Must get faster — how?: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about running, training, how to get faster without getting injured, and male dogs vs female dogs.

Generating heat
I often wonder about strange things. Like if you’re a faster runner does that mean you naturally generate more heat? Do you run hot, so to speak?

Darlene and I dress very differently for the same temperatures. I have often wondered if I don’t get as hot because I run slower. And yet I sweat much more than she does. Our friend Barbara, who is just as speedy as Darlene, tends to dress even warmer than I do.

And Wendy recently said that she felt chilly at our Panama City Beach half, dressed in a running skirt and tank, which is how I was dressed, and I felt comfortable (although my tank and skirt were heavier material).

My unscientific conclusion is that we all run at different temperatures.

Do friends make you faster?
I haven’t run many races with friends. I did do a speedy (for me) half marathon relay last March — was I speedy because I knew someone was waiting on me?

Did I run my PR in my last half because others were waiting on me?

Seriously, in the relay, yes, the fact that someone was waiting was on my mind. The fact that all my friends finished their halfs about 20 minutes (or more) ahead of me really wasn’t on my mind.

And of course I have also run half marathon PRs in a race with no friends at all (that would be most of them). Like I said, weird thoughts pop into my mind. All the time! Thoughts for which there are no answers but I think about them anyway.

Scheduling races
So I’m looking at what will be next for me after the best damn race NOLA in 2017. Any half marathon with the word mountain in it? Nope, not gonna happen. I’m passing on the ones that have Endurance Challenge in the name, too.

A half marathon is plenty of challenge on its own, thank you very much.

The Training Trap
I hope I don’t fall into that in 2017. So 2016 definitely didn’t go the way I wanted to. I wasn’t able to run as much weekly mileage as I wanted to because of what was going on in my life.

Yet I had a good year of running — I had PRs at every distance I ran, actually.

And then that thought creeps into your head: if I could do that well with minimal training, how much better could I do if I trained harder? Which is a trap, because it’s so easy to overtrain and end up injured.

How I gauge how sick I am
When I’m really sick, I lose my appetite. I don’t want to eat veggies, I don’t wear my contacts, and I often don’t shower for days at a time. It’s too much effort and I’m often chilled — which is another way I can tell I’m sick, my feet will be cold.

My feet were really cold when I first got sick, but I didn’t really lose my appetite. Low grade fevers completely wipe me out, though. I just shake my head in wonderment at the tales of athletes who compete with fevers. How is that possible?

Thanks for the well wishes, I am definitely on the mend, but still very tired so still taking it fairly easy.

Getting along . . . so far

Are male dogs harder?
Or do I just feel more kinship to female dogs? Chester was a hard puppy. Seriously, it’s not just Bandit that I was ready to give back for months. And I still miss Chester so much. I no longer miss my first cats, Cleo and Puss, that much — it’s been 10 years since we lost Puss, even longer for Cleo. So I know it does get better with time.

The hard work with Lola paid off

Lola was not exactly an easy dog when we got her, either. 10 months old, also with no housetraining (or really any training at all), extremely reactive to other dogs (except Chester) . . . she was a lot of work, too. Somehow I never wanted to give her back, and I’ve been rewarded with a well trained, very sweet dog (who is still a bit reactive to other dogs while on leash).


So Mr. Judy is always falling in love with the male dogs — like, immediately — and I seem to gravitate towards the female dogs. Initially, anyway. Maybe it’s something along the lines of us women have to stick together.

Bandit has found his bark
Although he has occasionally barked at random things since we got him — sometimes so random we had no clue what the heck he was barking at — in general, he wasn’t that barky a dog.

Lola was advertised as a dog that didn’t bark. She tends to only really bark at other dogs.

But Bandit has begun barking at pretty much any car/truck that drives past our house now that he is almost free in the house. He’s not too annoying . . . yet.


Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do you find yourself gravitating towards male or female furkids? Or does it matter?

Do you think there’s a training trap?

Do you ever think about what makes you faster or do you just do it?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

17 thoughts on “Must get faster — how?: TOLT

    1. It all depends on my where I am in my training cycle. When I’m not training for anything it might be around 15 miles. The most I ever got up to this year was 22 miles.

      But everyone is different. The right weekly mileage is different for everyone. And I don’t do HR training (since I don’t have a HRM).

      Not to mention my easy runs are s good minute to minute & a half slower than my half marathon race pace.

      Generally, though, if you want to get faster, you have to run faster — at least once a week; not much more than that, though–too many people run too fast too often.

      Of course I’m not a coach, either! You need to build a good base before you work on speed & you’re doing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting thoughts.

