Five half-marathons, four 5k races, three sprint triathlons, two 10k races, and one full marathon. All in one year, and all in memory of someone who never knew she was strong.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dog Guilt

This is Blue and Bex.  Blue, on the right, has been my dog for almost 8 years, since he was a baby and since he and I lived alone together in a little apartment.  He was my family before I ever met my husband, and now he is a best friend to both of us. He is smart as a whip and dignified and almost always well-behaved. His counterpart, Bex, is a new addition, adopted in January at about 5 months old. We call her the cheerleader because she is adorable and chipper, a little ball of energy, but not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed (no offense to any cheerleaders out there). She cracks us up every single day with her horrible antics. They get along great.  Bex keeps Blue young and active, and Blue makes a vain attempt to teach her how to be a good dog.  I love them both so much, which is why I feel like the worst person in the world for neglecting them in favor of training.

Neither of them are really down with running.  Blue used to be a great running buddy, but as he has gotten older, two miles is about his limit. Bex is ridiculous and has a hard time keeping her ADHD in check long enough to run in a straight line for more than a block or so.  I have tripped over her enough times to learn my lesson.  Taking both of them running together is just asking for my face to meet the sidewalk at some point. (calling Cesar Milan!)

It was one of the most gorgeous days of the year today, yet I spent my run inside on a treadmill.  My plan was to rush home, walk the dogs for 30 minutes, bring them back and then run 4 miles.  On the way home, I started thinking about how I needed to run to the store, and then how it would be getting dark by the time I got home. Then I realized, if I walked the dogs first, I would be running in the dark alone, which I basically refuse to do. In addition, I can't go home, see them for a minute and then go running up the road without them.  The look they give me when I do that is heartbreaking.  So in a moment of panic, thinking I wouldn't get my workout in, I took a sharp right and drove to the gym instead, banged out my run on the treadmill (my friend, Brenda calls it the dreadmill, and I agree), headed to the store, got home, put away groceries, and looked outside into the dark.  By then, my husband was pulling up, and we needed to cook dinner so we could eat and both get back to some work (we are both buried right now) Now I am sitting here at 8:30 and my dogs didn't get a walk today, and I can barely keep my eyes open.

Blue and Bex have a dog door so they can get outside, but they were basically alone for 11 hours today, and then didn't get the good exercise they deserve and need. They did, however, each get a new toy and new bone from the grocery store because of my dog guilt. How do people train when they have kids?!  I can't even manage to raise my dogs the right way.  GUILT!

Mike and I made a deal that we would get up an hour early to walk the dogs tomorrow.  I am writing that here to hold myself accountable because we are notorious for making plans to work out or walk the dogs before work, while the only thing that ever gets a workout is the snooze button.  I figure if I have to tell you all about it tomorrow, I will actually get up.  Only YOU can prevent my dog guilt.

The answer to my dilemma, I know, is to get out of my bed at 5AM and run, even on the treadmill if need be, so that my evenings can be dedicated to the rest of my life.  I have never been able to stick to the morning routine though, and I have tried so many times.  How do you morning worker-outers manage to do it? Any secrets?  Or are you all just cheerful morning people instead of lazy, bitter pillow-Scrooges like me?  Help!

Hit calorie target today. (yay, two in a row!) Laughed when I hopped on the scale this morning and it was 3.5 pounds less than yesterday.  I KNEW I was retaining water! Oh well, as sad as it was to have to post that number yesterday, I am going to have a great number in two weeks.  We made a great dinner from Cooking Light; LOVE that magazine and website!  Today's run was a little painful following the half marathon, but I pushed through, walking for one minute to every five minutes of running to keep my piriformis from acting up.


  1. The comment you left on my blog post about the Chicago triathlon really touched me. What sweet words. I can relate to your post. Although we only have one dog now (we lost our other dog to cancer 2 years ago) my husband and I struggle immensely with guilt about the amount of time our Lola is home while we're training.

    I love your blog and you have a new follower!

  2. Yes I take my Duke with me sometimes, but the conditions have to be just right. Not to long of a run, not to hot, and if I don't take him the look he gives me....It's much easier leaving the kids at home. :)

  3. Thanks ladies!

    Mary- when you were talking about that ice cold water, I couldn't help but remember a sprint I did a couple years ago. Swimming is my strong suit, and I truly thought I was going to drown. The water wasn't even that cold, but I had heard people saying it was cold, and so before my toes even touched the water, I had myself all worked up. Took forever to catch my breath. It was my worst swim ever. You are brave to even atempt 60 degrees!

    Julie- hilarious. Maybe once we have kids, we can just leave them home to watch the dogs and go running. win-win. :)

  4. People with kids use jogging strollers, and loud music to drown out the screaming. Strollers are also great for taming crazy dogs because they run into the stroller instead of you.

  5. My goodness, Bex is sooooo cute! What kind of dog is she? I'm a total sap for puppy dogs.

    As for leaving pets at home, I had a really hard time leaving my cat(!) at home alone. I used to take my kitten for walks until she, too, passed away. Now that I'm pet-free, I feel less tied to my apartment. Which is a good thing, in this case. But it also means that I miss having their companionship.. I miss it A LOT.

  6. Thanks, Bunny. We are pretty sure she is a Golden Retriever/Husky mix. But it's anyone's guess. And thanks, Hillary. Maybe I will use an empty stroller until we get around to having kids. :) Good plan!!

  7. I read an article once that talked about working out in the morning verses the afternoon. Afternoon workouts proved to be more effective since the body was "awake" and operating more efficiently. So you see, it's ok for your butt to stay in bed. You'll get a better workout in the afternoon anyway. That is, as long as you actually work out. :)

  8. Do you read MizFitOnline? She has piriformis issues and does this thing with a tennis ball that is basically changing her life. Maybe you already know this exercise, sitting on a tennis ball, but if you don't I encourage you to go to her blog and check out the video she posted about it.

    And your dogs are to die for. And parents of human kids have guilt, too. My kids don't know what I look like without my laptop or my pen and notebook.