NOTE: this is also the point where I start to check the weather forecasts…a lot.) As running conditions go, that’s really not so bad. Ultimately, as long as it’s not raining, I’ll take it! 😉

 

All in all, I’m still excited, even as I’m busy at work trying to dot every “I” and cross every “T” before noon on Friday. Tendonitis notwithstanding, training has gone well, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of all the work I’ve put in for the last 16 weeks.

6 Days to Race Day…

…and all seems right with the world. I managed a 3-mile, pain-free run this morning before work, and I managed to run it right at my goal race pace. So far, everything is as it should be, physically, and my stamina doesn’t seem to have taken too much of a hit after 2 weeks off.

 

It might be race week, but it was still Monday. So even as I’m winding down and prepping for Sunday, today was still so much launching back into the work week after a weekend and wondering if it’s too soon to start counting down to noon on Friday (three cheers for half days).

 

The overwhelming feeling of the day has been gratitude. I’m grateful the doctor cleared me to run. I’m grateful my overall fitness is still where it needs to be after a break. I’m grateful for cooler running temperatures (with the right layers, it’s really not so bad). I’m grateful that—by and large—training has gone well. And I’m grateful that, come Sunday, I get the chance to stand at another starting line.

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