Scatter my ashes here...

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ten Thoughts for the New Year

What a crazy couple of weeks to wind up my year! Life is unpredictable, it keeps you on your toes. I thought I'd share these ten thoughts as I move from 2011 to 2012.

1. Instead of being in Arizona as I'd hoped, I am still in Fort Collins. I am missing Across the Years. The real reason is in # 2 below. But I am also glad to be here, I rarely get to spend New Years with Dennis, and also, the drive would have been too much anyway right now, I'm still foggy in the afternoons from my thyroid not being quite right. I am starting to feel better in general though. I hope to attend the race next year as a participant, and run a new PR.

2. Part of the hazard of working in management is that that occasionally you get a wingnut- someone who is off their rocker completely, or has enough screws loose that the wheels come off at the slightest provocation. Dennis experienced this last week at work, in the process of a disciplinary action against one of his employees. Without giving away too many details of what happened, let's just say that we've felt somewhat like we're in a witness protection program this week. Fortunately our employer takes these situations very seriously and did everything possible to ensure he was safe, and not only that, they extended it to me. That's why I stayed home, I figured if I went away all I'd do is worry.

3. Writing- I've been doing a lot of it. Between guest blogposts, blogging for ONS, the Coloradoan column, and a few other writing projects, not to mention my own blogs, I've been doing a lot of typing at the computer. It's great, I love it. Blogging is such a great way to interact with readers. I spend a lot of time answering comments and e-mails as a result. It's been challenging, and I'm having fun. I'm looking forward to what 2012 brings. I just wrote this post today, check out giraffy's blog. She's a runner, but so much more. She's an amazing mom, who counts her blessings every day.

4. Another one of my favorite bloggers, Patricia Singleton, wrote a post about healing as a gift to ourselves. Her blog is about healing from childhood trauma and sexual abuse, but it applies to so many other things, too. All of us have experiences in our lives that require healing. I think this is a fantastic article.

5. Eradicating apathy- It's an election year, and a leap year. We all have an extra day in which to do good things. Make it count. Be an informed voter and exercise your right to vote. Healthcare reform, greed, and whether the government can work for the people, are three issues front and center this coming year. If it affects you or anyone else you know, get going. Don't sit there and let things happen. Speak up. If you're spending a lot of time texting or talking on your cell phone, use your electonic gadgets to spread the word about what's important to you. Mobilize other people to action, and follow through.

6. On nursing as a profession- I was replying in a private e-mail to some one who had commented on a blogpost I worte on nursing. After I replied to her, she wrote back to me and thanked me, then mentioned that she'd never heard such honesty from someone in a position of power and authority. Wow. I'm not in a position of power OR authority, I'm just a blogger. I don't even get paid to write. It took my breath away.

Blogging is such a powerful medium. And perceptions are powerful, too. Makes me a little fearful, that when I talk about nursing, I have to be careful what I say. But I have some serious opinions about the nursing profession. And it's funny, when I verbalize them, I rarely get disagreement from nurses who work on the front lines, in direct patient care. I love what I do, and I'm lucky to have landed where I am, because my employer is like a gem. I have never worked in a place where I've been treated so well in so many ways.

But so many nurses all over the U.S. still work under conditions that are little more than paid slavery. Where are the professional nursing organizations on healthcare reform? Why are they not advocating for themselves? We need to jump in, get involved at this juncture, to ensure that as we reform healthcare, nursing is reformed, too, so we receive the compensation and working conditions fit for a professional who is expected to operate under a heavy workload, stressful work, huge responsibility, and a high level of skill and knowledge.

7. Running- oh yeah, isn't that the purpose of this blog? I'm getting there. I reached 50 miles in a week, once. I'm doing strides. I'm trying to get enough sleep. January 1st is the first day of spring. No more excuses after that.

8. The girls got a new hedgehog and a frisbee for Christmas. Iris plays with both of them, Isabelle waits for Iris to grab the toy, then she chases Iris around.

