Surpassed running goal

Saturday turned into another crummy day with barely any sun, which caused really cool temperatures, so our run was canceled yet again.

I have to admit it kind of put me in a funk. I wanted to be outdoors soaking up the sun, but we were stuck inside.

As the day went on, I still couldn’t kick the mood, so I began writing. Yes, writing, not writing articles or a blog, but beginning that story that I have been wanting to write for a few years now. The ideas just flowed out of me yesterday . . . probably because I am writing about my experience. It was fun picking the lead characters name. I’m excited to see where this story takes me.

Oct. 18, 2014

Oct. 18, 2014

Lucy of course was right by my side giving me the inspiration I needed. Hint . . . the story includes this puppy of mine.

As Lucy and I woke today, the sky was definitely overcast and it was rather cool, so we came back inside.

Lucy took a nap and I began reading before a conversation sparked between my mother and I. What started out as exchanges through text messages turned into a phone conversation of well over an hour.  A conversation with my mom always cheers me up. Best part was by the time we hung up, the sky turned crystal blue. No more clouds in the sky.

As I laced up my running shoes a new kind of excitement took hold. Lucy and I were going to a new portion of the Greenbelt today, one that is closer to where we live now. Although I absolutely love where we have been going, it was nice to change-up the scenery.

IMG_20141019_151037We headed to the area around the Boatyard Riverfront Park. A sign that read Kingsport Greenbelt directed me to a parking area off of Neatherland Inn Road.

Although this is not the first time I have been to this portion of the Greenbelt, it’s the first time I have run this path. It’s also the first time Lucy has gone that way. Jason and I went for a walk along this section of the path sometime last year.

We ran until we reached the end of the path. This was our resting spot for the day, around 1.43 miles.

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It was beautiful looking into the distance and seeing Bays Mountain in a slew of different fall colors.

IMG_20141019_144154Our run would not be complete on the Greenbelt if we did not spot at least one duck in the water or along the path.

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20141019_132858After we took a good break, we were off again heading in the direction we came. I’m so proud of Lucy, she’s such an awesome running partner. The few people and dogs we passed did not faze her at all. Her attention was straight ahead.

Instead of hearing the water and birds, today our music was a train running along the track adjacent to the path we were running on the other side of the street.

I’m not sure if it was the cooler temperatures, my car said it was in the mid 50s before we got out, or running a new path . . . but we ran our longest distance yet. The longest since I began tracking our exercise on a running app on my phone. Previously our longest run was 2.89 miles.

Last night before going to bed I gave myself a goal for our run today if the weather behaved. That goal was  to run at least 3 miles. I am happy to say we surpassed that goal. There is not a greater feeling than going beyond a goal. No better feeling.

We ran 3.13 miles!!!

Now that’s an awesome way to kick off another week. Best therapy in the world, putting on those shoes and heading out for a run.

Last week because of all the rain, we only ran three days for a total of 7.28 miles.

I’m hoping for a sunny week that will allow Lucy and I to run more!!

 

Morning run

This morning when I woke, I had that itch, that itch to head to the Greenbelt for a run.

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Lucy and I haven’t been to the Greenbelt in a few days, due to her being sick on Friday, and well yesterday turned into a lazy day.

Last time we were at the pet store, Jason and I found some protein bars for dogs. Since they were only 99 cents, I decided to buy a few because according to the package it was perfect for dogs before they exercise. The bar is Purina Pro Plan.

Lucy’s eating habits have changed now that she’s getting older and sometimes she doesn’t eat breakfast until lunch time. With us running more than 2 miles at a time I want to make sure she is getting the right nutrition before we hit the path. So this morning I gave her less than a third of the bar about 30 minutes before we ran. She absolutely loved the taste of the bar and seemed to perform pretty well once we started running.

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We ran about 1.15 miles before we stopped. Lucy sniffed around a little before she wanted to sit on the bench. It wasn’t before too long that she was crying to get going again.

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The path is starting to become covered in an array of leaves, all a variety of different colors.

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It’s cute to watch Lucy trying to maneuver around the leaves that cover the path.

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We ran 2.34 miles this morning. It was a hot and sticky run, but it felt great as always.

The path was quite busy with bikers, walkers, runners and of course dogs.

Now for a short rant: I wish those who bring their dogs to the path had the well-being of other dogs in mind. It baffles me how some pet owners bring their dogs, who obviously don’t do well with others, to a highly populated area.

The other day as Lucy and I were running, a woman walking a boxer had to stop and step off to the grass while standing in front of her dog. A pair of poodles the day before also were not friendly. Lucy let out a high pitch bark as we ran past them. They were not on a short leash at all. Lucy, of course is on a short leash, so if I have to take control I can.

All I have to say is know your pet and what they are capable of or not doing to other animals. Don’t subject them to the possibility . . .

