I love dogs.. I love running.. I love running dogs!

Hey friends!

This weekend, I had a pretty good race. More on that later this week, because I don’t have my official results yet, and don’t have race photos yet!

Buuuut.. This weekend I will be running ANOTHER race. A half marathon. Excitement!! More on this later again. I’m such a tease.

This post is REALLY important to me, though.

Since my dog died last December, I’ve felt.. Incomplete. I need a dog in my life. I have since I was born, for 19 whole years of my life. Dogs were a part of me since before I ran.

Since I started running, I knew that one day, I wanted a running dog. A companion that would always be there for me – to protect me, to keep me company, to be a friend, to encourage me. I also knew that I wanted a rescued dog, because so many dogs don’t have homes.

I’m not going to get a dog right now, because I’m in college. But, I’ve recently been presented a great opportunity.. To run rescue dogs who need exercise.

There are A LOT of rescue dogs in the world. One of my mom’s friends owns a dog rescue, and my mom was donating food to her from her pet store. They got to talking, and my mom mentioned that I really wanted a dog to run with, and that maybe we could adopt one of her’s down the road. My mom’s friend said she had so many dogs that should go to runners. And then an idea was formed in my mom’s head. Since we can’t adopt a dog right now, why don’t I just run the dogs when I’m home to help out?

Well, since I’m home from spring break, I did it on Saturday. And I had so. Much. Fun. My mom and I took two dogs that are especially high energy – Danish and Chris.

Danish on the left, Chris on the right!

Danish is probably an energizer bunny in disguise. I was prepared to take her out until she mellowed out – but she didn’t slow down. Ever. And when we stopped, after six miles, she sat down for a second.. And then proceeded to start to play like a puppy.

She was also really good at running! Even though she pulls when walking, when we were running she just cruised along next to me, like she knew what she was doing. Seriously, a diamond in the rough.

After running them, I got an idea – why not post their pictures in the running store? Runners want companion dogs who can run. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

Who would want this face to be without a home?

Obviously, I’m never going to be able to be a dog rescue, but I hope that by running dogs for rescues, I could essentially train them to be running dogs, and increase their adoptability. When dogs are easier to adopt out, then more can be saved.

SO, that’s what I’m planning on doing whenever I’m home.  I’m thinking of talking to my high school’s track team.. Maybe it’ll evolve into something more? Maybe it won’t. I just want to help dogs get homes, so I know I’ll be doing it whenever possible.

Fellow runners, if you like dogs, maybe talk to your local rescues (usually privately owned ones are easier to work with) and see if you can get something set up? It’s fun and a great way to spice up your running!

What causes are you passionate about? Are you a dog or a cat person? How was your weekend?

Have a great Monday guys!

Chelsea

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Happy Friday! Race Preview

Hey friends!

HAPPY FRIDAY! I seriously thought this day would never come. In the past two weeks, I’ve had 3 take home midterm exams, which included two 5 page essays and one exam that took me four hours to complete. It took someone else 5 and a half! It was one of the hardest exams of my life. Except for organic chemistry.

This was me at every moment this week.

ANYWAYS, I’m skipping class today and taking the train home. I don’t think I could’ve made it until tomorrow.. Plus, I want to get super rested for RACE DAY on Sunday! Trains always mess up my schedule, so my mom made the executive decision for me to come home early. I’m happy with it. 🙂

I got almost NO sleep last night. My friend really wanted me to go out with her, so we went to hang out with some soccer bros. Totally not my scene, but it ended up being fun! To be honest, I hadn’t intended on staying out at all. I even put in my laundry before I went out, which means I had about an hour and a half until I had to get back to switch it without someone touching it.

..I ended up coming home three hours later, and stayed up until 1:30 AM doing laundry and packing. Then, I woke up at 5:30 to do the last finishing touches! My friend who was driving me ended up sleeping in, so getting to the train was interesting. When I got there, they were holding the train for me and about to leave. I am SO lucky I got on it!

Since my brain is mush from doing work all week, I’m not even attempting to finish the other two parts of my take home exam, which are due after break. Instead, I’m reading up ultra training and blogging it up. Much more fun than looking at a geologic fold/thrust belt in Pennsylvania!

So, since I’ve been thinking about my race so much, I thought I’d give you guys a little preview! Get excited!

Race Preview: Backyard Burn Series Wakefield Park

10 mile trail race, 9AM start (but it’s kinda like 8AM because of daylight’s savings time..)

Flat course (elevation profile like the one below, but slightly different course will be used)

Image from thehaysay.com!

Expected weather: 40-50 degrees, sunny

On my body: Maybe a long sleeve shirt, plus compression shorts

On my feet: Saucony Kilkenny XC4 Flats

The good: I’m so happy that this course is almost flat! I have been training on hills, but I looove the flatlands.