I got some booties to keep my feet warm in the woman cave, too. Not pictured: Spongebob fleece pants and yellow spongebob t-shirt. I'll model those later.

9. The woman cave is done. Just a few little touch-ups, now it's time for furniture- a desk, chair, and storage for art supplies.

10. The conditions in our neighborhood are treacherous again. Every year, the ice dam happens, and the entire sidewalk and most of the street become a huge skating rink. The bigger streets and bike paths are clear, but getting out of my neighborhood is taking your life in your hands. Now we have 50 degree weather and it's melting everything. I hope it lasts long enough to see the retreat of the ice shelf. They should have science class field trips to our neighborhood, it could be a mini-model of Antarctica and global warming.

This is what I have to negotiate with the Buffaloes just to turn off of our street.

Skating rink in the first 0.1 miles of my run every day.

The ice dam at the end of the street.

Readers, thank you for coming to Journey to Badwater, I hope you'll keep reading, and thank you for putting up with my many tangents over the past 5 months since I've taken this long break from doing any serious running adventures. I suspect that some of the topics above are a few that I'll ramble to, in between training and racing. But I'm committed, January 1st, first day of spring, it's back to the business of running. Happy New Year, and Happy Journeys!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I'm really glad the axis of the earth has shifted tonight. I know it will lead to some better stuff soon. The past week has been really crazy, full of unexpected twists and drama that I really don't want to deal with. I don't have the energy or patience for it. But how boring life would be if it didn't freak you out every once in a while, and keep you on your toes.

The least of it was that I re-sprained my ankle last week. After 5 months of diligent rehab, I was out for an easy run, 4 blocks from home, stepped off the curb and landed just the right way to give it a good twist. I said a few choice words, and I was okay enough to run home. I iced, said a few more choice words, and then Isabelle reminded me by bending her ears that she does not like four letter words to be said in her presence.

Sorry, Sister Bella. Doesn't she resemble the Flying Nun with those ears and her habit?

The ankle hurt for two days, I'm taking a few days off now and it no longer hurts. The other stuff is a bunch of random crazy $**# that I won't go into, and will pass. It's not even a full moon, so I don't know what happened. My tolerance for people's crap is pretty low anyway, but it's below zero now, even though I feel like I'm just barely starting to feel a little better with my energy.

I made it through two days earlier this week without a nap. Although I did nap for 2 hours yesterday and 3 1/2 hours today. Probably why I'm awake at this hour blogging about solstice, I was up late enough to witness it. I have felt slightly better while running, until the ankle incident. I think it was because I can't stay awake most days past mid-afternoon, and I was running much later in the day than I normally do.

I also managed to almost rear-end someone in traffic the other day too. I was just not there. My mind was off somewhere else. It was close. Between locking myself out of the house and the car within a week's time, almost colliding with another car, missing my turn while driving that same day, twisting my ankle, and feeling really irritable, I know that I'm not back to myself. I'm in full RPB status. I don't do tired well.

Even though it looks like this tonight, January 1st is the first day of spring, did you know that?

In my world, it is.

Mostly I am tired of feeling tired and I'd rather be doing this than anything else right now. Soon, I will.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


It's a nice day, sunny and 40s. I was toast after work yesterday. We went out to Tortilla Marissa's for margaritas last night, I could barely keep my eyes open after one, then we went home and got some good sleep.

This morning I ran just short of 10 miles at 8:30 pace. I felt good. Started out with Dennis and Frank at Cathy Fromme Prairie and took the bike path. The boys turned around at the new bridge at Harmony road for their halfway point. In just 2 1/2 miles, with a little digging, I believe Frank now has the bug to do a 100 miler for his four years-off 40th birthday. Kids these days.

I ran home on the Spring Creek Trail. Since then Dennis and I have been working on the woman cave all day, with Iris and Isabelle's supervision. We're putting the laminate floor in. It looks amazing. Next step: trim and baseboards.

