Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work Hangover Wednesday: On Fire!

We're burning up again here in Colorado.

There are three fires that I know of going on in Colorado simultaneously. Yesterday afternoon at work, around 3 pm I took a quick walk down the hall to get something out of my locker in the breakroom, and saw out the window at the end of the hall a huge plume of smoke covering almost the entire sky over west Fort Collins.

It was from a fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Big Meadows fire. The temperature this week soared to almost 100 degrees here, and the wind picked up, perfect conditions for a repeat of last year’s fire season, which happened the same time last summer.

This morning, though, there was no smoke in the air, and the sky looked reasonably clear. I couldn't tell that there was a fire. Either the wind shifted, or the fire is under control, or both.

The past two days we were busy enough at work but it was manageable. Monday was a particularly challenging day for me because of all the time I put into a particular patient, but that’s a story for another place. Tuesday my big chemo got cancelled and it eased up the day considerably. Watching patients on different trajectories this week, some downward, some bouncing back, some in denial, has also been a challenge.

I woke up before daylight this morning and Iris pounced on me, wanting a belly rub. I scratched her for a while and then Dennis woke up, thinking I was getting up, he asked me to make coffee. I whined my way out of it, begging to sleep. I fell back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 8:00.

Just getting those extra two or three hours of sleep this morning made all the difference in my work hangover. It’s so much easier to face the day when you’re not sleep deprived.

It was already 70 degrees and looking to be a hot one. By the time I got the girls out for their walk it was almost 10:00.

I went out for my run, deciding to break it up into two runs today. I planned to do 6 in the morning and 6 in the evening. But there was a twist…I decided today would be the first of my Tabata workouts, to pick up the intensity to the max, to get a little fat burning and anaerobic benefit. If I survived.

It was almost 80 degrees when I got out the door, and I ran the Power Trail to warm up, trying to figure out where I might be able to sneak this workout in where no one would see me and call 911. I felt surprisingly decent on my run, even after the two twelve hour shifts on my feet and the hot morning.

On my way home I found a little isolated stretch of bike path near home where there wouldn’t be any people. It was 82 degrees in the sunshine, no shade. I dropped my water bottle, set my watch, stretched my hamstrings a bit, took a deep breath and prepared myself for the unknown…

I didn’t want to think about it. Without hesitating, I hit the start button on my stopwatch, and started the four minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off as hard as I could possibly go. I went back and forth on the short little concrete path. The first couple were okay but after the first minute I could feel the effort catching up to me. I kept going, counting my steps to get through the hard intervals. Ten seconds is barely enough to gasp for an extra breath before you start the next one. By the last two I was digging hard, I thought I might collapse at the end but I didn’t.

My heart rate was easily up there around 200. I checked for 15 seconds immediately after the last one was done and it was at 180, but that was as it was dropping rapidly. It didn’t take me all that long to recover and run home for my cooldown. I got 7.7 miles in total not counting Tabata.

The flowers are going wild in our yard, and I’m hoping the summer doesn’t heat up too much and dry everything up so fast. We had all that good moisture this spring. The girls are not too happy about the heat either. I don't have AC in the woman cave- yet. That is my next priority.

Tonight I’ll go out and do another 5 or 6, and tomorrow is track day. I am really hoping the Big Meadows fire gets under control soon, or it could be a problem to have the Estes Park Marathon this weekend with the smoke.

But, I’m stuck here in the Fort for the summer and I need to make the best of it. I'm already missing Death Valley.

I do have some fun trips to look forward to later in the summer though…we’re going to Manhattan Beach again this year, and I did buy airline tickets to Milwaukee so I can run the Badgerland Striders 12 hour race in August. It’s already the middle of June! How did that happen?

Now the fun part begins: getting back into full training, adding weight workouts and core work, and burning off some of this fat that comes back so easily when I slack off even for a short time. I’m hoping to get the flame burning hot shortly…between two a day workouts, weight work, tabatas, speed, hills, and Wheaties Boy tempo runs spread out evenly and generously throughout the next few months, I can get back to feeling like a runner again before long.


HappyTrails said...

The girls and the flowers are GORGEOUS!!!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks, Kathleen. Wishing you the best in your latest thyroid "adventure" next week. For lack of a better term. Time to get this behind you!