I have been woefully neglectful, oh blogging world. Not writing. Not reading. Taking a break, I suppose. But life does not wait, and one must keep up. Or try, I suppose. So much has happened. So little has changed. It’s a total pendulum swing, and sometimes, I’m just trying to hang on.
So, in the spirit of hanging on, here are some shots from my long run this past weekend. Hope Pass, it is. Or, as my husband says, “Hope to not Pass out at 12,000 plus feet.” I was seriously slow on the uphill, wondering is it really possible for me to complete this 100-miler thing within prescribed cutoff times, and cruising fast (well, I hesitate to use that word in association with me – let’s just say not-slow) on the downhill. Stunningly beautiful run. Difficult run. Up and down, literally. Up and down, figuratively. Kind of like, well, life.
And since I seem to be thinking in mottos, here are some more:
Enjoy the beauty.
Embrace the harshness.
Be attentive (sorry, sort of a little hiccup here, but had to slide in a picture of the 2 big white dogs).
Go with it.
Be with it. Keep on, hang on. If it were all that simple…
About three weeks ago, 1 of the 2 big white dogs performed in her first official agility trial. I remember thinking, “Sascha is a wild card. She could be spot on, or she could zoom off into her own wild blue yonder.” I probably even uttered words to that effect.
Well, like Sascha, I am a wild card for the Boston marathon, less than a week away now. (Of course I am not talking about winning anything, just alluding to my own possible performance.) As some of you know, with a bit of a lower right leg dysfunction, and lots of life crap-stuff, my training went haywire and I am just about as unprepared for a marathon as I ever have been. However, I am also as relaxed as I ever have been – I’m not hyper-aware of the weather forecast, I don’t have all my gear piled up and ready to go in the suitcase, I can enjoy a drink without fretting whether alcohol will make me lethargic. It is liberating somehow. And as my husband points out, “You did the work to get there. Now just go have some fun.” And in that spirit, I have decided to go the colorful route, so here is a sampling of the some of the gear I will be wearing:
By the way, in Sascha’s agility trial, she did indeed zoom off into her wild blue yonder. But it sure looked like she was having a grand time!
This will be a truncated post. I could kvetch about all the obstacles put into my path lately and complain bitterly about how this is impacting my ability to a) prepare for the Boston marathon, and b) prepare for my 100-mile race in August. However, I will refrain. And I will remember two things:
1) This is FUN. It is recreation. This is not my job, not my career, not my life. If it isn’t FUN, it shouldn’t be done.
2) You do the best you can, under the circumstances. Everyone lines up having endured or experienced different factors or conditions. You can only really control one thing – your attitude.
So there. Thanks for listening. And go have some fun. By the way, the 2 big white dogs are VERY good at this.
I can’t help myself. After a friend sent me a link to an article on Dog Shaming, I just had to create my own shots. Here they are:
Okay, so I wasn’t really sure if it was Yoder or the foster dog, but someone decided my laptop was a delightful chew toy.
AMAZING sounds come out of this dog!
Yup, that’s right. That’s me. Pee-er extraordinaire.
Notice how none of these pictures contain Sascha? Well, she certainly is the perfect princess, or is she? Wait for Part 2!
The 2 big white dogs and I were out galavanting around with my hubby and friends this weekend up at and around the Lost Wonder Hut. They totally plowed through, sometimes staying in the ski track, but often forging ahead and post-holing over and over (talk about some heavy-duty interval training!). My friend Alexey turned to me after a particularly difficult uphill section and said, “So how long can they keep this up?” I began calculating their ages and what I presumed to be the end of their best fitness ranges and then I thought “I don’t know – they could keep this up for years.” And why not? If it’s fun, and they aren’t destroying their bodies, how could I deprive them of what they love, and of what they do with such joy and abandon? So my response was, “As long as they can.”
And I think that is my philosophy too. Some people like to tell me that long-distance running is potentially dangerous and injuring-producing and bad for me and hard on the joints and all sorts of other horrible things, and then they ask “How long are you going to keep this up?” My response will be the same as for my dogs – “As long as I can.”
This weekend, we go on another backcountry ski trip to the Lost Wonder Hut. The 2 big white dogs have rested all week and are raring to go. I’m psyched too, except I probably won’t get my marathon training miles in. My plan, way back before the ski trip got organized, was to do 7 miles on Friday, 8 miles on Saturday, 15 miles on Sunday. Instead I will ski approximately 2 miles with a heavy pack on on Friday, unknown miles on Saturday (all dependent on conditions, dogs, cold, weather, etc., etc.), and 2 out with a somewhat less heavy pack on on Sunday.
