Scatter my ashes here...

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Greetings from Strong Badia

Strong Bad, who lives in Strong Badia, is my hero. I sort of like his Teen Girl Squad too, I used to use them to tease my brother about my niece Jenny when she was in high school. If you're unfamiliar with these characters, you MUST check out THIS.

It's been a while since I blogged here. This year I wrote a book.

There's something about writing a book that sucks the desire to write much else out of you. At least it was that way for me. I couldn't think about writing much of anything, I was so focused on the content of the book. There simply was nothing left. Between that and having two puppies, going through training, spaying, daily walks, cleaning up after them, replacing everything they destroyed, and we're not done yet...with the madness of having two high energy baby Aussies at the same time, I sometimes wonder how I did it.

But the pups kept me in line and I got through the book, and the editor has it now. We are doing revisions. I expect it will be out late this fall. Here's the cover design, ignore the Latin from the template, this was just a rough draft.

It's about healthcare, the stuff I have ranted about on this blog and in other places, except less of a rant than about solutions and how those solutions are needed to improve the cancer patient experience, making it less traumatic and disjointed. In other words, people in healthcare need to clean up after themselves, the mess they make when treating people for cancer doesn't clean up itself. I'll have plenty more to say about the book later, and if you want to know more, feel free to go to my website and sign up for the updates where you can subscribe to get more information, bottom of the home page.

This summer I was supposed to help out at Badwater again but I ran out of time at the last minute finishing the manuscript and I promised the editor I would have it done by a certain date and she had arranged child care so she could work on it, and it took me longer than expected, so I ended up not going to Badwater. Slightly disappointing, yes, but then, it took a pretty good arm twisting to make me go back there, after claiming my retirement status.

I went to Scottsdale to hang out with my Dad while my stepmom went away for a much needed spa weekend, and he's been taking boxing classes. He has Parkinson's. If you've been to this blog before, you know he was being treated for a type of chronic leukemia a few years back. He's been in remission with that but almost as soon as he finished chemo, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

But my dad doesn't get stopped by much, and he has been doing everything he can to keep himself functioning well despite the symptoms he experiences, naturally from the disease and from the medication, which is not the easiest stuff to tolerate. He started taking boxing classes, specifically for people with Parkinson's, and he is also taking singing lessons, because the voice is affected by Parkinson's, and tap dancing lessons! He is fortunate to live in proximity to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, and there are all sorts of great activity and support networks there.

He continues to work out with his personal trainer and goes to physical therapy too. He is busy and active, and that is the best thing anyone can do. I'm really proud of him. It's been difficult to watch this unfold but not as hard as it is to live with it yourself or for a spouse to live with it. Hence the spa weekend.

When I was visiting, I went to his boxing class and watched him. Seeing those men in his class work out was very inspiring, but I also was inspired by the workout itself. The strength, core, cardio, it all looked like a great workout, and I took karate lessons for a short time as a kid and loved it. When I got home, I looked up boxing and thought I'd try it myself. I took a class at Title boxing and I felt like I found the holy grail.

I have been having so much trouble motivating myself to work out on my own. I've never had this problem of self-motivation or discipline until now. I've struggled all summer, wanting to get back into running, and lose the 20 pounds I gained, and start doing some cross training, but I couldn't get myself to do it. The weekly donut runs were about all I was doing regularly. So now I'm taking several boxing classes each week, and so far all I can tell is that my abs are extremely sore. It is a good cardio workout though. I'm starting to feel a little smoother in the technique, but I'm naturally pretty uncoordinated, so every time we have to do a series of more than 5 punches, I struggle remembering the sequence, but I just keep throwing punches and that seems to work, for now.

I'm not running a lot, but I did do a 27 miler last week and it was the first ultradistance run I've done in a long time. I still plan on doing the There Goes the Sun 12 hour run next month in Arvada. And I did sign up for the 24 hour at Across the Years, just for fun, to run with my ultra buddy Sasquatch, a.k.a. Dale Perry, who has quite the interesting comeback story going on. There should be a good-sized Colorado contingent there to make it a fun party.

I've been staying busy with the community cancer programs I've been working on, things start to get busier for me in the fall. And there's a lot of marketing work to do on the book. So between that and puppies, who are going to be a year old soon, and need to start running, I have my hands full. And writing, of course. Now that I have the bandwidth to write my own blogposts for fun again, it's nice to be back.

