Monday, September 29, 2014

Strut Your Mutt!

This weekend I was all smiles.  Maddux and I had a fun day together and I got a couple of great runs in!  On Saturday I had one of those runs where you just remember why you love running.  It wasn't fast, it didn't feel particularly good, but just being out there made me happy.  On Sunday I conquered 12 miles and am finally feeling like maybe I can do this whole half marathon thing THIS WEEK!  I can't believe Crawlin' Crab is less than a week away!

Since Saturday was my first experience with Strut Your Mutt, I figured I'd give you guys a little recap of what the event is all about!  As you guys know, Maddux is from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.  LDAR is growing fast, and a big part of it is because of their awesome fundraising.  If you're ever lacking passionate people in your life, drop by a Lucky Dog event.  There are incredible people backing it!

Our first picture together!

I was so excited to be able to sign up for Strut Your Mutt this year!  I had read about it, but there was always something going on that weekend.  I made a vow that 2014 would be Maddux's year to strut.  I signed up with Lucky Dog's team so that my $25 registration would go straight to them!  There was a fun run and a walk option and you could choose to fundraise for your organization.  I had wonderful supporters who understand how much Maddux means to me and one of the LDAR volunteers organized a great fundraiser that I joined in on at the end of August.  One of the fun parts is that they make it into a contest.  The top fundraising rescue gets a special booth, which is great publicity for their animals.  I'm proud to say that LDAR was number one!  They raised over $25,000!

When we got to the event at Black Hill Regional Park, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  I had been meaning to check out the park for a long time (it's in our Doggin' Maryland book) so I was happy that we finally had a chance.  Maddux was so excited as he saw all of the other dogs walking towards the festival.  The only bummer was that we had to park at a further away lot, which was kind of a lot for my pup's short, arthritic legs.  That paired with the warm, sunny day proved to be a lot for Maddux and he wore out kind of quickly.  The event did have lots of water buckets around for dogs to drink from and even a pool for pups to cool off in.  It would have been nice for a little more shade though!

View from our own strut.

The festival itself was really cute.  Registration was easy and a volunteer even offered to hold Maddux if I needed another hand for anything.  I got a cute t-shirt and there was even a poo bag for Maddux (smart thinking Strut Your Mutt!).  We opted to do our own walk instead of joining the group since we had a little time to kill before it started and I wasn't sure how long the actual walk would be.  Plus, Maddux can be a little loud (he get it from his mama) and I wanted to make sure not to get him too worked up.  When the official walk started, Maddux and I checked out the booths.  He got his paw prints done, we got our picture taken, he got a full sized bag of nice treats from a nice booth, and he got a goodie bag from a vet's booth.  He was so funny at the treat booth.  The volunteer put the box of treats down (I guess he wanted Maddux to pick out his own treat?) and my pup decided the whole box was for him!  He grabbed onto the side and tried to drag it away.  (He also gets his love of food from his mama!)  We all had a good laugh out of that one.  There were a few other booths that had belly rubs, acupuncture, and massages, but we opted out of those.  By that time Maddux was a tired pup!

Maddux and I had a great day at Strut Your Mutt!  I hope that we can participate again in the future.  It makes me proud to know that so many great people are out there to help pups find homes.  There were lots of signs at the event that said "I believe we can save them all."  I'm so thankful to Lucky Dog for saving my pup and am proud that we could support them in their efforts to help more dogs like Maddux find forever homes.

For more information on Strut Your Mutt visit their website.

If you're in the DC Metro area and are interested in adopting or volunteering make sure to check out Lucky Dog's website!

Have you ever participated in Strut Your Mutt?  How was it?  Any other rescue dog families?!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Friday 5: Recommendations

Happy Friday!  It's been a while since I've posted, but things have been going well on my part.  I'm one week out from the Crawlin' Crab half and while I'm really excited, I'm also really nervous!  My long run didn't go to plan last weekend (thanks, side stitches), but I'm hopeful that this weekend's will be better.

Since once again, running has been pretty uneventful, I'm going to switch up my usual post and instead ask for some recommendations.  The list below shows what I'm looking for.   And as always, don't forget to check out the Friday Five link up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!

1. Easy, healthy soup recipes.  One of my favorite soups is literally dump everything in a crock pot and forget about it.  It's a little on the heavy side though, and while I love it, I know it's not necessarily the best thing for me to be eating all fall and winter!

2. Good face lotion.  Guys, I'm getting old.  Ok, not super old, but I definitely have wrinkles that weren't there before.  I think it's time to upgrade from my old standard, and I'm ok with spending a little money if it's going to last a long time and work miracles.  If it's over $20 though, I probably won't buy it.  Just sayin'.

