Tuesday, March 11, 2014
I took Iris for a walk earlier today, but Isabelle didn't want to go. It was cold and windy, and I froze my ass off. Today was one of those days where you just can't get it together, nothing falls into place easily, and by mid-afternoon I was frustrated and exhausted. I needed a nap, so I took one, and when I woke up at 5 pm, I realized I still had to get my run in.
I ate a ton of food today and wasn't all that hungry when Dennis came home, so I ate some salad and decided to do my run after dinner. I dressed in my night reflective gear and lights and headed out the door. Today we had blowing snow and sleet, but late in the day the sky cleared and the sun dried everything up, and it was 34 degrees. It felt colder because of the wind. I was bundled in layers and only my hands got cold.
I brought my tunes with me. I still haven't had time to play with my new iPod so it was the old MP3 again. I listened to some Armin Van Buuren trance compilations and the stars were out, the streetlights were on, and I headed down through the Warren Lake neighborhood and down Boardwalk to Lemay, down Hail Mary hill, past Fossil Creek Park, and turned around soon after that. The sky was clear and perfect night running conditions, and I felt great. I powered back up Hail Mary hill, which felt like nothing. Sometimes that hill kicks my butt, but not tonight.
I ran back through Warren Lake and around the park and up Lemay, traffic was light and the streets were quiet. I got 10 miles in and I could feel the salad in my stomach the whole time I ran, but when I got in the house, I was hungry again.
Iris came out of the bedroom to see what I was doing, because she sensed food. She can read my mind even when I'm thinking about food.
I made pancakes, something I haven't eaten in forever. Iris and I sat there in the kitchen and ate pancakes while Isabelle and Dennis slept upstairs. I used butter and maple syrup, decadent.
Now I'm going to bed. Hoping tomorrow will be a more productive day.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Consistent with my past behavior, I decided to have a moving tour for my birthday. No multiple trips around the cemetery this time, and no Walmart shopping. This year it was a tour of Fort Collins. No tour of Fort Collins would be complete without a trip through Old Town, a visit to a brewery, and a few other landmarks along the way.
Dale, aka Sasquatch, aka the weather man, was supposed to show but the night before he got dumped on and had car trouble, even the weatherman gets snowed in...but he redeemed himself by providing perfect running conditions all day.
Kristin had been worried about not being able to keep up but I kept reassuring her that it was an easy pace and she'd be fine. She had no problem all day, running up the hills in the last miles and even sprinted at the end past both of us. I keep telling her she has an ultra in her. When she gets done with that marathon I'll be dropping all kinds of ultra hints...
We stopped in Old Town at Silver Grill, which was packed as usual. I chose that spot in case anyone wanted a cinnamon roll, since it is a Fort Collins classic stop. But we got there 20 minutes early and waited around. Hunter and Joanne showed up, Joanne was going to run the next leg with us until the brewery where Hunter would meet us again. We took off from there through Old Town and headed for the cemetery.
Scott took off to finish his run, Joanne and Hunter took off, and Kristin, Josh, Felix and I headed back into Old Town for the final leg through the CSU Oval and to the restaurant. On our way back across Riverside and Mountain, we were stopped waiting for the light to change, and we saw a very elderly man drive his car directly into oncoming traffic in the left turning lane. Fortunately the traffic was stopped but here was this man, stuck in his little car in the middle of a major intersection with semis coming down the road behind him, and all the traffic was stopped. He looked bewildered, and no one was doing anything.
I went out in the middle of the intersection and talked to him through his window, and asked him if he knew how to get himself out of the situation, to see if he understood what was going on. He seemed to be confused about the turning lane, but he told me he was afraid to back out with the trucks coming. I felt like he was coherent enough, and fortunately everyone waited for him to back his car out, and turn around to go down Lincoln.
I don't know what was going on, hopefully he was just confused about the traffic lanes, but I'm not sure...scary.
It was a fun group at the party, Dennis, running club friends, friends I used to work with at the hospital, our neighbors, and Mr. & Mrs. Wheaties Boy.
It was such an honor to have everyone there, I can't think of any better way to spend a birthday than with these friends. That is best gift of all.
I had tons of energy and felt great despite having 96.5 miles already logged for the week. I remembered to change the clocks before I went to bed. I woke up early anyway.
