Scatter my ashes here...

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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ex and Why Running

I've been taking a Blogcation lately. I haven't had much exciting to write about, so I took a break. Not intentionally, but it's been kind of a weird time, I've been off my normal routine and sort of treading water, trying to figure out what's next.

For the first time in a long long time I don't have any running goals. It's so weird, I don't know what to do with myself. I have been struggling the past few weeks with being sick but I finally have it beat, my energy is coming back, I actually ran 4 days this week in some nasty weather too. This morning I realized there is hope, I ran more than 10 miles and felt halfway decent, even though it was a slow pace through the snowy streets and death-defying icy sidewalks.

Sometimes I wonder why the city even bothers to plow the sidewalks when the conditions are like this. I guess it does help after the snow melts, but when it's cold like this, they turn into smooth, slick death traps. It's safer to risk running in the roadway even on the busy streets, than to risk falling on your butt or head by staying on the sidewalk ice skating rinks.

Christmas Day I woke up early to a beautiful sunrise, and got my butt out the door for an hour run. I headed east from home toward the Environmental Learning Center and just as I hit the 5K mark I ran into one of the guys from the running club, Mike, so I turned around and ran with him all the way back to the Power Trail, then I went home, finished with a nice 10K long run. I felt decent even though Mike runs a bit faster than I can manage at this point.

Then we got dumped on, later in the day the snow started, giving us a white Christmas afternoon, followed by a good 7 or 8 inches of snow. We were supposed to go to Denver to see my mother-in-law that day but the roads were really bad, and we postponed it until Saturday.

We did have fun with the girls on Christmas. Iris and Isabelle got a singing Elmo and they sang with it, Iris got a squirrel and a hedgehog, and Isabelle got a bed.

Since Isabelle doesn't play with toys, she thinks Iris is the toy when Iris has a toy in her mouth, so playing with toys consists of Iris with a toy in her mouth and Isabelle hanging on to Iris's butt with her teeth or herding and body blocking Iris. Isabelle's favorite activity is lying down, we thought the bed would be a good choice. But she will only get on it if we insist. Iris likes the bed too.

We also got a webcam to spy on the girls while we're gone or while I'm out in the woman cave. The "Buffcam". We've been talking about it for a while, but the other night, around 3 am we both woke up to the sound of Isabelle tumbling down the stairs. She must have missed a step in the dark, her arthritis has been getting worse over the past year and we give her medication for it, but she's been especially stiff at times, maybe from the weather change the other day. She does okay going up and down the stairs normally, but she can't jump up on the bed by herself anymore and she struggles with a lot of things in general that used to be easy for her to do. She is 13 1/2. Iris has the good genes, she still is able to jump, fly, and leap everywhere.

Isabelle was okay, she didn't seem to be hurt after her fall, our house is a split level and it's really a short flight of carpeted stairs with a padded landing, that we've placed there for that reason, but it was scary and we know she's getting to the point where she might not be able to get up and downstairs herself. We might end up having her sleep downstairs. We'd probably go sleep with her, on the futon. Today she feels much better and is flying around, fence fighting, and jumping as well as she can these days. Old dogs are so precious and heartbreaking at the same time.

Yesterday I got my snowshoes out and ran around with the girls for a short time in the snow in the backyard. I could not get motivated to go running. I could get motivated to eat and drink beer though. Upslope Craft Lager has been the brew of choice this week. It's from Boulder. It's just different, lighter than what we normally drink.

This morning 9 degrees and sunny was enough to get my butt out the door. First I took Iris for a mile and a half run, then I got out and ran east again, this time I went toward the Environmental Learning Center and once I got on the Poudre Trail, I ran into several people from the running club. I didn't read the latest posts on the Facebook page, otherwise I would have known they were out there. So I ended up doubling back with them and ran about 5 miles accompanied by them, giving me over 9 miles by the time I got home. I got a total of 10.7 miles in today, and I actually felt good. There might be hope for me after all.

I was running with Sheila and Deb from the running club, and it was really nice to have the company. I do so many miles on my own. I tend to prefer to run alone much of the time, but I do enjoy running with other people when it works out.

I also found an area with new streets where they are building houses, with a gentle grade that might be perfect for tire pulling.

I'm considering running the Prairie Dog Half Marathon in Louisville again in January if the weather is decent, that killer race I ran last January. And I'm thinking about other ways to motivate myself, like a Grand Canyon run (rim to rim to rim) either late this spring or in the fall, if I can tolerate the trails enough. For some reason running with the tire appeals to me more than doing regular runs. I can't figure it out, my motivation isn't making any sense but I'll go with it.

I won't plan any ultra races for a while but I will get myself some good strength and vertical training and see what comes of it. I have no idea what this year will look like. I pitched the Donut run as an idea, now I just have to wait for them to build the Windsor Dunkin Donuts. I know Across the Years is going on right now but I don't feel like I miss it this time, there's just no desire to do it now.

I have my work cut out for me over the next month, I have two certifications I need to renew so I'll be doing some studying and getting back to work after the New Year. I need to keep the momentum going in my workouts so I feel human. I do feel better after I run, there is a reason I've done this for 31 years. But just like any new runner, lately I've had my ex- and why moments. I'm pretty sure they're temporary though. Maybe I can make them go away with enough ZZZZs.

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