This is what I usually train on.. So I should be okay. 🙂

The bad: My knee has been acting up. This is mainly on hills though. Also, I haven’t really run on trails that much.. I ran on them over the summer, and this past week I got to do 8 miles on the side of the road, which is like a hard packed dirt trail.

How I’m feeling: Awesome! I think that I can actually RACE this race. There is a prize for top 5 in each age group. My age group is probably small, based on results from the first race in this series. I think I might be able to compete though! I’m going to push myself hard and not beat myself up if things don’t go ideally. I’ve only been running for a little while, and a lot of my competition are experienced trail runners.

I'm still a n00b at this! Maybe I can fool people into thinking I'm legit by wearing my run MSP shirt?

Today, I’m having a complete rest day because I’m stuck on a train all day. Tomorrow, I’ll be going on a short trail run at home to shake out the kinks. I’ll also be carbo-loading for the first time ever! Idk if it’ll help physically, but it definitely won’t hurt!

I see lots of oatmeal in my immediate future..

So, that’s about it! I hope you all have AWESOME Fridays and weekends!

Are you TGIF-ing? What are you looking forward to this weekend? Any fun plans?

Chelsea

One Goal to Rule Them All

Hey friends!

I promised I’d be back this weekend. I’m glad you guys enjoyed my last post, and I hope it got you thinking!

Anyways, I’m here to share with you one goal. One big goal. One REALLY big goal. Actually, like a megagoal.

Or.. An ultra goal?

Yupp, you got me.

I want to run an ultramarathon.

Preferably within a year and a half.

See? Not that hard.

Let’s be honest. I haven’t been running very long. But I love it. I love it so much.

Since I started running, I was always intrigued by tests of endurance. Obviously, because my second real race is going to be a 10 miler. I run 40+ mpw for fun. I’d run more if I had time.

I think I have some pretty kickass endurance. And I’m never going to be a super fast runner. I don’t really enjoy running super fast, to be honest. It stresses me out.

So.. An ultra. Why an ultra? Because I know that I can do things that people think are impossible. And I can do what I put my mind to.

Also, I’m just really attracted to ultras. It gets me excited. I smile when I think about them. And I am so inspired by ultrarunners. I want to be like them. I want to feel what they feel. I want to follow in their footsteps. I literally dream about running – and I want to do this.

So, you might be thinking why not a marathon to start? I’m not saying I won’t run a marathon ever, trust me. I might run one this summer! Who knows. But my ultimate goal is an ultra. I think it is the ultimate test of myself as a runner and a person.

I know I can finish a marathon. I know I can finish an ultra too. But, in a marathon, I know I wouldn’t quit. In an ultra, I’m gonna have to push myself to the limit and I’ll want to drop out. I have a long history of quitting things I love because I’m scared to push myself, and I want to prove to myself that I can push myself that far. Then, I’ll know for sure that I can do anything.

What do you guys think?

I’m excited. I haven’t figured out what, when, where, but I do know the why. Because I can do it. I can do whatever I want to do in my life. Nothing is too ridiculous. I hope you can decide the same for yourself too.

How was your weekend?

Chelsea

PS, there might be some blog changes soon. I haven’t decided concretely, so I’ll keep you guys posted.

Monday Runday Four

Hey friends!

I hope you guys enjoyed yesterday’s post on minimalism. I just want to clarify real quickly though, I don’t think that minimalism necessarily works for EVERYONE, and I don’t think that there is one “right” way to run! Sorry if I came off like that at all. When I re-read, I was a bit put off. I do LOVE minimalism, but obviously it’s just a minor force in the entire sport, and I love the entire sport of running!

My life.

Anyways, it’s time for my weekly RUNNING UPDATE!

Last week, I took more no-running days than usual, and kept around the 40 mile mark (42 maybe?). But, this was because I was focusing on ENDURANCE last week, so I had several longer runs.

In fact, I had a double day on Thursday where I did two seven mile runs. LOVED it! And yesterday, I got in 9.5 miles. Not 10, unfortunately, because I had some serious DOMS from lifting on Saturday.

Running that much is something I’d never have been able to do a few months ago! I’m really happy that I’ve been able to progress so far. With only about three weeks until the big race day, it’s nice to know I can run a solid 9.5 miles while sore.

I did do some short speed work this week, and I was still able to push myself more than last week and see a gain (well.. loss) when it came to my times. Wahooo!

This week, I’m just gonna see how things go and do what my body wants. Last week, it wanted longer, slower runs and the week before it wanted to be a speed demon. Maybe I’ll do a more even split this week? We shall see.

On a slightly related note, this is how I’m motivated to do speedwork some mornings..

The girl next to me ALWAYS looks at my treadmill display (which is annoying because I generally don’t look at her’s), so I’m forced into speedwork.

How was your Monday? Are you excited for the week? Do you prefer speed/intense work, or long steady state efforts?

See you for WIAW friends!

Chelsea