3. Dog friendly restaurants!  So now that fall is finally here in the DC metro area, I would love to be able to enjoy some patio dinners where my pup can tag along.

4. The best local 5k, 10k, 10 milers.  Once again, I love fall weather, and want to make sure I have some good local races on my calendar to keep me motivated after this half.  I tend to fall off the training boat after a race and don't want that to happen this time!

5. The best pumpkin beer.  I was lucky enough to get to try a lot of different local pumpkin beers last weekend.  I went to Local Brews and Local Grooves and the Maryland Brewer's Harvest Festival and they had all kinds of fall beers out!  I highly recommend both events.  The Harvest Festival had food pairings as well from a few different places (including Volt!) and they were super tasty.

Good friends and good beer makes for an excellent Friday night.

If you have a recommendation for any of these I would love to hear it!  Have a fabulous weekend, friends!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday 5: Happy Things

Life has been pretty routine lately, so blogging has definitely been slowing down.  I feel like my runs haven't been that eventful (which is fine with me), so the training plan recaps have been kind of dwindling down lately, BUT I will say that the runs are getting done!  The Friday 5 with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia has been a nice way to check in with you guys.  Make sure to take a look at the link up--there are SO many great bloggers who participate every week!   

1. Crawlin' Crab is almost here!!!  3 more weeks and then I'm heading down to Hampton to run my little heart out.  Fingers crossed for some nice fall weather!

2. I'm all signed up for the Surfin' Santa 5 Miler.  I'm so excited about this one.  My best friend is running in it (she's actually doing the Crawlin' Crab 5k with me, too) and it will be so nice just to have some time to hang out.  It's in the evening so there won't be any ridiculous wake up times and we can just enjoy the holiday season together.  I know it's still a little ways off, but I love knowing I have best friend time on the calendar!

Early race starts are made better by besties!

3.  We're one step closer to figuring out what's up with Mad Pup.  Poor fella hasn't been himself lately, but his blood work came out clean, so it's a relief to know that he doesn't have anything super serious going on.  He's on some pain medication for his arthritis which will hopefully work wonders, especially when it's paired with some cooler weather!

Maddux got ice cream after the vet because I felt
bad about his fast and that he got poked with needles.

4. I'm an official member of a running club!  Still planning on going to my store runs pretty regularly, but I like knowing I have options.  Plus, my store group runs 3-5 and sometimes a girl just needs a buddy for runs longer than that.

5. My cousin and I figured out a wonderful weekend run plan.  Meet at a trail in the middle, run however many miles we want/need, and then head to DuClaw Brewing for some game day specials for lunch.  Gotta replenish those carbs ya know? 

Sometimes we have contests when we run to determine who buys drinks.
Whoever had the most color in this race won.  I lost, only because I sweat a lot.

What are some happy things going on with you?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday 5: Getting Ready for Race Day!

Friday is finally here!  I'm back linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia.  The theme for the week is pre-race rituals, BUT since I am pretty boring in that department (think anxiety dreams and restless sleep the night before, drink a crap cup of hotel coffee, eat a power bar, and GO), I'll give ya the 5 things I'm doing to get ready for the big day!  Crawlin' Crab weekend is less than a month away!

1. Adjust my training plan.  Yep, it happened again.  Remember how I told you guys I was in that major rut?  Well, running the mileage on my plan was discouraging because I just wasn't there.  Last weekend I ran for an hour and ten minutes (I ran just over 7.5 miles) and this weekend I'm planning on going for an hour and twenty minutes.  As much as I hate cutting out my intervals, I'm just going to keep bumping up my long run 10 minutes a pop until Race Day.

2. Running with other people.  Sometimes when I'm alone my mind gets into that dark place (or that bored place) and I let myself get away with way too many walk or water breaks.  Running with the group the past two weeks has been great.  The miles have really flown by quickly having someone to talk to!  Plus, I have my pride and there is no way I'm walking up a hill when everybody else is killin' it.

I have a running date with my cousin this weekend!
The best way to catch up on life!

3. FOAM ROLL.  STRETCH.  I need to be so much better about this.  I know it's the key to not getting injured, but sometimes it gets overlooked.  Side note--does anyone have any good shin pain preventers?  I've had very minor pain in my shins, but I don't want it to become a problem!

4. Use one of my 5 milers to do some intervals.  Since I'm cutting out the half mile repeats out of my plan, I want to make sure I still have a day where I am pushing myself.  It would be amazing to kick off Race Weekend with a happy 5k time.

5. Smile.  Race Day is almost here and it's going to be an incredible weekend.  I'll get to see a bunch of my best friends, drink great beer, eat yummy chowder, and of course conquer those miles.

Maddux says chowder makes him smile, too.

What races do you have coming up?  Do you ever adjust the plan or do you always stick to it?

Happy weekend!!