Iris was supervising Dennis's lunch, too.

Every woman is going to want her own cave after this. I foresee two possible scenarios: Dennis might be able to retire building woman caves, or go into hiding in an undisclosed location from the horde of angry husbands who will be after him.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Curing Cranky

I'm off today and I need something to cheer me up. I have been in a horribly cranky mood. It takes a while to start feeling better when I am going through the adjustment period, waiting for my thyroid medication to start working for me. It could take 6 to 8 weeks before I feel better. The good news is the thyroid ultrasound showed nothing but a shrunken, not very functional-appearing thyroid, and the nodule in question shrunk too, which is great news. Now all I have to do is wait for the increased dosage to kick in. Patience!

So far this week I have locked myself out of the house, locked myself out of the car, burned oatmeal on the stove, and bit the inside of my lower lip while eating soup.

Running is a little better, I didn't feel like falling asleep yet on any of my runs this week. But then, they've all been in the morning. I woke up before work yesterday at 4 am so I went for a 5 mile run. That made me feel oh so energetic by the end of my shift. But if I don't run then, I won't run at all.

I do well in the mornings, I feel pretty sharp and my enrgy feels normal. Around 11 am I start to fade, and afternoons are hell. I get annoyed with myself because I feel so sluggish. It's almost like my brain hurts when I ask it to do anything. Multitasking is difficult, and I get irritated with my own inability to function. My coordination and focus goes out the window. If I could stuff all my daily activities into the first 4 hours of the day it would be great. I'm in zombie land after noon, until bedtime, unless I take a long nap.

So my plan today is to paint the walls inside the woman cave. It's brainless, and at least I will feel like I'm doing something productive. I will also go out and run this morning, try to get my entire workout done before noon. The weather has been warmer, the ice sheets in the neighborhood are shrinking and the footing has improved. Today I'm planning no more than 10 miles with some fartlek. But first, a run with the girls, or I'll be in trouble.

The woman cave is looking better all the time. After I paint the walls we'll put the laminate floor in, and soon I'll be able to move in. I need to start looking for some furniture that will help me keep it open and uncluttered.

I am so envious of my running buddy Paul. He is running two races in Florida this spring, LOST and the Keys 100. I got an e-mail from him the other day and I want to tag along! But I can't. I'm saving my money and it would be silly for me to go run long ultras this spring when I'm not even doing 20 mile runs in training yet. I'm hoping to hit 15 on my long run this weekend. I'm going up to Horsetooth to get some hills in.

I need to get out to the woman cave, stat. I'm in a race with my brain!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Lately I've been avoiding King Soopers, the big store close to my house where I used to shop for a lot of our groceries. It's part of a national chain, Kroger. Instead I shop mostly at Sunflower Market, which is within walking distance of our house and is smaller.

King Soopers used to be a nice store as far as supermarkets go, but then they expanded it. As a result of the expansion, the aisles seem longer, narrower, taller, and more cluttered. You can't see where you're going, because the shelves are so high they impede the view of the directory that tells you what you can find in the next several aisles. And of course it's just what our expanding population needs- more choices of more bad food.

It's also very expensive. Things that are packaged are expensive. They are colorful and are wrapped in materials to make them more visually appealing. I find the supermarkets overwhelming. I feel bombarded with color, clutter, and noise. It's too much input for me, and you get distracted by all kinds of things that seem to jump in your face, which is no accident. You end up spending more money as a result.

Big box stores take a long time to get through if you just need a few items, usually you end up covering the entire store because things are spread out in different aisles. I also find it irritating when you have more than a few customers per aisle with grocery carts, because you have to maneuver around each other and it's hard to focus on finding the thing you want in the multitude of choices.

When I go shopping, for anything, I know what I want and I like to go in, get it, and leave. I find that big supermarkets are a huge waste of time and energy, so if I can't find it at Sunflower, I either don't need it or I plan one trip to the big box, preferably early in the morning before the crowds show up.