    I do get much warmer in races than slow runs. So it seems the faster you run, the warmer you get. Look at those elites that run in almost nothing.

    And Wendy & Barbara have zero body fat.

    More miles = more speed. Who knows? I prepared better for my halfs in previous years and this year I was faster. 3 of the 7 were under 2:12

    No injuries is really the key. We have no crystal ball to know if we can get faster. And no, I don’t obsess about it. I just go run. I don’t even look at my pace until after a race and never during a training run.

    Furkids? We have 3 males & a female. One male Jerry & one female Honey are my favs. My hubby loves the other male Slater. Poor Billy – no personality. & I don’t think he even likes us LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For all that it might seem I’m obsessed with getting faster, at the same time I’m not. But the blog is a good place to write about it!

      When it comes to cats, they’re just not as hard as dogs. Not even the hard ones. It’s easier for me to bond with them all (like, instantly?).

      Dogs are so much work — especially the ones that seem to find us. And it seems they always find us after I’ve just gotten through months of taking care of a different sick furkid and am so drained . . . but somehow, in the end, it seems to work out (which I’m thankful for ).


  2. I am usually fine with less clothing before and while I run- it is after I stop moving that i find it very hard to regulate my temp- that is the only time I feel cold usually. I find until i shower i just don’t feel right. I am like that when I am feel sick too, I usually lose the chilled feeling after i shower, I just feel nice and toasty 🙂 Winter is also the only time I really like coffee, I guess I could eat hot soup too and get the same effect lol That feeling of being chilled is the worst though!!!
    I seem to bond with my girls and boy furry kids the same.
    Glad you are on the mend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankfully I don’t get sick real often, but when I do — ugh! If my feet are cold or my throat is sore — watch out. Glad you didn’t catch it!

      One reason I almost always wear a jacket, even if I don’t think I really need it, is because once I stop running I can feel really chilled.

      Not in summer, though! But when it gets down to about 50s, for instance, I might feel comfortable running without a jacket but need it afterwards.


  3. All very good things to ponder! I think consistency (and perseverance) may be the key to getting faster. You were quite consistent this past year and you PR’d! (the lay of the course helps too, lol). James was extremely consistent in his training before the Chicago Marathon, and he PR’d there. Consistency may be the common denominator.

    There is a definite difference between male and female animals. I think females tend to be sweeter and more gentle, but males are… well… males. Meep (male) doesn’t have an ounce of grace, doesn’t have a clue what stealth means even though he’s a cat, and is very forceful. When he wants to be held, you will hold him no matter what you’re doing. But I don’t gravitate to one or the other. Whatever I get and/or end up with, I’m happy (I picked Meep out of a litter of kittens when he was a week old and didn’t have a clue if he was boy or girl).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting story about Meep.

      As I said to Darlene, I think it’s quite different with cats than with dogs. Mr. Judy definitely seems drawn to the males, although with Bandit, it may just be how much he reminds him of Chester. I could seriously have given Chester back for maybe the first 6 months we had him!

      Simba & Giz (littermates) were so veeeeery different. Simba was a huge PITA, but he seemed to think he was a dog, too — so much personality.

      Giz is the sweetest cat, and so obedient (unlike Simba).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I gravitate more to female cats – the boys have a tendency to spray and I’m not down with that at ALL – but I have both a male and a female lab. The female definitely required more work as a pup but I blame that on the fact that she had to be weaned earlier for health of mama dog reasons.

    and I struggle with dressing right for a run. I’m always afraid to overdress so I usually wear less or at least really easily removed layers. But, I don’t want to be carrying extra clothes in my hands. Ugh. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right balance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had 2 female cats (the girls) and then 2 male cats (the boys) — thankfully the boys never sprayed, in fact they had/have very good litter box habits (one of them is gone many years now).

      All 3 of my dogs were more work than your average puppy (although of course Bandit came to us as a senior dog, not a puppy!).

      I’m one of those people that would rather be over than underdressed. Within reason. Which is why I love zippers!


    1. We certainly didn’t think about the girls when we got them either — Puss chose me, and I just grabbed Cleo — pretty similar story!

      We did think more about it when we got Lola, although Chester really wasn’t that interested in other dogs. And we did actually think about it with Bandit, as in, Lola does better with males than females.

      Thankfully it seems to be working out . . . now. 🙂


    1. Lola was a real wild child when we first got her – she was 10 months old & had been in several different homes. Like bandit, no training.

      But Mr. Judy just really seems drawn to boy dogs – of course we’ve only had two.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s