Running with Kobi

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve updated… I skipped over the entire month of November! I guess that was my post-marathon recovery from blogging, right?

Just some quick updates, here are some things that happened in the last month that I probably should have blogged about!

I started Insanity again – I’m at the end of Recovery Week and LOVING the results. No weight lost because my diet is still similar to what it was before my marathon, but I’ve made some changes to help me get to my goal weight. However even without losing weight, I’ve seen incredible results. My upper body is starting to look awesome and I’ve got some hard as steel abs waiting to be uncovered!

I PR’ed in the 15k – I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago, with absolutely zero goals. I pretty much decided to run hard once the gun went off. I ended up setting a PR and placed 19th out of over 13,400 runners! I ran a 53:49, and I didn’t even warm up beforehand! Full results are available here.

I kinda won a local race – I ran the Turkey Trot 10k the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I was actually 2nd, but the kid ahead of my registered under a fake name and as a female—“Jane Brown”. For those of you wondering why he did it, it was because he was worried that running the race would disqualify him from competing in IHSA XC and Track. That said, it was an absolutely idiotic and selfish thing to do, it was totally unnecessary (he would not be disqualified from anything anyways), and it caused a huge headache for the race organizers. I took home the trophy for 1st place overall but MOST IMPORTANTLY I also got a $25 Target gift card. That’s what really counts.

For future reference, times when it is okay to register for a race as the opposite gender: never. This is especially true if you’re going to win the race.

Anyways, back to the reason I decided to actually update today. I had the MOST amazing run with Kobi this morning. I’ve started running with him regularly after my marathon. He even has his own Dailymile account, which thanks to a retweet from Runner’s World, has received over 500 visitors (but not many friends yet!) I feel like every time I run with him, our bond gets better and he becomes maybe slightly more obedient.

This morning we set out for a six mile run. The first mile with Kobi is always interesting, as it includes at least a dozen stops to potty, fertilize the grass, or sniff some random spot or object. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t realize we are supposed to be running at this point. Once we get all that done, we can usually settle in by the second mile. Well, this morning we ran across another person running with his dog off-leash. Although his dog is obedient, it was very exciting for Kobi and he ended up trotting sideways so he could look back at the other dog while I kept running. This definitely slowed us a bit.

Once we get to about the two mile mark, I usually let Kobi off his leash and he runs like a madman all around the road and dog park. Since the road to the back of the park is closed, there are no cars, and I have yet to see another person utilizing this stretch of trail this early in the morning. It’s pretty much our playground. I was finally able to settle in to a decent pace, and I noticed that since I was going pretty quick, Kobi didn’t want to stray too far from me. Usually he’ll stop to sniff or explore, and then run at full gallop to catch up. If I’m running fast, that’s a lot of work for him!

I hit the three mile turn around and called Kobi so he would know I was headed back. This is when the most amazing thing happened: he actually ran with me for about three-quarters of a mile. Even though he was off his leash, he ran right next to me or a few steps ahead. He actually started to pick up the pace a few times and I sped up a little bit to stay a step behind him. My dog actually pushed me to run faster! Of course once we got back to the open park road he took off running full speed again.

I put Kobi back on his leash for the last two miles but he still seemed to want to run fast. Since he was doing well with it, I kept up the hard pace. He started to fade a little bit towards the end of the run but I kept encouraging him to go faster. Luckily we were alone, because I’m sure some people would have thought it was weird to hear me telling my dog, “keep it up”, “finish strong”, or “we’re almost there buddy”!” Yes, I actually encourage my dog near the end of our runs! I’m not the type of person who speeds up near the end of the run then slows down, so if he picks up the pace I make him stick to it!

Despite our slow first two miles, our pace was pretty quick. 6:24 average! Splits were 7:38, 6:47, 6:23, 6:03, 5:55, and 5:34… Kobi’s first sub six miles! Of course, he handled them with ease, although he was galloping in a few spots. As we were passing the campus housing, he was pretty much in a full gallop and two college students yelled out “nice dog!” as we went by.