Now it's Christmas and every end cap, and all the big aisles, are full of glitzy plasticized garbage, and you have to listen to Christmas music, interrupted by advertisements. The store is crowded, even though they expanded, the aisles are not wider- just more numerous, so it gets to be really annoying when more than two or three people are shopping in the same part of the aisle.

So last night, as I was trying to get to the dairy case and having to navigate through freezer cases in the middle of the aisles, and huge cardboard displays of red, green and gold Christmas crap, I moved my cart to get out of another customer's way, and nearly knocked over a pyramid of chocolate covered Ritz crackers.

I have no idea how long these have been around, but it's new to me. It sounds disgusting, but I don't like Ritz crackers, and they fall into the category of things I would never buy unless I were running a really long ultra and needed salt, fat, and variety. And even then, I'd choose some other crackers.

Seeing this product struck me as so disgusting, I pictured people as wide as the aisles buying them, huge rolls of fat flopping off their waists, shirts that barely covered the bottom of their hanging pannus.

That people will buy this crap is what really bothers me. The food corporations are profiting off the destruction of our health. People spend money on a package of air, surrounded by cardboard and cellophane, with contents of so little nutritional value. I don't know what they cost, I didn't notice the price, but I imagine it's probably 3 or 4 dollars a box. And for that you could buy a gallon of milk, some yogurt, beans and rice, or some vegetables instead.

I'm sure the Nabisco corporation is planning to put a portion of their profits toward national health care and diabetes prevention.

It's apathy. Most people who shop at these stores do know better, but they fall into the traps of marketing. Someone is getting very wealthy off your failure to think. And it's not the people in the factories making the crackers, either.

If the store continues to sell things like this, they will have to expand again because no more than one person at a time will be able to walk down the aisle, they'll be so fat!

Come on people, use some part of your head besides your mouth! Quit supporting the gluttony!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What to eat on your first 100 miler

I just got an e-mail from a friend who signed up for his first 100 miler. He asked me to give him some pointers on nutrition during the race.

I gave him the short and long answers.

The short answer

Real food, as often and as much as possible.

The long answer

This could go on forever, but I can make it a lot simpler. First, consider what foods you like to eat. What tastes good to you? Comfort foods, things that don't upset your stomach, but have lots of calories and are fairly digestible.

Make a plan

If you have special nutritional needs or food allergies, then you need to factor those into your food choices and remember that you might not be able to rely on the aid stations to provide what you need.

If you will have a crew during a 100 mile race, then you have a lot of options. You can use aid station food if there is enough variety and calories to keep you going, or you can have your crew bring, or even cook things for you. If you're running near a populated area, you might have the additional options of restaurants or fast food.

If you're used to running fueled by bars and gels, it's a different story in a 100 miler. You're going to be out there for 24 hours or more, and in that time you do need some real food.

A race is not the place to be a prima donna. It's where you need fuel, you need it fast, and it needs to work. That means staying down once you eat it. Don't worry about a healthy diet during the race. You can do that on the other 364 days of the year. Just eat what appeals to you, but most of all, eat.

Practice in training runs

If you're not used to eating on the run, you need to practice and test different foods during your training runs, or you'll be in uncharted territory on race day. Figure out a way to run a loop back to your vehicle, or home, and try the different foods you think you'd eat in the race, and see how your stomach tolerates them.

This all takes planning and extra work on your long training runs but it will pay off on race day. Don't neglect this important aspect of your training. Same goes for drinks you might use, electrolyte replacement products, medication, or anything you'll put in your stomach on race day.

Aid station take-out

In a 100 miler you're most likely going to have some walking stretches. What works best for me is to eat a good-sized portion of food- not so much that I'm uncomfortable, but a substantial meal, right before I anticipate having a long walk, like before a long uphill stretch. That way you'll be going slow enough to allow digestion to take place, and if you take the food on the walk with you, you can eat it while moving forward. Sandwiches, burritos, a slice of pizza, or soup in a cup work well for aid station take-out.

