Monday, July 31, 2006
Wind in the pinon
Butterflies, squirrels, birdsong
My footsteps, too loud
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Let the retirement begin!
Today's grand finale' party was with my Saturday running gang, affectionately known as the "Satboys" (so named cuz it was all guys until I joined in - and I'd nicknamed the list I used to email everyone the "satboys"). Today we gathered, with families, for a shorter run and a longer breakfast at my house. Great fun! It was after the last guest left that this whole retirement gig really set in. No dashing around to do errands, chores, prep work for the office. I'm free! I did manage to check out the mapping program the gang gave me. We plugged in my house, told it to map a route to Petoskey avoiding major highways wherever possible and an eyeblink later, voila! 1500 miles Boulder-to-Petoskey and the voice came on and said "drive 300 feet northeast then turn right. " Sounds like a plan to me!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Day one of retired life is drawing to a close...a life apparently so busy that I missed a day of blogging! Retirement day was a whirlwind of packing up the final doodads from the office, noon run with my son, exit interview with the university, then party party party! 'Twas a fun party at CU complete with lawn games, squirt guns (quite a delight as the temps approached 100) and my spanky CU party shirt ;-) The university festivities were followed by a party back at the house with family and friends. All the partying (and the minimal sleep throughout the week) caught up with me today as I slogged through my 2.5 hour run. I had given myself permission for an easy running week this week, figuring life was going to be a tad hectic. I believe I'll be taking full advantage of that permit. Tomorrow's run is going to be a party run with the satboy gang (my regular group of Saturday long run runners) to celebrate my introduction to retired life. It'll be short on running and long on cameraderie. Can't wait!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Boot Camp graduation today...retirement eve
Today was our last day of this six-week session of Boot Camp of the Rockies. We finished up our fitness tests for comparison with the first week. I did quite a bit better with both sit ups and push ups - and was just about dead even with the running test. A tad ironic - but, then, I'm not going to boot camp for the running and I am
going to Boot Camp for the core strength, upper body strength, overall balance... And that certainly does seem to be working.
Heading out to Boot Camp today from the office, I was not particularly gung ho. This day, more than any other, I felt like a 'short timer.' Everyone was all a-bustle getting things up and running for the start of the semester while I spent the bulk of the day clearing out shelves and files and pretty much not contributing to the forward march of IT at the CU-Boulder campus...for the first time in 26 years. Hmmm. Must be time to leave. Tomorrow afternoon is The Party. Then I'm done! wow.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Emotionally draining day at work.
Sweatily draining day at bootcamp (3x.6 miles with rest inbetween, run hard during, 90-ish degrees).
Grunting through many sets of crunches after the run.
Dipping and dripping through pushups after the crunches.
Ooof dah! Time for bed!
41 hours 11 minutes until retirement!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The best box ever!
My work unit took me out to celebrate my retirement today. ...a very fun gathering at a local brew pub... And, they gave me a going away present - a GPS unit! I do believe they want me to know just where I am while I'm winding my way across the plains. Very cool! But the best
part of the present was the box. One of my work mates had written quotes all over the box: top, bottom, sides, on the flaps...everywhere
. Fantastic quotes. A sampling:
- Never, never, never, never give up. (Sir Winston Churchill)
- It is better to wear out than to rust out. (Richard Cumberland)
- It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. (Lena Horne)
- Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars. (Les Brown)
- Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is? (Frank Scully)
- I'd rather be a "could-be," if I cannot be an "are"; because a "could-be" is a "maybe" who is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a "has-been" than a "might-have-been," by far; for a "might-have-been" has never "been," but a "has" was once an "are." (Milton Berle)
...this box is most definitely making the trip with me! Thank you D&I!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Many have written that one tactic for successfully achieving a goal is to make that goal public. I discovered today that the announcement that was sent to the CU-Boulder campus about my upcoming university retirement party mentioned that my post-retirement plans include planning and training for my run from Boulder to Petoskey. Yikes! Prior to this, I had been fairly selective about whom I shared that information with. I guess now one could say that my Run to Michigan goal has been made "public." Here's to another step towards success!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Day 2 of packing up my office is done. And today I actually cleared stuff out. I had meant to take before and after pictures, but forgot to take the before picture until after many of the this-is-what-makes-Paula's-office-Paula's-office doodads were on their way out the door. No more framed New York City Marathon poster on the wall, the satellite photo of the Great Lakes is down, the signed poster of Alan Culpepper is rolled up, gone is the multi-year collage of Mackinac Island calendars, the far wall is bare where my college best friend's weaving hung decorated with my Boston bibs, no toys on the desk, no trophies on the bookshelf, no comics on the door. Pretty darned dull, actually. I couldn't quite empty the office of everything, tho'. I still have the most current Mackinac Island calendar up on the wall, pictures of my husband, sons, and first running dog (Loki) still warm my desk, and I've got my battery-operated bullhorn at the ready. Can't go through my last week as an IT project manager without my bullhorn!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
A trip through the archives
I spent the day today (after my run) going through files in my office. It was quite entertaining to see project documents of old: training materials on cellophane overheads, hand-drawn illustrations within typed documents, keyboard maps for dumb terminals, real floppy floppies. A lot of years were packed in those filing cabinets; a lot of smiles came with the memories. And one occasion for tears.
I found the notes I had written for the little speech I gave at my father-in-law's retirement party. Woody Miller was a mighty fine man and we thoroughly enjoyed eachother - and CU. He had met his bride-to-be at CU, he graduated from CU in the 40s and returned in the 70s as the director of Academic Media after earning his PhD from Michigan State. [The picture is of me and Woody at my graduation from CU's MBA program, 1980.]
