As I write this, I’m in the midst of a 5K training plan I’ve largely ignored. I don’t have a 5K race on my calendar, and that’s made it easy to ignore the reminders that pop up on my phone that I need to run today. And there’s the pup to worry about …
I may not be running much, but I’m doing a bang-up job of making excuses not to run.
There is a trail 10K on my calendar for September. The training plan for that run starts in early July, and I put the 5K training on my calendar in the hopes it’d get my body ready for training for a trail 10K. More importantly, I’m planning to return to the PNT in August and make another effort at hiking the section that I gave up on last summer, and I really need to get my body ready for that. Last year, despite most likely having had Covid-19 in March, I was still running regularly. (My stamina only allowed me to run about six miles at time, but right now I’d be hard-pressed to run a 5K.)
The puppy is an easy excuse. He needs exercise, but he cannot go on runs with me. (The exception is when I’m doing short intervals, and I have to always be ready to change my plans in case he decides he’s done running.) If there’s a reader who isn’t already aware of this, here’s a recap of why I don’t run with the pup: First, he’s only nine months old, and it’s not a good idea to allow a dog to run hard until they’re fully grown & the growth plates in their bones have fused. Second, because he was getting so big I paid to test his DNA and discovered he’s 20% bullmastiff. *blink blink blink* Giant breeds mature more slowly, and it’s even more critical they have the time to fully mature. Our vet suggested Trooper will be fully grown at 14-18 months, so the pup gets a reprieve from running until next year.
Once I discovered why he was a Puppy of Unusual Size, I did a bit of research into bullmastiffs. A few decades ago, I had an friend who raised English mastiffs (they’re giants); she described them as “furniture you feed.” While Trooper has the go-getter attitude of his border collie parent, he’s lazy. He is not a morning dog. I routinely open his crate door at 6 a.m. and find him awake but completely disinterested in leaving the crate. There are mornings the sound of me pouring his food into his bowl doesn’t rouse him. He’s not interested in much until around 9 a.m., and then he’s ready for his first nap of the day at around 10. He will go for walks with me, but he’s just as happy to stay in bed.
For now, I try to take him for a 2-3 mile walk in the morning. Even just a 2-mile walk is enough to make him a calm & happy puppy for the rest of the day. We take him to the dog park in the evening, and if Jim goes I can leave them in the dog park & run on a nearby hill. There’s really not much of an excuse for me to be skipping workouts. I’m lazy. (Trooper also appears to not do well with the heat, so he’s going to need to get his exercise in the morning during the summer.)
I need to load up a backpack with about 20 pounds and have it near the door so I can get in a workout that’ll help prepare my body for the hike in August. I also need to get back to doing core workouts to keep my back & me knees happy.
There’s work to be done in the garden, household projects, and I need to get our tax return prepared ASAP. So much stuff to do and I’m not accomplishing much of anything. But the weather is getting nicer, the days are longer, and I’m hankering for the trails.
I plan to leave the pup at home and run the course of the Kim’s Bad Knee 5K this week as a test of whether I can even run a 5K at this point. It’ll give me a benchmark for my fitness and I can test myself as I’m training for the trail 10K in September. I’m tempted to sign up for the Deception Pass 25K (a mid-December race), but I plan to see how I do with training for the 10K before I spend the money on a harder race. (DP25K is brutal on the knees & thighs. The highest point along the course is less than 700′ above sea level, but the elevation gain & loss is in excess of 3000′. I swear the only flat spot on the course is when one is crossing the Deception Pass bridge.)
Once the tax return is done and the too-long-deferred back-yard project is done (I can finish that in one day), I’ll start doing my meal planning & preparation for the August hike. That’ll get my mojo up for hiking & training for the PNT, and I’m hopeful it’ll get me to start planning some overnight hikes.