Lucy, once we start running could care less about other dogs, or people. She usually runs right next to my legs. Sometimes she’ll venture a little further from my side while still running to get closer to those passing, but still at a good distance from them. Squirrels, on the other hand, get her attention more than anything. We sprinted a short distance as she darted towards a squirrel running along the edge of the path towards another tree today.

There is nothing better than getting outdoors and exercising with my best little buddy.

A day in the rain

Today was the first day Jason had off in a while and I was determined to get us all out into nature, Lucy included.

So last night, I made the decision, we would head back to Laurel Run Park, a destination not too far from our house.

Although Lucy and I woke up around our normal time, a little after 7 a.m., Jason wasn’t too keen on getting out of bed just yet. I didn’t blame him, it was his first day off in I don’t know how long. So Lucy, Kimber and I curdled up alongside him in bed and fell back asleep until he was ready to wake for the day.

We finally headed out the door around 9:30 a.m.

With an overcasted sky, Jason, Lucy and I were the only one’s that ventured out on the trails today. Yep, this only meant it was going to be a great day. We love having the trails to ourselves.

As we began our hike, the sky opened up and the drops of rain began. Of course Jason asked if we should stop or keep going.

The nice thing about this trail is it’s pretty much covered with trees, so we weren’t getting too wet. I figured, since we were already out here, what’s a little rain going to hurt. (Yes, this of course came after some convincing on my part that it’s okay to get wet.)

So we kept on going, Lucy following Jason eager to keep up with his pace.

As we neared the first waterfall and made our way down to the bottom it began raining a little bit harder, so we took cover to the left of it. It turned out to be the perfect place to wait out the rain.

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After the rain stopped, we headed off in a new direction to seek out the second waterfall we read about online.

The climb down to this waterfall was a little more challenging. Jason of course helped Lucy make her way down (holding her the majority of the time), as well as helping me as he guided my feet in the right spots to make it down in one piece. This was the adventure for today . . . it certainly got my heart pumping a little.

The rewards, yes two, of making my way down to the bottom were amazing . . .

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We of course got to experience another waterfall, just the two of us.

IMG_1757It was a beautiful stream of water off the ledge that produced an incredible sound.

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The second reward was watching my puppy have the time of her life. There was sand near the base of the waterfall that got this puppy all riled up. Sand started spraying everywhere as she began digging. After digging to a certain depth she would take off, butt close to the ground, running before returning to the same spot.

Before too long, this is all we could see.

IMG_1746It was absolutely adorable. The amount of fun she had in this little area made the entire trip worth while.

Since the temperatures are warmer, Jason and I decided to wear our hiking shoes, which are extremely light weight with an incredible grip. We learned last summer that they are also great in water.

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So we walked in the creeks and Lucy followed, yes she followed us right into the water. Last time we took her to this park she wanted nothing to do with the water. It was cold at first, but worth it when spotting views like this.

IMG_1769I was beyond excited that she got her paws wet this time.

As we walked the trails, I remembered the start of our adventures in NE Tennessee last summer. The trails are lined with lush green leaves of every size and shape. It is breathtaking to take this sight in, and today take in the smells of the rain.

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Today was another day that reminded me why we chose this area to move more than a year ago.

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Before we started our hike today, I started the S Health app on my phone to record what we did for the day.

The lowest elevation was 1,117 feet and the highest elevation was 1,755 feet. We walked 3.95 miles at an average speed of .9 miles per hour. Our maximum speed was 5.3 miles per hour.

We spent 2 hours, 26 minutes and 41 seconds in nature today and I loved every single minute of it with the world’s best boyfriend and puppy.

Keeps going

This morning Lucy woke up with a ton of energy. She was already sprinting through the house before 9 a.m.

Her routine has definitely changed over the past week or so. Typically, we go outside first thing in the morning, so she can go to the bathroom, before she comes darting through the front door straight to her food bowl. After demolishing her food, Lucy would find her bed and take a two to three-hour nap.

Well that window has now changed, that quite time for me to dive into my writing for the day, no longer exists. Now, she’s quite active in the morning. Yep, no nap.

This morning as Jason was getting ready for work, she was having her crazy time, running as fast as she could with her butt nearing the ground from room to room. So, I decided to put on my exercise clothes, running shoes and hit the Kingsport Greenbelt.

We went for a walk on the Greenbelt on Monday. Although we ran a little, it was mostly walking at a brisk pace. Today I decided to see how much this puppy could do, of course watching to make sure she was okay the entire time.

When we parked at the Greenbelt, Lucy started to become excited and the crying began. Yep, she knew exactly where she was. I couldn’t get my stuff together fast enough for her, she was ready to hit the ground running.