So, we got versus
I realize that I could just dump the running and consider the skiing as a sort of cross-training. Or, I could get totally gonzo and force my husband to leave early Sunday so I can get back home and get a run in, although it would be nowhere near the miles I “should” be doing.
So I have myself a bit of a quandary. Most likely the running miles will go out the window, and I will not be the worse for wear, but you get in the running mode and you always wonder if some time off will hurt, right? I’m not the only runner out there who gets a bit too into it, am I? Perhaps, I’m just a bit too neurotic. Perhaps I just need to ski and be happy that I have the opportunity to do so.
I believe the skiing will win out. Back to the miles on Monday, here’s hoping!
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day“
Well, I know what I did this past weekend ~ I got to commune with a fabulous crew of friends, and dogs, at Vagabond Ranch.
As is often the case, the 2 big white dogs took prominence:
But some fun was had by the humans too. We skiied and snowshoed, we played in the snow, we ate, we soaked, we spent time just being in the wilderness. We laughed, and we lived life well. I’m not sure if that is a good enough plan for this one and precious life, but it is, at least, a start.
What is your plan?
Today, a solid seven days after the snowshoe death march, I mean, race, I finally had a comfortable run. I took a day off from running the day after the death march, ahem, race, but started up again on Monday. So six miles on Monday, four miles Tuesday (with speed work and crazy wind), Pilates reformer class on Wednesday, seven miles marathon pace on Thursday (I am doing the Boston marathon in April, and am attempting to train for that, as well as this crazy ultra), four miles Friday, and eight miles today. And it took until today until I felt good. Not sure if I needed more recovery post death march, I mean race, or if I just needed to get some consecutive training days in to adjust, or what.
I did manage to take the 2 big white dogs for two of the runs. At some point, I’ll figure out how to take some decent video of them running and post it so others can see the joy and power they exhibit out there. It is inspiring! But for the time being, you just get pictures of them after a run, like this one:
Y and S asleep, post-run
Now, the only problem, is sore feet. It’s nothing major, and I do know aches and pains from lots of physical activity over the years, and because of my work as a massage therapist. Thank god, I got one of these!
The BEST foot roller!
Tomorrow, 14 miles. At least, that’s the plan. Will keep you apprised.
Well, yes, indeedy. My “little” snowshoe race of 18 miles was yesterday. I did 11. 5. I knew it would be hard, and that I probably would be slow, but I don’t think I expected it to be quite as grueling as it was. Common sense will tell you that you need to do/practice the activity in order to race the activity, but I thought I’d been running enough recently that it wouldn’t be too bad. Hmmm. I’ll try and remember that for the next snowshoe race.
Nonetheless, it was a great group of people – hubby Bill was the head houncho race volunteer standing out in the wind for hours, his client and friend Kevin organized the race with no race fees(!) and tons of swag, Tania got her first race in after several years off (and she completed the 18), and Carol let me hang out in her car with warm dry clothes and a cozy blanket while I waited for everyone to go the entire route.
Today, I will be a slug. The temps here in Denver today are way too warm for January (can you say climate change?), and I might manage a short spin on the bike outside. And the 2 big white dogs are jonesing for some romp-time – they would have loved the race – perhaps I will have to work on a dog/skijoring/snowshoeing contraption for future human/dog activities in the snow!
I’m tired. So, I’m listening to the body, and the brain, and I’m not running today (or hiking, or biking, or pilates, or yoga, or working out…). Harder than you might think to stop, even for a day. Especially, since the Silver Rush 50 is about three weeks away (yikes!).
It’s not that I’m not occupied. Instead of two big white dogs, we currently have three. New guy is Walden (affectionately called “Waldo”) – he is a foster and is under two years of age, and just like our two big white dogs, active and happy. Quite the scene here really. Quite the chaotic scene.
And the Celestial Massage business is cranking too. A little surprising with the beginning of summer – typically folks take time off what with kids out for summer, but we have both been humming along.
So, perhaps all the activity is a good thing. I certainly don’t have time to fret about the race and I find I’m adopting a “c’est la vie” attitude towards it. We will see if that holds. In the meantime, get some sleep for me and send me energy – I have a feeling I’ll need the extra boost!