Dennis gave me an iPod Nano as a gift. Something I've been wanting to do for a while before my old MP3 player disintegrates completely from thousands of miles of sweat and sunshine.
All I have to do today is a quick 3.5 miles and I'll have 100 for the week. Double my age in miles. Just three weeks until I get to test these 50 year old legs at an ultra for the first time!
And I have to start working on the 51st birthday theme run...
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I was dragging ass by the end of today's run. It took forever, almost 6 hours to do 30 miles. My legs were tired, and I had to remind myself that fatigue is the first hurdle and then later on it gets easier. I haven't done this kind of mileage in over a year so it's a wake up call for my legs. I stopped at home at mid-run for a sandwich, but on the run I ate almonds and salted caramel gu. I have never been much of a fan of gels but this stuff is decadent. And with the nuts, it's like dessert.
It was cold this morning. The forecast called for 67 degrees and sunny. But I was in thick tights, gloves, a hat, two long sleeved shirts and my vest. I think it might have been 50 at the warmest part of the day.
The snow is finally gone. Not that we couldn't get more for the next two months, but I'm planning to clean out the front flower garden this weekend. Plus it's almost peep season, and I'll be coming up with some creative peep ideas soon. And we need to get dirt for the garden boxes that Dennis built last fall. This year I will have energy to grow things again and deal with the work of a garden. Unless of course my business gets super busy right away...
I haven't done much for hills this week, I might end up skipping them this week and hit it next week. The weather should be better and maybe the trails will dry out more by then.
Last night I gave a talk to the Aspen Club, to a good sized group of people at the hospital where I used to work. The Aspen Club is a community health-related club for people over 50. I told them on Monday I will be eligible for Aspen Club membership. It went well, and I think they enjoyed it. I know I did. It was strange to go back in the hospital building though.
I haven't been back there since I left my job in November, and it was such a strange experience- the feeling of walking through the dingy hallways and stairwells, the smells, the cafeteria smell, and the smell of the carpet. The place where I spoke is a big room off the main cafeteria dining area.
It felt sad in the hospital. I didn't feel sad, I am overjoyed that I left. But the atmosphere felt sad, the place felt neglected. Emotionally neglected. People looked tired, dull, worn. Just like the stairwells and walls. Not dirty, but just worn out. Same old artwork on the walls. Dreary.
Same signs everywhere. The one that always cracked me up was on the landing area near the staff elevators, there's a laminated sign posted that says, "This is an area of refuge". I always wondered about that sign when I worked there. What did that mean? If you felt stressed out, were you supposed to congregate by the elevators to get some relief?
Same old propaganda on the bulletin boards, too. Nothing seems to have changed. I saw a few people I recognized but it was a quiet time of day, evening in the hallways, and there weren't a lot of staff around. I said hi to the linen guy when I saw him in the cafeteria. He didn't know I left. I also saw some former patients at my talk and in the cafeteria.
I miss the patients a lot. But I feel like there are all kinds of opportunities now to interact with them through my new business. And I had a strange experience the other night. I had been out running that day in my neighborhood, and one of my former patients lives nearby. I started thinking about her, wondering how she's doing. I thought about her several times recently, since I go through the neighborhood on many of my runs.
That night we went out to a restaurant and there she was, eating with her husband. I went over and said hi. She had a hat on and had recently been through chemo and surgery again, and she actually needed help, so I gave her my business card.
I have a pile of email to answer and tons of details to work through for my business but I feel relieved to be ready to move forward. And next week my brother and sister-in-law and my multitalented brainiac niece Jenny will be visiting, on her 17th birthday, to check out CSU and CU. Will she be a Ram or a Buffalo? Or something else?
It would be nice to have her close by. So far her favorite school has been Oregon State, but then she would be a Beaver. We're partial to Buffaloes here, even though this is Ram country. Either way, it would be great to have Jenny around. I hope she'll find something irresistible here. Iris can give her best smile and Isabelle can sing and dance for Jenny. We'll have her Buffalo cousins turn on the charm!
Monday, March 3, 2014
Well I have news for you, bucko. I'm not taking your crap any longer. I wasn't born yesterday. I don't have to put up with this.
If it's stronger than you are, you have to be smarter than it. And I showed it who's boss!