Little plastic sandwich bags with zip closures work great for portion-sized foods if you're eating "on the run".

Remember, aid stations are not fast food restaurants, they are staffed by volunteers and often will cook something to order, which takes a little while to prepare. If you can let your crew know ahead of time that you'll want something at an aid station, they can get there ahead of you and get the process started so you won't have to wait so long when you're there. If you're on a short loop course, you can always ask that they have something ready for you on your next pass through. Remember that timing is approximate and you might arrive to cold or not-quite-ready food depending on how fast or slow you're running.

How to eat throughout the day

Before the race, the biggest thing for new runners is getting over their nervous stomach before the race. If you have the jitters you won't feel like eating much, but this is the time you need a lot of calories. I find that eating a big breakfast helps me because I can't go out so fast, and the calories I take in pay off later in the first day of the race. Taking in a few hundred calories spread out throughout the morning can help if you're too nervous before the start to eat much.

Keeping a steady stream of calories going works for some people, eating little snacks along the way. Some people like to eat at the times of their regular meals. Some do both. That's why it's so important to practice this on a long run that lasts all day, or into the night.


At night, a lot of people like to use caffeine to stay awake. Coffee, caffeinated drinks, energy drinks, caffeine-infused snacks, caffeine pills, or whatever works for you. Again, try it in training before you do it in the race. I like to start with a little caffeine in the afternoon of the first day. I drink small amounts of cola or coffee drinks from about 3 pm on, every hour or so, unless I plan to take a nap at some point, where I'll let myself get sleepy enough to do that.

Be careful not to take in too much caffeine, because it can cause problems, for example, heart palpitations. You don't need that much, just enough to keep you from dozing off when you need to be moving forward. If you are unsure of what's in a product, especially energy drinks or pills, be very careful and do your research. Dosing is not tested in many of these products and you could end up causing yourself additional problems. Stick to the things you're familiar with- like coffee, cola drinks, or whatever you normally have if you're a caffeine user.

It's important to continue taking in calories at night, even though we're not used to eating during those hours. You might not feel hungry, but if you start to slow down, or feel tired, there's a good chance it's because your blood sugar is low and you need more calories.

Remember to stay hydrated at night even if you're not thirsty. Drinking caffeine drinks can cause you to lose more fluid, so replace fluid losses.

Don't forget

The most common reason for feeling poorly in an ultra, if you're adequately trained, is running out of fuel. Eating a few hundred calories with some carbohydrates will perk you up within 15 to 30 minutes. Keep moving forward, and eat. That's why it's important for a new ultrarunner to have a pacer at night, someone to keep an eye on you and recognize when you're starting to bonk. They are your brain when your brain shuts down, they can remind you to eat and drink and keep the calories going.

If you're running when it's cold outside, or at night, staying warm will help you conserve your energy. Wear adequate clothing, don't let yourself get chilled. It's easy to get cold when you've burned up all your energy all day. A little warm food or some hot drinks will help you warm up, but don't stay in the heated tent or aid station too long, keep moving!

And most important of all, always thank the people who give you food! They are keeping you going, and they are there to help you succeed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Getting warmer

Nice picture? Smathers Beach, Key West.

I'm not wishing I could be there now or anything.

It's 21 degrees now, and I took the girls running when it was 18 degrees. Isabelle didn't have any hesitation today. We ran 4 miles, and other than a few breaks to lie down in the snow and eat it, they had a good run. I went out for 3 more miles and strides afterwards. It felt so much warmer today, even though I was dressed the same as yesterday in 9 degrees.

First thing this morning I got a call from the nurse at my doctor's office telling me all my labs from yesterday were "normal" except for my cholesterol, and to give them a call. I have learned that "normal" can mean a lot of things, so I called her back. First thing I asked her was, if my cholesterol was so high, then what was my thyroid doing? My TSH jumped a point and a half since I was last tested.