I'll be filling you in over the next few months with details on life, the book, returning to running, and boxing with puppies. I didn't even rant about politics yet, either, but who needs any more of that when you've got an overload of outrageousness in the news everyday!

Enjoy what's left of summer, if you're on the top part of the planet, and I'll be back before long. Until then, I'll be in Strong Badia. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Been Busy...

but I'm back!

Finally reached my point of "I can't stand it anymore!!!!" The motorcycle tire around my waist is just too much for me to bear. It's grossing me out daily. I still have another month of working on this book most of the time, so the sitting is still going to be an issue for a while longer, but not too much longer.

As if I needed insult to add to my physical state of affairs, today I was out trying to run very slowly and carefully, trying not to aggravate my back, which has been sore and stiff for several days, and I passed some old fart (probably not too much older than me) on a bike who was pulled off the bike path by the sidewalk, talking on the phone. As I ran by, I heard him say, "Sorry I can't concentrate on talking, a female jogger just went by me."

WTF!!??? Excuse the #$%*& outta me! Every time I think I'm old, gray, and wrinkled enough to be immune from sexist ignoramuses like that, I get reawakened. So when he finally rode by me, I said, "You're lucky I'm not in my usual condition." I woulda kicked his ass and mansplained it to him. Perhaps he needed his balls cut off and stuffed in his mouth so he'd shut up next time?

What's been happening lately is that I have gotten really fat and out of shape. I've been very inconsistent with running and I've been having back problems too, a result of sitting too much, gaining weight, and not doing the exercises that I normally do when I'm training- core, weight training, etc. And I've been a bit stressed, over miscellaneous things, which contributes to stress eating, which I've been doing, and drinking too much alcohol, which I've also been doing. One of the main sources of my stress has now been relieved somewhat.

The other morning I could barely walk down the stairs, my back was so tight and stiff. And a few other reminders- trying to stretch in order to work on my back requires that I bend forward in certain ways and I am running into a pile of flesh. That I am not used to. Unacceptable. I really do need to lose about 20 pounds.

But. The other day I had an epiphany. I really do miss ultras and I want to move forward with a few items on the back of the mind bucket list. I have always wanted to do a 6 Day race. And I want to go back to the Keys 100. Just one of those races I always have wanted to do again- so much fun and so beautiful. Dennis wants to go back there too. And I am still looking at doing Across the Years 24 hour this year, just the 24 because I am so out of shape at this point I think it would be wise for me to just run for fun, get a few miles in, as a training run and hang out with running buddies I haven't seen in a long time.

In order to get to that goal of the 6 Day race, I think it will take me at least 3 years. I'd like to do Cornbelt again or another 24 hour next year, but shoot for the 48 hour at ATY then, if I'm ready. If not, I'll push it forward another year. I can think of some other way-out-there, crazy ideas too.

I've even considered Spartathlon, though I will need to get in shape to qualify again, and then there's the problem of getting in, and then figuring it all out, and then even finishing the race itself is iffy, which would probably involve some kind of crazy strategy of racing 50 miles then walking most of final 100+ miles. Which is fine, but that's a problem for another day.

First things first. Marissa just told me she is looking at having another Fatass run this fall in Colorado. I imagine that will be 12 hours, which is a great summer goal for training, and a buildup to Across the Years.

My life has been extremely busy. I'm juggling several projects right now, and about to start on the last full chapter in the book. I'll be sending the manuscript off to the editor before I leave for any summer trips. June 30th is my deadline date, self-imposed, but I have stuck to it. The work on the Appendix will be a lot to do, but most of it is already written. It should be done in the fall, I'm hoping October, but before the holidays, anyway.

The girls have grown up! I've been super busy with them too. We ended up getting Velcro spayed a few weeks ago. We took a trip up to our property at Trout Creek Pass a few weeks ago. She was already showing some subtle signs of going into heat, and we were headed up to the mountains and I was worried about having her up there like that, with all the coyotes and other dogs up there. And bears, etc. So when we got back from our weekend up there, I made an appointment. And she definitely was in heat.

We have been going to the same vet since 1984 with all of our dogs, and we love our vet. Velcro does too, because she gladly went into the back with them, no separation anxiety in being taken away from her mom. Mom, on the other hand, had enough separation anxiety for all of us.

