Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Now that the time change has come and gone, a lot more of my runs have to be done in the dark.

Normally I am a morning runner, mostly because I like to have it done with before I start my day, but also because I am not comfortable running alone in the dark.  I like running in the dark, but before this training cycle I’d only ever run with the Running Room at night so I was always surrounded by lots of people.  Not so much right now.

Instead of just NOT running (which would be easiest, but also the laziest option), I have assembled my “Defeat The Dark” running ensemble:

- I have started taking Scout with me.   Since I am going fairly slowly still I can take her for up to an hour and she barely gets winded.  And while she isn’t exactly a tough cookie, she at least looks tough (maybe?) and will bark if she’s worried. Or at bags of leaves. Or spook at shadows.  On second thought maybe taking her isn’t such a good idea.

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I swear she just ran 6km with me. She doesn’t even look tired!

- Wearing my headlamp.  Shawn got it for me last Christmas and I finally have a use for it (other than bringing horses in in the dark).  I can see in front of me better and I’m more noticeable to drivers and other pedestrians.

- Reflective clothing.  My Running Room jacket has reflective stripes on the body as well as the sleeves.  I really need to find reflective bands I can wear on my arms and ankles so I’m even more visible.

- I’m NOT listening to music in the dark.  I almost never, ever run without music, but I’m now making an exception.  This way I can be more aware of what’s going on around me (and determine if Scout did hear something or if the bag of leaves is just that scary).  I still run with my phone just in case.

I’m also sticking to well light areas that I know well, and of course telling someone (ie Shawn) when I’m leaving, where I’m going and when I should be back.

So far this is working out ok, and I’m a little less leery of running at night, although I would still rather run in the morning!

Any other ideas or suggestions for running in the dark? What do you do to keep yourself safe?

Just Don’t Call It A Comeback–Race Weekend!

One more sleep until race day!

I’m still hesitant to have any kind of finishing time in mind.  I’m a slow runner as it is, and I’m still even slower since starting back running, and it’s a trail run.  As I said before, I’ll be happy to finish upright and smiling.

I ran on one of the many golf courses in Uxbridge Thursday while I was at my parents’ house for the afternoon.  This isn’t the golf course the race will be held on, but the golf cart paths and grassy areas were a nice change from road running, and the hills really worked my legs (and lungs).  It was a gorgeous day, and even thought I got lost on the golf course (who does that?) I still had a great run.

I picked up my race kit from one of the local Running Room stores Thursday evening.  It had a lot of stuff for a smaller-ish race, and I was surprised to see that they actually had samples.

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The race shirt is really nice as well, and it was lovely that they had men and women’s sizes, and not just unisex like a few of the smaller races I’ve done. 

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Since this race is sort of a “comeback” (I guess – I was never really anywhere before, ha) and the start of something new, of course I had to come up with a new playlist.  I’ve been running with the same songs on my old playlist for far too long.  The new stuff definitely makes running more fun (for me – I know a lot of purists won’t run with music), and even hearing the songs on the radio makes me want to hit the pavement – er, trail in this case. 

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On the CrossFit end of things, I had 3 great workouts this week, particularly yesterday’s.  The workout was:

3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x3 of bench press
Then:
6-5-4-3-2-1 of cleans (increasing weight each round, up to 90% of 1 RM)
Between each round, do 5 box jumps

I suck at bench pressing, but managed to do 60lbs for 3 reps. My cleans were as follows: 65lbs – 70 – 75 – 85 – 90 – 95, which is a new PR for me – I had never cleaned 95lbs before! Not only that, but my box jumps (at 20’, not on the tire for once, but used a smaller box and 35lb plates to get up to 20’) were solid, AND I finished first for once, in 10:26.  I’m normally the slowest. It was a killer workout, and talk about a CrossFit high – I don’t think I stopped smiling all afternoon.

Besides the race on Sunday, it’s also my mom’s birthday (hi Mom!) – she comes back from Florida today, and brings with her cinnamon bears for me.  I’ve never had them but have heard a lot about them, and now my desire for cinnamon-y, gummy goodness can be satiated.  I’ll also put the finishing touches on my try-a-tri training plan which I will start on Monday. Oh and I also added a page for the dogs at the top of the blog – check out their cute faces!

So many workouts, so little time.

Have a great weekend!

2011 In Photo Review

In 2011 I…

Went to the Dominican for the first time

Went on a cruise for the first time

Was maid of honour in a wedding

Joined Crossfit

Made (and sold a few!) dog collars

Got a new job!

Ran my first (and second) 5k, an 8k, and a 10k!

Raced in my first duathlon (super proud of myself for that one, it was freaking hard)

Fostered “Dainty” (only had her a week)

Fostered Bubba…twice (yes we still have him)

Started half marathon training at the Running Room and signed up for a crazy amount of races for 2012 (ok…2 so far…but there will be more).

And, for me, the most significant thing that happened in 2011 was tied to my weight loss – I went from 190 last December to 147.4lbs today, from a size 14 to a size 8. I will not slip off the bandwagon this time, like I did a few years ago (lost 30lbs and gained 15-20 back). So far so good.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years.  See ya next year!

Monday Musings

1.  I learned last week that my last foster dog (who pretty much stole my heart) is being returned to the rescue, and therefore me.  His mom was definitely not prepared to deal with a dog like him – ya know, a stubborn 10 month old lab.  It makes me sad, and angry, but also happy we get him back. This is Bubba:

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2.  I have clearly sucked at blogging this last week.  Nothing new has really happened  – had a great run at the Running Room last Wednesday, a great (no – amazing) run on my own on Friday, and then I worked all weekend. It was fairly quiet for a weekend, especially for a full moon, but we still had some interesting cases.

3.  This coming weekend at the gym we are having a workout “fundraiser” for the local food bank.  Entry to this workout is a non perishable food item and we have the “pleasure” of doing “Fran”, which is:

21-15-9 reps of 95lb thrusters (remember those??) and pull ups

I am going to die. Then I have a long run on the Sunday at the Running Room. Body = broken.

4.  Tonight I plan on hitting the gym and I will go for real this time and not just say I will and instead end up sitting on the couch all night watching Dr Phil or Dr Oz.