I love my doc, and I know she would agree with my concerns about fixing my thyroid first, but so many other health care professionals are clueless when it comes to this little butterfly-shaped gland in your throat. Especially treating an athlete who needs her body to be fine-tuned, and knows when things are not right. I'm not one of those people who fits neatly into the "normal" range, and over the past ten years, after all I've gone through to get properly treated for my thyroid, "Congratulations, you're normal", sounds the same to me as nails on a chalkboard.

Last spring I told my doctor I wanted to cut back on my thyroid meds by skipping one weekly dose to get myself a little more on the hypo end of things so I would avoid problems with the heat in Death Valley. Since I normally keep myself around 1, near the bottom of the "normal" range, she wasn't concerned- there's lots of room to play with thyroid- unless you're as sensitive to it as I am- which I underestimated. I overshot it at first so I went to skipping only two doses a month. I was perfect in July, right before the race. You'd think that two little doses a month wouldn't have such an effect, but it changed my TSH by over a point in just a few weeks.

Well after Badwater I continued with skipping the medication doses as I was doing last spring, and here it is 5 months later, and I don't feel so great. That was my own dumb fault, I should have gone back to where I was. But now that I've overshot the point where I first overshot last spring, I'll find out soon if adding the skipped doses back is enough. I've been so stable the past two years, I was starting to enjoy not worrying about what my thyroid was doing all the time, bouncing from hyper to hypo on a whim. It appeared that the little #$%*@&! finally gave up the ghost.

I've been having all the weird hypothyroid stuff lately, brain fog, always needing a nap, feeling wiped out in the afternoons, getting back cramps at the bottom of my rib cage when I breathe hard, eye twitches, and wanting to lie down and fall asleep during my runs. I've gained back the 4 pounds that I worked so hard to lose, and to top it off, my total cholesterol went from 199 last year to 252 now! I do have HDL of 87, which is a good thing, but my LDL went up a lot.

I know that when I keep my TSH in the place where I feel optimal, my cholesterol has never been an issue. So...I'll try the thyroid fix and see where that takes me, but first, I do have an ultrasound next week and hopefully there won't be any issues. I'll see how that looks before I add back the skipped doses.

Plus having such a hard time dealing with the cold, makes me wonder if it's not just from 4 months of sauna training earlier this year. I have not been feeling hot as often, and I even put an extra thick comforter doubled up on my side of the bed last week because I've been freezing at night lately.

Like my wonderful endocrinologist in Arizona told me, when I hit menopause it might not be fun regulating my thyroid. I get the feeling I'm only at the beginning of the ride.

Maybe I'll welcome the hot flashes when they come back. I could use one now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Two Dogs. Seven Miles. Nine Degrees.

This morning I woke up too early, and the temperature was 5 degrees outside the kitchen window when I started the coffee. I had a doctor appointment first thing, and I was fasting because I wanted to get all my labs drawn right after I saw her, and get it over with.

I'll see what my labs looked like later this week, but the appointment went well, no surprises, I haven't shrunk any, I am a couple of pounds heavier than last year, but that's where I'm headed these days. I told her about the brain fog, we're checking my thyroid labs and I'll get a thyroid ultrasound next week to see if anything has changed with my little nodule friend in there, but overall, nothing exciting.

I blew off my run yesterday, it was cold and breezy and I had one of those "don't wanna" days. So I didn't. I ran a grand total of 18 miles last week. My motivation has been in the toilet. It's the cold weather. I am such a desert rat, which really should be my code word for wimp.

Monday starts my new week as far as my training goes, so I had to start fresh today. There were no excuses despite a predicted high temperature of 10. Just last week, I discovered, to my great horror, that my wind pants that fit me last year wouldn't come up over my hips. I was without windpants, unless I wanted to swallow the bitter pill of admitting that my butt is getting FAT and I need to buy a larger size.

