Sunday, April 17, 2011

5k Challenge update: 26% finished!!!!!

Well, April 5th rolled around and brought Claire and I an expected surprise: our son, Anson, was born at 10:03 a.m. two weeks ago Tuesday! I had of course known for quite a while that a baby was on the way to our home, but was unsure as to what that would mean in regard to this blog and more specifically my 5k Challenge.

That being the case, I say now to all those who have uttered the words, "you won't finish" or "we'll see about that" in regard to my completion of this challenge with a baby in the house, "WATCH THIS!" I am a remarkably stubborn person, to a fault for sure, but that stubbornness can lead me to do some pretty awesome things. Those things include running 74 more 5ks in 2011.

I don't know that the runs will be as easy as they have been and that they're likely to become more difficult. I can only imagine with less sleep that they will be harder to start and harder to keep my normal pace, but the pace isn't the point. The point, as it always has been, is simply to run 100 5ks this year. I ran a really nice 5k today (more on that in the next paragraphs) and wondered aloud to the doggers if we'd be able to get out with such regularity in the coming months. This of course depends on my fortitude along with my wife's blessing, both of which are required for most everything I do in life as it is.

About that run I mentioned earlier: it was one of the best I've had in a while! My wife and the newborn were trying to take a nap at home and the dogs weren't having it. To alleviate stress for all of us, I decided a run was in order for the dogs and I. I took Graham dog and Jake dog to Dorris Ranch and found the parking lot empty when we arrived. It usually takes foul weather or an odd time of day to ensure that there isn't anyone else at this particular park, and today I had both factors working for me.

I checked the clock on the car before I shut the door and noticed that it was 6:25 p.m. I headed off down the gravel road to start the loop, Graham and Jake running circles around me and one another. Graham stopped briefly to sniff a few clumps of grass, no doubt getting subtle signals from other dogs who'd visited the same spot before. As we entered the main trail, the dogs and I turned on the afterburners and picked up the pace. I was determined to make good time today, despite forgetting my iPod (shame!) at home.

The run was quick and clean (as in straightforward and even; it WAS muddy. The lack of music and people allowed my mind to work on one thing and one thing only- my breathing. We made great time, stopping on occasion to take in a view of the Willamette River, observe an open meadow, or to let the dogs fetch a stick in the canal.

Running back toward the car, Graham and Jake could sense the speed I was trying to maintain and quickened their pace to match mine. The three of us huffed and puffed our way up the last 100 yards or so and stopped the makeshift timer at 6:52! I was very happy with the result of our efforts and rewarded the dogs with an extra long belly rub.

Arriving home, I found my lovely bride well-rested and preparing dinner. Days like this make me think that this challenge really will work, and it's for the best as well. Anson greeted his smelly dad and the smelly dogs and life went on. To be continued...

Friday, April 1, 2011

5k Challenge update: April Fool's Day run

Well, I had been sick the past two weeks so I hadn't been running lately. I hadn't planned on taking two weeks from my routine but this body of mine was not giving up the sore throat/stuffy nose/achy body very easily. Anyhow, I finally felt good enough to get out this afternoon with Graham & Jake doggers and we went to Dorris Ranch, a local Filbert (hazelnut) Orchard near the house. Running at the Ranch is always fun for the three of us; I like the soft, crunchy leaves that insulate my footsteps and Graham & Jake like chasing the gray squirrels that run through the orchard.

Today was the 23rd run of the year for me and boy was it overdue...the running felt easy, fast and relaxed. For me I think it was the perfect combination of feelings to make a really enjoyable run. More to come this weekend, though I don't plan on bringing the dogs again soon...they're still panting from this run!

Until next time...