There is only one remaining pile of snow in the yard, which should be gone by tomorrow morning. And there are signs of spring everywhere, birds making noise, squirrels darting out from every tree trunk, and it's time to switch gears.
Tomorrow I am going to take advantage of the forecasted beautiful day and get that long run in, I'm packing everything into a little backpack with money to buy food along the way, and running all day long.
I got on the scale yesterday and I'm down to 120 pounds. I have lost a total of 12 pounds, and I'm only 3 to 5 pounds away from my goal weight. I'm pretty sure that I don't need to go below 115. Then I'd be too skinny. At this point, I don't feel like I need to make too much effort other than maintaining what I'm doing, because bumping up the miles and intensity will most likely take care of those last few pounds. And if it's really hard to lose, which I suspect it might be, no big deal. I feel so much better already and I'm running so much better.
I asked Dennis to tell me if I start to look too skinny. He thinks I'm still good, but he can tell I've lost quite a bit. I do not want to have ribs and bones sticking out everywhere, or looking like a board when I turn sideways. I don't like to look like that and I think it's unhealthy. People who haven't seen me in a while notice it right away, in my face.
Iris has been going crazy since the snow melted because now all the goose poop is exposed. I look forward to the rain washing it away and the geese taking off again. Isabelle loves spring, she finds the muddiest spot in the yard to lie down in, and soaks it up in her belly hairs, then comes in and shakes it all over the walls. It's a never ending battle with the mop and wiping the walls from now until it warms up enough to turn on the hose and hose them down outside.
What can you do? It's our dog house.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I am postponing my 40 miler until tomorrow, which will give me a chance to finish working on my presentation for next Wednesday. Plus the fact that I woke up to 16 degrees and a slick layer of ice on everything. Again. Tomorrow promises to be somewhat better, a little warmer and no snow, so I'm waiting.
Every afternoon this week I needed a 2 or 3 hour nap. That's after sleeping at least 8 hours. I haven't even been running much, I averaged roughly 6 miles each day this week, saving it up for my long run. I ran the same route all week, too, and finally the lake is almost free of ice except for in this one corner.
Each day this week, it smelled like spring. The birds were singing in the morning. The snow was melting. Some little green tulip leaves were popping up out of the ground in the back yard.
Wednesday I gave into an ice cream craving after 2 months without the nasty stuff. It probably has been my favorite food forever, at least up there among the top 3 with sushi and green chile. But this time I noticed I felt horrible the day after eating it. Thursday I woke up hungry, had no energy all day. It was the sugar and I think I am done with sugar. I've had so much more energy since I quit eating crap at the beginning of January.
I could not understand why I was craving carbs so badly. Last week I did bump up my mileage, but I ate plenty. So then I got my answer, sorry for the TMI but this is how it is. After not having a menstrual period for 5 months, I thought I was done. I had my physical with the doctor last week and told her that, and we were talking about how I'm probably done. You are considered to be officially in menopause when you have not had a period for one year. So I was really hoping another 7 months would go by undisturbed.
Well as of this week, I got to start over with that year. Sucks! I am so ready for this to be done. I really hope this is the last one. At least it wasn't triggered by a race, like it has been for the past few years. But it would explain my general state of irritability, impatience, and carbohydrate cravings, not to mention the state of my face which broke out randomly about a week ago. I became the RPB again. Dammit.
Consistent with the earth being off it's orbit, I had a briefly gut-wrenching experience. I went out to Greeley to take the test at Aims Community College, and I sat through the exam, which was much easier than I expected. I got done in an hour and 15 minutes and they allow you 3 hours.
I've taken a lot of these computer exams lately so I sort of know the drill, you finish the exam and submit it, and a little window pops up on the screen that asks, "Are you sure?" and you click yes. And then another little window pops up again and asks, "Are you sure?" and you wish there was a "yes, dammit" button, but you click yes.
And then you wait as it thinks for a while, and then it displays the results on the screen. I passed. It showed my score and how I did on the different sections of the exam. Sometimes they'll have a little survey at the end that they want you to complete. So I sat there and waited while the computer did it's mind crunching thing, and it took a long time. L-O-N-G time. Suddenly this little box came up on the screen that said, "Critical error. Contact test administrator".