As soon as we made it to the path, I put her down and she lead the way. We ran for .87 miles before she slowed down and started to walk. I know she needs a break when she runs and starts walking up my leg at the same time, or starts looking up at me. So I slowed down and before I knew it we were on our way once again. At about 1.07 miles we stopped, so she could rest. That’s a lot of running for a puppy and I didn’t want to over push her. So we sat on a bench while we both listened to the creek and birds chirping.
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After a little while, we were up and moving once again. On our way back to the car, we barely stopped. We were done before I knew it.

Today my app told me we ran 98 percent of the 2.93 miles, which was 5,200 steps and 256 calories.

I’ve been saying for the past year that I need to go down to the Greenbelt and start running outdoors. Well, it wasn’t until this little puppy came into our lives that it became a reality. I absolutely love running outdoors in the fresh air. My legs take me a longer distance then when I’m at the gym.

Running provides such great therapy! Oh my gosh, I’m still on a running high and I’ve been home for more than an hour.

My mission has been accomplished. Lucy is sound asleep. Now I can get some writing done!

I can’t wait to head back to the Greenbelt early tomorrow for another run with this amazing little puppy of mine.

 

 

Exercise buddy

Instead of heading to the gym and putting Lucy in her crate, I decided to take her and I out for some exercise.

Although I absolutely love going to the gym, exercising while breathing in that fresh air beats the stale smell of a gym any day.

We headed down to the Kingsport Greenbelt. The path was popular today. There were many walkers, runners and bicyclist also taking advantage of the beautiful sunny, 80 degree weather.

As soon as we parked, Lucy started to cry with excitment. Of course that made me smile, she was just as happy as me to be outdoors.

As we got moving, I decided to turn on an app on my phone, my new GalaxyS5. It’s called S Health. It provides the options of tracking your walking, running, cycling and hiking.

I wanted to see just how far our trip was today. (5,748 steps, 2.93 miles and 194 calories) I was pretty excited to see our numbers when we were finished.

Instead of heading left down the path, I decided to take this pup in the other direction.

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I love the Greenbelt. Although usually busy by other active individuals, it’s a quite path.

Occassional chains clicking on a bicylce while an individual yells “to your left,” feet hitting the pavement as they walk and run by, birds chirping up above in the lush green trees, leaves swaying as they catch in the wind and ducks quaking in the water that calmly rushes over rocks, are the typcial sounds that fill the space.

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How could you not like traveling this path?

Today on the other hand we were greeted by this . . . not a huge fan.

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I spotted the snake before Lucy and squealed, which then got her attention. It caught me off guard. I’m so glad no one was around at that moment.

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Lucy, almost 5 months old, is an amazing exercise buddy, especially on the way back to the car. She had me moving at a brisk pace while I was walking and even faster when we ran.

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Yep, I’ll say it again. I’m so glad we adopted Lucy. She is such a great companion.

Home away from home

On average I travel to my home away from home four or five times a week. I have to admit I feel a little lost when I do not get in ny car and drive towards Snap Fitness in Kingsport.

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Snap Fitness Kingsport

My day does not feel complete without the gym. It’s true, working out becomes a way of life, becomes an obsession, becomes second nature. I know I’ve said this a million times before, but it’s my stress reliever, it’s my me time, my breath of fresh air when the stress becomes too much.

Today for the majority of my workout I had the entire gym to myself, which I won’t lie, I absolutely loved. I definitely got lost in my music a little more than usual as the tunes streamed through Pandora and into my ears. Shuffle mode kept all the right music flowing today. Although I was looking at the flat screen in front of me,  I couldn’t tell you what I was watching. Today’s workout completely cleansed my soul …

More times than not people start going to the gym because they want to improve their body. Yes, that was true for me at the beginning, but now it’s more to keep me going. Yes, I would love to continue to make some improvements. But, I try not to get upset when I don’t see the instant or gradual improvements. It’s just motivation to do a little more the next time I walk through the doors.

Today, instead of running I did 5 miles on the elliptical and about 7 miles on the bike, with some weight exercises in-between. Oh, the stretching felt wonderful after today’s line-up.

So, after I left I treated myself to a delicious smoothie when I got home. It was a tasty, filling post workout snack.

The best part about the gym, is every day is a new day, which only allows you to push yourself a little more, as well as set new goals.

Increased distance

Today as I rolled out of bed and eventually woke up, I laced up my running shoes and headed to my favorite place – Snap Fitness.

My goal, yes not my New Year’s resolution, but my goal for 2014 is to increase those running miles. Day one, huge success. I ran an extra mile and a half today and it felt wonderful. I am determined to strengthen my legs, so they can carry me throughout that cardio workout, which I love so much.

I never thought running would be something that turned into a passion. I remember hating P.E. classes in high school when the teacher made us run around the track. Yep, I was one of those students that took advantage of walking every curve and running the straight aways. I’m so glad that all changed, there is something magical that happens when I take that first stride. It’s therapeutic to run.

Now that my exercise is completed for the day, I can start catching up on some writing, since I graciously gave myself a few days off.

Today definitely kicked off a great start to 2014!