A Weekend Full of Running


I know it’s Wednesday, but I’ve been meaning to post a quick weekend wrap-up!

Over the weekend I was back up in Ohio for another dog agility trial. I know, I know, I had just returned from Oklahoma from Nationals, but this was a fun trial and I was surprised I got in, so I went ahead and took the dogs to have a little fun. Because it was also the last weekend before my half marathon, I knew I needed to try to get some sort of long training run in. (I didn’t run at all while at Nationals because my hotel ended up not having a workout room–fail.)

So after doing four runs with the dogs (two each, which is mainly a lot of sprinting, turning, etc., for about 40-60 seconds a piece), I gave them some extra water and told my friends I was heading to a local park to get a long run in. They were going to stay behind and watch more of the competition and would keep an eye on the girls for me.

Now I love this park! I have to say that Ohio takes great pride in their parks, and this one is no exception. Every time we’re at this particular trial site, we always take the dogs for walks in Sharon Woods Park. There are plenty of trails, plus a beautiful creek that comes off the lake. The dogs can swim in the creek during the hot days and enjoy hiking on the trails to unwind after a competition.

This place is so beautiful, every time we're here there are professional photos (wedding, engagement, senior, family, etc.) being taken all over the place. How can you not enjoy a run here??

This place is so beautiful, every time we’re here there are professional photos (wedding, engagement, senior, family, etc.) being taken all over the place. How can you not enjoy a run here??

But I had never gone for a run there until Saturday. I parked in our usual area, warmed up a little and then took off. My goal was to get in at least six miles, but I wanted to try to go for more. I started on a steep uphill climb on a gravel trail (that’s one way to knock you back into running reality) that we usually just walk the dogs on. That was tough! The sun was out and it was a little chilly, but after only a half-mile I had shed my pullover and was in short sleeves for the rest of the run.

I then got onto a paved trail with varying inclines. I ran along Sharon Lake and under highway overpasses, but it was still pretty peaceful. (I didn’t have my headphones with me, but I didn’t really need them.) There were plenty of other people out enjoying the rare sunshine, probably trying to get some exercise in before the snow that was supposed to hit Sunday.

I ended up going about three miles when I decided to turn around and go back the way I came. There was more after where I stopped, but I wasn’t sure how much longer it would take me to make it all the way around the park and I didn’t want to leave the dogs at the trial site too long.

I then found myself on this Parcourse Trail, which had stations where you could stop and do different activities like log hops, squats, balance beam, etc. It seemed like something fun you could do to mix up your run, but I just wanted to push on and just run. My Garmin beeped 7 miles and I was still feeling great, so I pushed for 7.5….which then turned into pushing for 8. I wound up at the parking lot where I left the car, so I decided it was probably best to leave the run at 8 miles. I hadn’t brought my foam roller with me and I needed to be able to run the dogs tomorrow morning as well. Plus, I didn’t want to push too hard with the half marathon just a week away.

I was proud of my last long run. I was amazed at how easy the 8 miles felt and how I was finally one of those runners who was just running to run and not just run a couple miles, but running 8 miles!

Here were my splits:
Mile 1 – 9:36
Mile 2 – 9:01
Mile 3 – 8:58
Mile 4 – 8:47 (umm, who am I??)
Mile 5 – 9:17 (I think this is when I realized how fast I was going and toned it down a little)
Mile 6 – 9:31
Mile 7 – 9:07
Mile 8 – 9:20
Total – 8 .01 miles in 01:13:45 (about a 9:17 average pace)

After stretching I headed back to the agility trial to pick up the girls and then I met my friends back at the park to take them for a walk. We ended up covering about 2.25 miles on our walk, so overall I did more than 10 miles on Saturday (not including the courses I ran with the dogs in the trial). My legs were a little tired, but not too bad. Nothing a cold beer at dinner couldn’t cure! 😉

The "Stump Kids" (as I call my pups) always love getting in the creek to get a quick drink and cool their bellies. (Dally, the Corgi, like to swim, LaMesa not so much.)

The “Stump Kids” (as I call my pups) always love getting in the creek to get a quick drink and cool their bellies. (Dally, the Corgi, like to swim, LaMesa not so much.)

I really enjoyed my Saturday doing that. I think I might have to run around that park more often when I’m in town. At agility trials we tend to eat a fast food breakfast (Egg McMuffin for me) and then snack until we have dinner. You end up feeling like poo at the end of the weekend, but this run refreshed me!

Have you tried to combine two activities like an agility trial and long training run like I have?

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