Velcro did fine, she didn't even need to wear her cone of shame. She was lethargic for a day and then you would never know anything happened. Gypsy is not nearly as physically mature as Velcro was at the same age, so we have time. The Gyppers is about 1000 percent more amped up with energy than her sister, so it will be a challenge keeping her calm when she has her surgery.

Oh, and my friend Megan just twisted my arm the other day into going out to Death Valley this summer and working on medical at this blog's namesake race. I swore it off, said I was retired, but I have to admit I sure miss Death Valley in the summer, and would love to see Ben and Denise Jones, John Vonhof, Don Meyer, and a lot of other people I haven't seen in some time.

We had a huge storm here last week and we had a ton of heavy wet snow that took trees down and raised hell on everything. Fortunately we were spared this time, we only lost a small maple tree, the top snapped off. But our apricot trees were fine and our garden beds only had lettuce in them at the time, so no damage. Now that I've planted tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, peppers and more, I am sure we'll start having hailstorms.

That's about it...not extremely exciting, as I haven't been running much at all, maybe once or twice a week and just a few miles then. I have been pretty good about getting on my feet and doing 50 or so miles a week of walking most weeks. But I've had my share of slug weeks too. I know it's going to be a challenge to get it back, but I've finally reached a point where I am mentally ready. Now I just have to fix my back, which should cooperate with some massage, stretching, and gradual return to a real training program.

I hope to make more appearances at this blog. It's just been so hard to write the book and for my other writing obligations, and then I'm not running, so there hasn't been much blog-worthy news. I hope to turn that around in a good way, soon.

Happy summer! I'll be baaaack....

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Gift of Sunshine

The sum of a person is not in the things that they’ve done, but how you feel when you’re with them, how they rub off on others around them. When I first read Morgan’s obituary, it read like a laundry list of accomplishments. While those achievements are impressive, and her personality fueled her enthusiasm and energy for those pursuits, what I remember about Morgan is her infectious smile, laugh, and quick sense of humor. It was her gift to the world, being around her felt like a sunny spring day.

I met Morgan when she opened her home to me while Dennis and I were in the process of moving back to Fort Collins from an eight year stint in Arizona. I was starting my job as a night nurse in ICU at the hospital and I had my two canine girls, Iris and Isabelle, with me. Dennis was in Arizona selling our house and getting ready to move. We hung out with Morgan and Angus for two months until we were all together and able to find our own place.

I remember her joining me as a crew and a pacing companion during one of the ultras I ran through the Vedauwoo area in Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain Double Marathon. It's a tough, hilly 52.4 mile race notorious for bad weather conditions. It was sunny, but the wind was brutal that day, and I can remember having to pee behind the car, and the wind was not cooperating. Morgan and I were giggling for miles over that.

I just remember how much fun it was to trudge the final uphill miles in the mud and wind with Morgan keeping me entertained so I didn’t notice how crazy the conditions were.

Morgan took care of our precious Australian shepherds Iris and Isabelle when we went on vacation, and Iris used to ham it up, sitting pretty on her hind legs, knowing she would get a response from Morgan.

In early January of this year, a few days before she was moved to inpatient Hospice, she texted me one day, and said she felt well enough for a visit. She wanted to meet our new puppies, Velcro and Gypsy, so I took them over for a visit, hoping they’d be well-behaved.

Morgan said she didn’t want to be remembered as she was when she was sick. I promised Morgan I would always remember that day in Wyoming, when we were as goofy as a couple of teenagers, giggling our way up the muddy hills in springtime under the freshly leafed-out, lime green aspen trees.

I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s doing now, because I can still hear her laughing.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Donut Triangle Birthday Urban Adventure

I first threatened this idea several years ago when I was still writing a running column in the local paper. It was around the time that Dunkin Donuts was making a resurgence in the local area after being gone for years.

I was thinking about themed runs for future birthdays and out of curiosity I checked on a map to see how far it was from the new Fort Collins Dunkin Donuts to the planned Windsor Dunkin Donuts. The most direct road route was 13.1 miles. How convenient. I proposed three different versions, a half marathon, marathon, and double donut marathon. That would have been perfect for my 52nd birthday. But as things turned out I wasn't focused on running at the time and the last thing I felt like doing was forcing myself to do 52 miles on a double out and back on the heavily trafficked roads between Fort Collins and Loveland.