Woody and I spent many an hour cheering on the CU Buffs and talking CU politics. But what meant the most to me, was that Woody was always proud of me, encouraging, certain that I could do whatever I set out to do. It would have been so wonderful to have shared both my retirement from CU and my upcoming adventure with him. Woody, you are missed.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Somehow, if you're very happy inside, the world knows. I'm one week away from retirement and can feel the glow from inside out. And every person I pass - while walking, running, cycling - glances my way and breaks into a smile. It's contagious!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
With my retirement just 8 days away, I'm getting calls from many folks who have worked with me over the past few decades. We appreciated eachother while working on projects of old, and it's a delight to be hearing from them now. Invariably they ask (as do others who hear of my retirement) what I will be doing with 'all my free time.' The reactions, when I do reveal my plan to run from Boulder, Colorado to Petoskey, Michigan, are quite entertaining. There's the double take: ...pause... "you're what?" -or- as happened at a meeting yesterday "ah, run to Michigan" ...pause... "run from HERE to Michigan?!" (then "well, not the northern route tho', right?" - well, actually, yes, the northern route...funny that that
is what raised the eyebrows around the table...). Many have had instantly positive responses: "You're running home!" "A road trip for your family!" "It will be so beautiful!" And my most favorite - which really captures the heart of this little adventure: "Your mind will be so happy
." Indeed it will. Open road, big sky, nooks and crannies of prairie towns, rolling farms, ever-changing vistas. Breaking free of the confines of the desk-and-office. Happy mind, happy mind!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
ran ~3 miles uphill to boot camp.
ran ~4 miles across the meadow, up the canyon & back.
did speed drills for half-an-hour.
ran ~3 miles downhill home.
stick a fork in me and call me done.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
After a 12-straight-hour workday, I was treated to a run with my son Paul. He and I have been running off and on together since he was a wee tyke (see pic from 1991 KickOff Classic). However, he didn't start running regularly until last year, training fairly seriously for the 2005 Bolder Boulder then running (as a senior) with the Boulder High School cross-country team. This spring he announced he'd best start ramping up his trainig. My response: "oh, to get ready for college cross country?" (he will be running xc at Knox College, a Division III school in Galesburg Illinois, starting this fall). His reply: "nope, to get ready for your run." Cool! Of course, now the boy is much faster than I, but today he took it easy on me (and I stepped up my pace) and we spent an hour just before sunset cruising the bikepaths and trails between my office and home talking about the day's events, prepping for college, prepping for retirement parties, and just running.
Life is good.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Another warm and toasty day today...not quite yesterday's 103, but warm enough that I thought Boot Camp would be quite a challenge. Yep, Boot Camp (officially "Boot Camp of the Rockies" aka BCOR). Three nights a week and what a difference it's making. Abs, upper body, balance, core, aerobic work. Yowza. Feel like one big wet noodle immediately afterwards - but one lean mean runnin' machine overall. Back to today - during the afternoon, the clouds rolled in, then the wind, then the rain. But when it came time to run to boot camp, the temps were in the 70s, the wind was light, and the air was cleansed with the rain that had passed on through. Lots of glute work tonight, with no weather-induced whining. But oh those quads had a thing or two to say as I trotted the three downhill miles home afterward!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Another warm day today, blue cloudless sky, birdsong filling the air, butterflies dancing about. And for the uphill portion of my run, not another human to be seen. Instead, I was treated to the sight of 3 coyote pups dashing across the trail I was on. I stopped to scan the surroundings for mama coyote. There she was, uphill off to the side watching for my next move. I decided she'd be happiest if I moved on, so off I went ...ahead to the west while the pups played in the creek to the south.
Today's run brought the week's mileage to 67.5. I think this is the highest weekly total I've ever achieved. And it's my 3rd 60+ mile week of the last 4 weeks. Gearing up!
A bit of running background: I've been running regularly since 1978 and have now logged 46,106.5 lifetime miles. This includes 26 marathons - but nothing longer than a marathon (unless you count the one marathon where I went off course and added a 9 minute detour to my run). I'm not the most athletically gifted human on the planet, but I have a whole lot of stubborn which should serve me well on next summer's run from Boulder, Colorado to Petoskey, Michigan!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Hot day today
Candidate for Understatement of the Year: Boulder's not a bad place to live if you're a runner. This morning's run included
- a couple miles from my house to trails,
- a couple of hours of mostly trails,
- back to the house to refill my water bottle, pick up my 18-year-old son (who would be running with...well, in front of, me) and my husband (who would be pedaling his bike slowly alongside me...good conversation time)
- and we all headed out for an hour or so, mostly on trails.
Not bad for a 3-hour-plus city run. 'Twas a tad on the warmish side, tho'. By run's end, I'd lost two pounds. ...toasted! But it's a dry toast...
Friday, July 14, 2006
Two weeks to go!
Two weeks from today, I will be a retired woman! Or, perhaps, a free woman! Certainly a woman with a different perspective on life! This new perspective will be pursuing all of the details to make the run to Michigan a success: training, plotting out the route, figuring out logistics, gathering supplies (anyone have a spare RV they can do without during the summer of 2007?), and finding sponsors. This blog will be devoted to these pursuits. Weehaww! Let's go!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I now have a blog (thanks Steve!). One more step on the way to my new adventure. In just over two weeks, I'll be retiring from the University of Colorado where I spent the last 26 years involved with IT project management. At 5:01 p.m. on July 28, 2006, I will be able to devote the bulk of my time to a new project: a run from Boulder, Colorado to Petoskey, Michigan. This project has been bouncing around in my brain for a few years now. It's time to make it a reality!