Of course as soon as we got home it was time for Kobi’s post-run treat, which is definitely his favorite part of the run. I gave him a bully stick today as an extra special treat! If you’re wondering what that is, you probably don’t want to know, but I assure you they are Kobi’s favorite treat! I’m hoping this morning’s run followed by lots of chewing will leave him passed out on the bean bag for most of the day.…

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8 Reasons why I’m ready to CRUSH 26.2

I don’t really consider myself to be a reflective person. I don’t look back on my past, or regret my mistakes. But this marathon coming up has me thinking about my goals and whether or not they are realistic. My marathon PR is 3:18:43. My goal for Sunday is 2:55:00 or under. That’s a PR of almost 24 minutes! A huge increase, I know, but I feel like I am ready for it, and could probably even run a bit faster. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Weight at time of last PR, Oct 2011 – 185 lbs. Weight April 2011 when I ran a horrible marathon – 200 lbs. Current weight – 175 lbs.
  2. Insanity (which helped me lose the weight) helped me build my stamina, a stronger core, and taught me the meaning of digging deep.
  3. As of Sunday, I’ll have run 136 days consecutively. No days off. Consistency ensures success.
  4. Since changing my form after switching to barefoot running, my legs no longer hurt at the end of long runs like they used to. This was the main factor in me trying (and switching) to barefoot running.
  5. I’ve trained, trained, and trained. One 22 mile run. Two 20 mile runs (one @ goal race pace of 6:37). 6 runs between 13.0 and 18.5 miles.
  6. I’ve actually run in the (minimalist) shoes I’m racing in this time, unlike the Mahomet Half.
  7. Since last year’s PR, I’ve greatly improved my diet and actually eat the way an athlete should.
  8. There’s a big medal waiting for me at the finish!I’ve prepared, I have faith in my training, and I’m ready to unleash beast mode this weekend. I’ll definitely be posting about the race here afterwards.

I’ve prepared, I have faith in my training, and I’m ready to unleash beast mode this weekend. I’ll definitely be posting about the race here afterwards.…

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Jordan Trump, Spectator Extraordinaire

You may have seen yesterday’s On To Chicago post about the Chicago Marathon this weekend. If not, I’ll summarize: my girlfriend is running the Chicago Marathon, and I can’t run it with her since registration closed like a year ago (actually, I think it filled in March).

This is a totally new experience for me! Not only have I never had a runner girlfriend, but I’ve never been to such a huge race to support someone else’s running. And I just want to say I am SUPER excited. I’ve been thinking about this trip for well over a month. Since I’m slightly experienced at running Chicago (okay, I only did it once), I feel I can offer some help in planning the trip. So I’ve gone to the extreme to try to work out every detail for her.

I think she’s been a bit too focused on the race itself to think about the other stuff, so I’ve done what I can, from researching hotels, planning when we’ll leave, what she’ll eat for lunch (her choice, of course), when we’ll get to the expo, what she wants for dinner the night before, the best way to travel the 2 miles to the race start, whether we can get late checkout at our hotel (thanks to my important on Twitter, we have been extended an hour Winking smile), and where we will meet afterwards. Whew! That’s a lot of planning!

I am definitely most excited for the race itself though! It was such an awesome experience last year, but I was very focused on qualifying for Boston (didn’t happen) and ran with headphones the whole way. Honestly, I wish that I had taken the opportunity to experience more of the race. Sure I could hear the crowds cheering and see the buildings around me, but I barely remember anything but bits and pieces of the race because I was in the zone!

Since the race is in a loop downtown, I will for sure be running from point to point to cheer on Kendall in as many places as possible! Even though my marathon is in just two weeks, I’m not afraid to put in some mileage to be the best supporter ever. I imagine I’ll probably end up doing at least 11 miles, especially if I get the chance to run with her doing the race. I’m pretty sure that’s not technically allowed, but I’ve had some friends tell me they’ve done it and I feel like it would be very beneficial if I could run some of the last few miles with her.

To everyone else running the Chicago Marathon, or any other race this weekend, GOOD LUCK! If you’re running Chicago, let me know so I can creep you with runner tracking and yell at you if I manage to spot you!…

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