I put the whole thing on hold for a while, and then when my friend Melody convinced me to join the Donut Running group for Donut Fridays last summer, I began thinking about it again. By then, there was also a Dunkin Donuts in Loveland. I decided it would be easier, and shorter, to do a loop hitting all the Dunkin Donuts locations. I measured it out and it came to about 35 miles, not 53, but just reverse the digits and it works.

I decided to plan it and invited a lot of running friends to come join me on a part of the loop. There are so many running events going on this time of year and spring break was coming up so I decided to choose the first weekend in March and avoid spring break. Two of my friends had just finished ultras last weekend and they wouldn't be doing it. But as it turned out I got 5 takers to join me on my urban birthday trek.

Why do I do these birthday runs? They are really just a way to do my favorite activity and be outdoors on my feet for a long time and share it with friends. It's always fun to dream up some kind of creative theme, to make things interesting. Celebrating another year of being able to do long distances on my feet, because I've learned that you can't take this stuff for granted.

I woke up around 4 am on Saturday and had coffee, the girls wanted to know what I was doing so they got up with me, but had to go in the crate when I left so Dennis could sleep. They didn't like that too much.

I ran the one mile from my house to Dunkin Donuts on south College and as soon as I arrived, Felix drove up. Felix has been on most of my birthday adventures. We had a donut, lit candles on it, and took off. The sunrise on the Mason Trail as we headed south was spectacular. One scene I never got a picture of, was the geese flying overhead in the sunrise, and the light was shining on them.

The whole way down we had a typical Felix and Alene running conversation, pointing out goofy signs along the way, joking about the medical and recreation marijuana shops all along the strip between Fort Collins and Loveland, laughing that we could stop in and work on our donut appetites. Felix and I have a long history of odd conversations at odd hours on foot, as he is the person who was with me during the infamous SpongeBob sighting in the middle of the night at Badwater.

Felix had to be at the airport later in the morning so he said he would run as far as he could with me but then had to turn around and go back to his car. He stayed with me all the way into Loveland, at the Walmart on Garfield. It was only two and a half more miles to the Loveland Dunkin Donuts.

There I took a little break, charged my phone and used the bathroom. It was breakfast time and there a huge line. I didn't think I'd be able to get a donut before having to get going toward Windsor, but the line died down and I got my donut fix.

I took off after about twenty minutes and started heading back north to the bike path across from Walmart. Once I got off the Rambo running stretch on 287, it was a relief. Quiet, peaceful, no traffic on the bike path. The day was shaping up to be beautiful. I went east on the bike bath past Boyd Lake and north to county road 30, taking it east past the stinky cow farm to the frontage road along I-25.

On the way across the bike path I was thinking about the Walmart run, when my friend Morgan was still with us, she joined us on that run. I could hear her voice and see her smile. I miss her so much. I'll be writing a post about her in the next few weeks.

I stuck my music in my ears and proceeded at a fast powerwalking pace with a few brief running bursts in between. It was a relief to be by myself on a long run again. I didn't have to think about anything, just moving forward, listening to music, from donut stop to donut stop.

I needed a break, to get away from the house and from thinking. So much mental work in my life right now. It was refreshing to have a puppy break, as much as I missed them and wanted puppy kisses along the way, it felt so good not to be constantly vigilant for chewing, barking, digging, and all the other forms of mischief I have to watch for while I work at home each day.

I crossed I-25 at highway 392 and took that east on the shoulder all the way to the Windsor Dunkin Donuts. That was the worst stretch other than 287. The cars were whizzing by fast, and lots of big macho loud trucks. I had my music and could ignore the noise.
At the Windsor Dunkin Donuts I had to text several people who were planning on meeting me later on. Jacob was going to meet me at Strauss Cabin and Kechter, and Crisann and Andy were meeting me at Harmony and Timberline, and Jen would find us and meet us somewhere between there and the finish. I took a half hour break, shed some extra layers of clothing, ate more than a donut, and got more drinks. I took off for the final leg of the triangle around 12:15.