I was lamenting my expansion to my friend Keith on the phone Sunday afternoon and she said maybe I was retaining fluid and that's why my pants didn't fit. I asked her, "Retaining fluid in my BUTT?!!"

I do have a big pair of windpants, but they used to belong to Dennis, and they are too long for me and I have to do all sorts of weird adjustments before I can wear them. I just couldn't believe it, that my butt has gotten that much bigger since last year. I dug the small pants out of the closet again, loosened the drawstring all the way, stared into the crotch and down the legs, and fervently believed they were going to fit.

POOF! Suddenly my butt was neatly tucked into them, no problem pulling them over my hips, even with my thick tights on. They fit!

Okay, as outlandish as it sounded, maybe Keith was right. Maybe it is possible to retain fluid in your butt. Or maybe I was so brain fogged last week that I didn't loosen the toggle on the drawstring enough. Or maybe I was constipated. It is constipation awareness month, after all.

Whatever the reason was, my pants fit and I no longer had any excuse to stay indoors. Even if the temperature was nine degrees with a -2 windchill.

I got dressed and then asked the girls if they wanted to go. Iris bounced around until I put her leash on, and she barked until we went outside. Isabelle came down to see what the commotion was, and as soon as I put the leash on her, she sat down in her spot and resisted, absolutely refused to move. She got that wimpy look on her face and I wasn't about to make her go out in 9 degree weather if I couldn't even motivate myself all weekend when it was warmer than that!

I took Iris. Isabelle was content to win the cute Buffalo contest.

Iris had an ice beard after a mile, and we did three miles together before I decided to take her home. I wanted to run faster. She got mad and started barking at me as soon as I took her in the house and went back out to finish my run. Isabelle was content to stay in her position.

I did seven miles total, including some strides once I felt warm enough and the wind was at my back. When I got home, I did my abdominal workout, too.

I was vindicated.

The woman cave is coming along. Dennis is getting plenty of supervision by the Buffaloes. It is going to be the BEST woman cave ever!

I finally got a lot of loose ends cleared up, little projects and things I needed to finish, to pave the way for focusing on the next year's goals. I now have two "projects" to focus on, one is staying up with my writing, since I have a couple of regular commitments in addition to my blogs, and studying for my oncology certification exam, and then there's always running & training. But it feels nice to have narrowed things down to just a few instead of having scattered unfinished business everywhere.

I like it when it’s simple. Give me pants that fit when it's 9 degrees, and I can do anything.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December!

We woke up to three inches of snow, blowing sideways. Last month we started out with two days of snow. This month it looks to be the same, but not so wet this time. The girls were thrilled to play in the snow this morning while I shoveled the driveway and sidewalk.

Iris was smiling and dancing around in it, while Isabelle was lying down in it, typical of her. She'll stay there until she's completely buried, and all you can see are two little black tips of her ears.

Not so good for running, though. As I shoveled, it was slippery on the sidewalk and there were already deep slush puddles forming on the edges of the street. Good enough to soak me in ice water up to my ankles. No thanks, I'm a desert rat for today. Tomorrow I won't have an excuse, though. Gotta get some miles in.

For a while it looked like some blue sky was going to appear, but it was only a tease. I have been indoors working on various projects and cooking for a potluck I'm attending tonight with the cancer support group.

There's still time to run, but I might wimp out. There's something intimidating about slush. I have been feeling good running, even though the past week has been rough with the brain fog. I might not be sleeping enough. Yesterday I went to an early morning event in town and after that, my brain only worked until noon. I was too exhausted to run. Then I took a 3 1/2 hour nap!

When I woke up, it was dark outside. I took the girls for a couple of miles and then finished up 3 more miles on my own. It was a warm night and I took my music, I miss running at night! I'll have to start doing more of that.

Next Monday I go for my annual physical at my doctor. I suspect I'll be giving up half my hematocrit in all those little tubes at the lab!

This weather is okay with me, for now. Until January 1st, snow is acceptable. Only 31 days to spring!