But I have some really terrific things that have been taking up my time! - Here are the highlights:
1) On June 30, we added a new member to the family! This is Louie, a pitbull / boxer / whoknowswhat mix we rescued. He's about 18 months old, but seems to be new to everything - walking on a leash, basic commands, NOT jumping on people... we have a lot of work ahead of us to get him up to speed. He's really sweet, loves to cuddle, and enjoys killing any squeaky toy that crosses his path. (Quite the "strong chewer" this one!)
Handling this bug guy has required some minor lifestyle changes: I'm getting up early every day to take him and Coty on a morning walk. Just a short one, but if I can get him up to speed (no pun intended) and learning to run, this could mean I start having some morning runs! All these years and I never thought anything would convince me to start running early in the morning, but there you have it. Sometimes you just have to find the right motivator.
Since Louie is new to even the most basic commands, we're spending time every day working with him on learning to sit, stay, lie down, etc. "COME" is going to be a big one - this guy is a runner, if you drop that leash he just takes off wherever, and does NOT come back. (Once you catch up with him, he's perfectly happy to come with you though.)
2) I've done a fair amount of work-related travel recently - some overnight, mostly just long drives, which make for long days. Work continues to be very challenging and very rewarding. I love my job, and I'm really glad to be back to doing the work I was meant to do.
I've kept the drives interesting by stopping every now and then for an impromptu photo shoot when I see something cool on the side of the road.
If this interests you at all, there are more pics on my personal Facebook page, here.
3) I've continued with my physical therapy - in fact, today is my last day, and I'm really sad about it! Is that weird? Seems like I should be glad I've been pronounced healthy and essentially injury-free, and cleared to continue training for my two fast-approaching half-marathons. I do have some ongoing issues with my calves and my low back, but they've given me all the tools I need to continue working on them at home.
Maybe I'm just really selfish: I go in there once or twice a week, they warm up with me and listen to my runner problems and ask how I'm doing, then massage all my aches, and give me homework to do - I have my own personal team! My PT is a runner - is in fact a member of my local running group - and I feel like I've had a "coach" for "my sport" - for the first time in my life! I'm really going to miss them.
They had me do some running on the treadmill a few weeks ago on video and did some analysis of my stride and cadence. I got some really good feedback - my stride is solid, not too much heel-strike, though I have some homework to do on that as well, but the main thing I need to work on is my cadence. I plan to go back in a couple of months to video again and see if there's been improvement.
4) Speaking of my upcoming half-marathons: my long runs quickly got to be VERY long! I've had two 24-mile weekends in a row! 4th of July weekend I ran my 5-mile race (more on that to come), plus took the dogs on some SERIOUSLY long walks and an 8-mile training run ... 23.65 miles over 4 days! Last weekend I had a 9-mile training run on tap (plus a 1-mile dog walk and a 0.5-mile warm up & cool down) on Saturday, then Sunday a 4-mile pack walk with Jason and the dogs, plus over 8 miles on the bikes... 23.32 miles for the weekend.
I'm looking forward to a new challenge this weekend: a 10-mile training run. This will be my longest-ever run. And on orders from my PT - I will be doing lots of pre-run dynamic stretching, post-run stretching and foam rolling. I'm gonna need it. But I know I can do it.
5) And speaking of all that mileage: I owe you a June progress update, which I will work on later today. Spoiler Alert: I did not hit my 500-mile goal in June.
That's because I will hit my 500-mile goal this week!! I'm so excited about it I can't wait: Total mileage by my count is at 496.65 right now, so I'm less than 4 miles from goal!
Well that's all I have time for right now. I hope to post a June Stats Update and a Park2Park Race Recap by the end of the weekend, and will definitely post an update on that 500-mile milestone soon.
I'll close with my most favorite picture from this past weekend: Jason and the dogs, half-way through a 4-mile walk. In their defense, it WAS pretty darn hot out.
Have a great weekend, all.