As I ran north I wanted to connect with the county road that would allow me to avoid 392 again, but I wasn't sure which one it was. Fortunately I saw some people walking and I asked them, and got on the right road. I headed west toward Fort Collins past the dairy farms and ranches with a spectacular view of the Front Range, Longs Peak, Mummy Range, and Indian Peaks.

I was surprised at how much traffic was on the road going west. It used to be a lot quieter out there but there are so many people living in Windsor now, traffic is heavy. No one tried to run me off the road, fortunately. Then I had the narrow-to-no shoulder section of 1.5 miles going north to Kechter. That's the road that connects the Timnath Walmart and Costco to Highlands Ranch and the golf courses. Lots of traffic there, too.

After crossing I-25 again, Jacob was waiting at the top of the hill for me. My timing was perfect, I anticipated 1:45 pm and got there on the nose. We had a good conversation and he offered his house nearby in case I needed a bathroom, water, or anything, but I was doing fine and feeling good. I had some hot spots on my heels but other than that I felt fine. I wasn't getting enough salt because my fingers were all puffy, so I made a mental note to dump some S caps in a drink when I stopped on Timberline.

Going north on Timberline, Jacob ran with me until we met up with Andy and Crisann. We took off and stopped at a gas station so I could buy a cold drink and I got an ice sandwich. As if 4 donuts weren't enough sugar. Ice cream sandwiches are one of my favorite running foods, and this hit the spot.

We caught the Power Trail going north to Centennial, and Jen joined us about 2 miles from the finish. Jen has also been there for my past urban adventure birthday runs. We went west to Lemay and Swallow, then west on Swallow back to the Fort Collins Dunkin Donuts. It was 10 hours and 19 minutes including all the stops and breaks along the way, and 36 miles.

Crisann's husband Dave met us there and joined us for a celebratory donut, my fourth of the day, took our finish line picture, and then they gave me a ride home, which I was thankful for.

The girls were thrilled to see me. Dennis was working on a puppy fence in the back yard to protect our garden boxes from the wild diggers. I felt pretty good, but my neck, shoulders and low back are sore from carrying my pack all day. Legs feel fine today, just stiff, and a few tender spots on my feet that would have blistered had I been out any longer.

I am so glad I finally did this thing and got it behind me. Now I no longer have this hanging over my head. I can move on to other, non-donut-themed, urban adventures. Felix and I did notice that there is now a fifth Walmart, so perhaps my 55th birthday run will have another Walmart theme, but no guarantees. For now, I'm just glad to be able to stay upright and moving forward, and to have another birthday.

Happy donuts, everyone. Thanks to all my friends who joined me on foot and in spirit! Now I need to get busy losing this 20 pound weight I'm carrying around! No more donuts for me!

photo credits: Felix Wong

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lawyers, Guns and Money

That's the song that was in my head when I woke up this morning. For some weird reason. And then I realized it was the manifestation of all the insanity that's happening in Washington DC. If you don't know the lyrics, check this out:

Just thought I'd share that for fun! Could be the theme song for POTUS Number 45.

I haven't posted because life has simply been too busy, between trying to write a little for the book but having fifty gazillion distractions over the past few weeks. Now I am excited to get back into a routine.

I got on the scale and exceeded my previous highest weight ever, so now I can say I do have 20 pounds to lose and I have set a goal of the end of the year, I think two pounds a month is reasonable. I'm not going to restrict myself very much, just pay better attention to eating smaller portions, trying not to stress eat and drink, which I realized has been a problem for me since about November (hmm...)

Running-wise I have been fairly consistent getting the miles on my feet. I want to build up to where I feel comfortable with signing up for at least the 24 hour at Across the Years. I'd like to do the 48 hour but I'll have to see how this year unfolds. I'm thinking about the six-day race in a few years, maybe for my 55th birthday goal.

Speaking of birthdays, I'm having a Donut Triangle Run next weekend. It's about 53 km but probably a little more than that. I have decided that if the weather sucks, I'm not doing it. I have nothing to prove, and I don't feel like being miserable.

I held a workshop 2 weeks ago that went well, I might do some other ones occasionally on different topics. I have an art show/display coming up, I'll have my work at Elevation 5003 Distillery here in Fort Collins during the month of March.
The girls continue to grow. Velcro now has most of her adult teeth and Gypsy is starting to get hers. Gypsy still looks little to me but se has grown, a lot. She just looks small compared to Velcro. We've been hiking, and the weather's been so warm we've been dipping our toes in the Poudre River. The girls love the water.