So I went out of the room to find the people at the front desk, and they couldn't find my score report. I was thinking, oh shit, they lost it, what if I'll have to do this all over again! But the guy called the test company, and after waiting on the phone for a good ten minutes, he finally got connected to someone. Who then put him on hold and transferred him to another geek, with another forever wait.
Finally they walked him through whatever he needed to do and they recovered my data and I got my score report and I was done. Whew!
It's been this hurdle sitting there ahead of me, so one more thing checked off the list. Now I can concentrate on the good stuff, the marketing, contacting physicians, and the last bits of paperwork and legal stuff before I can really move forward. There's a lot to do, but I want to do it right, and I'm not going to rush through it.
I've been trying not to multitask. It feels great to focus on one thing at a time. I will eventually get back to some multitasking, but it feels good to not put pressure on myself to remember everything. I make my list and get through it, but I'm not running around crazy, trying to stay on top of six things at once. Or twenty-five at once, like when I was working as a nurse-bot.
Speaking of nursing, something really cool has happened, or is about to happen. Finally, nurses portrayed as the human beings and professionals that we are. I hope the American public sees it and starts to wake up. Not just waking up to what nurses do and endure, but also to the reality of health care and that along with all the pressures of the job, professionals in health care are not treated very well by their employers in the current profit-focused model of sick care delivery.
This nursing movie trailer. Please see the movie when it comes out. It looks to be released around Nurses Week, early May, amid the usual consternation and heartburn that the weeklong "event" causes nurses. At least this year, something in our favor.
So now that I've bitched out all my frustration of the week, I am going to move on and do something productive today. One thing.
Off to the woman cave...
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I ran Redstone Canyon, 13 miles slow and easy with my friend Katy last Saturday, she is recovering from knee surgery. We had a good run and it was great to see her. Then I had a kickass workout last Sunday in the cemetery, I did 18 miles and was hitting splits I haven't run in several years.
Tonight I'm about to wrap it up but thought I'd post a quick one to let you know I'm still here.
It got cold again, snowed, blew, froze our asses off, and now we're in a short warming trend, which promises to turn cold and windy again in time for March and my 40 mile run. March will come in like a lion, that's for sure, I will be the lion. I'm taking it easy this week with my running but plan to get a good workout in with the long run.
I also had my annual physical exam and my eye exam and I am apparently getting younger. My eyes are young, still I can get away without reading glasses and my prescription didn't change. It could any day, but I have young eyes. I am doing much better than I was a few months ago, overall physically. No stress-related issues.
I'll have more to report on soon, I have another busy week ahead but things will start to get more exciting once I get through a few projects I need to finish. I already feel a rant building up and I'll have some carbon to blow out this weekend! The following weekend I have my birthday run coming up. Should have some good stuff to report on soon...
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Right now the wind is at about 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. It's cold, too, but sunny. This morning I went out for a quick 7 miler before I met with the accountant. Glad to have dumped that pile in her lap so I can forget about it. We'll see what the damage is when she finishes our returns. But I'm not going to stress about it.
It took me several days to move through the emotions stirred up by that experience with the taxes on Monday. I've been super emotional and irritable, I had dreams each night, very confusing dreams about people from my past and having a hard time moving forward to where I wanted to go. There were all these obstacles in my way. I don't worry much about interpreting dreams, they're like a random mess of brain residue. But I could see where the frustration was coming out.
I know I still need to resolve some feelings about my experiences with my former employer. I plan to have a discussion with a certain key individual there eventually, once I have sorted through my emotions and more time has gone by.
But for now, I'm training, I'm studying, and I'm about to launch into a busy time of marketing my services and hitting the pavement. I'm looking forward to all that.
Running is going well and I've felt good this week despite the distractions. It helps to be pissed off, too, because I had a great run in the wind fighting the demons in my head. The wind was nothing!
This weekend I'm very excited to be running with my old running partner and crew member from Badwater 2008, Katy. We used to run trails and Rock Repeats together a lot, a few years ago, and then life happened, injuries happened, and so on. We're finally getting it together this weekend. I've missed her company, and sometimes those runs were like therapy for both of us.
Between that run and a 20 miler this weekend, I should be close to 70 miles for the week, and feeling good. This week feels easy, none of my runs are very long. Next week I need to find a 40 mile route to keep me entertained. I hope the wind lets up at least a little by then. I'm ready for 70 degrees and shorts weather.