Last weekend was the Human Powered Brewery Tour, which we attended with the girls. We only went to New Belgium and Odell, neither of us had the energy. The girls did well. Other than trying to steal our beer, they enjoyed seeing all the people and the other dogs. Gypsy barked a lot, she is learning to make her voice heard. We start obedience training next week. I can't wait.

I was talking with a friend the other day and we shared our coping mechanisms since the Trumpocalypse started. I think we are getting a little better handle on living with the uncertainty and insanity, though it's still stressful because every day you wake up not knowing what else he has in store for you.

I've been calling my pathetic excuse for a Senator Cory Gardner who is afraid to meet with the public. These buffoons are so scared now, they know they have pissed off their constituents and the ones who have held public meetings run away and escape through the back door. They make excuses and say things like there are paid protesters. I wish I could get paid for this!

They think they are entitled to their positions as elected officials but they need to remember they work for ALL of us, not just Republicans. I have been calling for nearly a month and only twice I have spoken to an actual staffer. I get tired of leaving voicemails, but I continue to do it.

I went to the Planned Parenthood rally in Old Town a couple of weeks ago and there was a great turnout. If Obama was so bad, why weren't people marching in the streets and calling their elected officials and demanding public accountability then? This has taken the lazy, self-interested politicians by surprise. They were so comfortable in their jobs and not having to deal with a crush of phone calls and angry protesters all the time.

I have a call with my mentor/publisher this morning and I'm really excited about my progress despite the distractions. I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine.

Oh, and did I mention? Spring is here. Crocuses are blooming, little green leaves are opening up on the bushes, and this morning it's raining. February at 5000 feet and 40N latitude. Just a little early.

Back to work. I want to post more, and that might happen now that I can focus on writing. See you again soon. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Running on Eggshells

Just 12 days into the #45 Presidency, every day has brought a new wave of dread, anxiety, disgust, and sadness.

I find it hard to focus on whatever I'm doing. It's an unsettled feeling, like the ground is moving underneath me, and I'm not sure when the other shoe will drop.

I'm trying to keep it together, not get enraged, and breathe. Some days are better than others in that regard. Yesterday was a particularly difficult day, and I went out hoping to get a run in, but I was tired. So I walked. Twelve plus miles, hoping the rhythm would clear my head.

It didn't.

I came home and tried to focus on preparing dinner, playing with the girls, and checked Facebook. Big mistake.

I use social media for a lot of socializing, and some work-related stuff. But I've lately allowed myself to be sucked into some discussions where there is a combination of intelligent discussion, ideas for taking action, and venting. And then there are the occasional people I haven't heard from in a while.

I try not to vent political stuff on Facebook but when it comes to nursing and issues around that, I do. It's a way I've been able tor each out to some of my fellow nurses who are still in the corporate world and living with fear for their jobs.

The other night an acquaintance of mine posted something about his frustration with the Trumpocracy and his anger with the people who are defending him and looking the other way as he issues one legal atrocity after another. The way he wrote the post hit home so well for me, that I read the few comments posted on there. One comment set me off. It was someone who first of all used very poor grammar and sentence structure, claimed to be a veteran, and was using personal attacks against the person who posted.

I lost it. I wrote back and told him I don't care if he's a veteran, that doesn't give him a special right to come back and attack citizens who disagree with him. I always resent when people use their veteran status to attack other people when justifying their political views. Didn't veterans defend this country so we can have free speech, freedom of religion, and all the other freedoms that now are at risk under the current escalating coup? People don't seem to be able to understand how to attack an idea without attacking the person.

The guy wrote back of course, attacking me, as I expected him to, but I didn't engage him any further. I am just so tired of the weak and irrational excuses people are making to justify their oppressive political stances.

It was a pathetic waste of my time and energy, but it did feel good, so maybe it was therapeutic.

Still, there are so many people in this country who support this regime who aren't seeing what's happening. And feel misunderstood, dismissed, disenfranchised, think that it will somehow help them. The Democratic party has failed miserably in their attempts to gain the people's trust. And the Republicans have no conscience, it seems, though just a few are speaking up. I can't believe that there aren't more Republicans who will fight this attack on our Constitution.

We need unity to fight this, and all the distractions and lies being thrown our way are just that. Distractions and lies meant to throw us off and take us away from what we really need to do, which is fight back with everything we've got. I've been writing my GOP senator, Cory Gardner. Fortunately the other Senator is good, and we've got a good Congressman who are fighting for the people.

But it remains, as a poster child for narcissistic personality disorder and sociopathy, Trump truly is unfit to be President of anything except his own personal business dealings, which I hope he returns to 100% so we can get on with the business of running a country in a humane and civilized way.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Of Philosophers and Kings...

Things are always bigger than they appear.

Life is one of those things. At one moment you might think you've got it figured out, contained in a finite space, and it spills over and gets messy. It lives on, taking on a meaning and life of its own, and you might never find out how it got out and where it went.

I was busy experiencing the pure joy that found me on Sunday as I ran twenty one-mile loops around Grandview Cemetery for my long run. I started early in the morning and had the silence of the place to myself, just a sea of headstones quietly covered with snow.

I enjoy the loops because it is a form of meditation, a spiritual practice of sorts, allowing me to clear my head and make room for clearer thoughts that come in. I think the ability to do this type of running, that many people find monotonous, is great for a creative person. It's refreshing mindlessness that leads to just the opposite, mindfulness.

So many ideas come to me on these loop runs, and I let the thoughts flow in and out, and they usually come back at a later time and I write them down. Many of them are just clearer or different perspectives on ideas, events, or experiences.

I've missed this. Maybe that six-day adventure is still ahead of me. I don't know yet.

It's always interesting to see what people leave on their headstones, any way they wished to be remembered, or that their families chose to engrave in the granite.

When I'm in the cemetery I think about the stories and people that I knew. I remember patients. After all these years in Fort Collins there are quite a few. Around the perimeter of the cemetery it's a one mile loop and I count as many as half a dozen former patients. If I venture into the inner roads of the cemetery, there are many more.

I remember the stories and the details come back, what happened, how things did or did not go well until their end.

I think about the content in my book. If more people would think about what life and quality of life means to them, before they get sick, then maybe we would spend less energy making a mess of things and ruining the quality of the time we are here.

I do know that there's a sense of peace in there, among the symbols of the lives that happened, and have now passed, that is a reminder of reality and mortality, and it's a beautiful reminder. We don't have to feel entitled to eighty or more years on this planet. We can go gracefully and accept less if we live each moment fully and true to ourselves, our values and those we love.

That's all.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New BlogYear Ten

I can hardly believe I am now going into my tenth year of writing this blog.

I started the New Year off at 3:20 am with the girls face fighting on my head. Fortunately I went back to sleep. I went over to the Runners Roost fun run, which was about a 2.4 mile 5K, which I ran at a fast pace, I was able to run sub 9 minute miles, something I don't do very often anymore. I could still talk, not easily, but I could have a conversation.

Last night we celebrated New Years in the Azores time zone, which put our celebration at 6 pm our time. Perfect, since we were in bed by 8 pm. I found myself missing Across the Years this year. It's been a while. I need to get back there eventually.

I hung out at the Roost for a while, socializing and telling people about my upcoming workshop, and then I came home. I wrapped up this week with a little over 40 miles of running. Awesome.

I stopped over at Warren Lake on my way home to look at the scenery. It is, after all, the first day of spring. I could hear the ice melting on the lake, that gurgling sound that reminds me of whales. I don't know if that's what whales sound like, but that's what I think of when I hear it.

A running friend came over with her daughter to meet the girls, and Dennis went down to see his mom. I got a little writing done, and now I am tired, ready for a nap. I don't think I'll be getting enough sleep for quite some time, until the girls can both sleep through the night.

I am looking forward to reviving the blog this year, I want to have more of a focus on health-related running issues, things that affect both women and men but of course I can speak much better for women's running experiences. I'll be adding more video content too. I want to do more running, of the suburban adventure-type, so there will be more stories about that. When I say suburban I mean, outside of the city of Fort Collins, which includes some awesome scenery and trails.

Since I'm writing my book this year, I'll probably drift into a few healthcare-related tangents and maybe even some good rants here and there.

And of course, the Stay-At-Home-Dog-Mom chronicles.

Happy New Year. I wish each of you the best of fun and health in 2017.