Monday, December 25, 2006
My energy, my stubborness, my high standards, my always wanting to be doing something don't even come close to my dad's. He was always "doing" - building this, taking apart that, making something perfect, puzzling through some conundrum, puttering around outside (and, until he was 90, literally putting four days a week at the golf course...but at 90 he found himself unable to walk the 18 holes so gave up the game). He was not a big fan of my new adventure - figuring there are lots better ways to cross the country (his choice would be flying, with himself at the controls as he had been a pilot in the Canadian Air Force during WWII). But I kept working on him - and it definitely provided us with some animated discussion.
The last couple of years have been tough for my dad. Physical ailments piled up and he was unable to do all the fiddling that had kept him so happily busy throughout his life. This fall, thoroughly frustrated with just sitting around and feeling yucky, he stated he wouldn't make it past Christmas. He is a man of his word. My pop, my standard of excellence, died this afternoon.
As I make my way across the country this summer, I'll picture him shaking his head over all the zig zagging I'll have to do. On the tough days, I'll dig deep and call on the big dose of stubborn he endowed me with. And as I arrive in Petoskey, I'll smile remembering that it was pop who moved his family to such a beautiful spot on this planet - a home worth running across the country to....and I'll look skyward with a wry grin - just like his own - to show him I did it!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
95 miles. Done!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Another 90+ mile week, another snow storm
- Monday Run #1: 2.5 miles to/from the grocery store before heading to Denver to pick up my sons at the train station (the train arrived at 7 a.m.).
- Monday Run #2: 10 miles mostly in CU's cross-country course, with a friend, talking about travels, family, books - very pleasant.
- Monday Run #3: 4 miles looking at Christmas lights
- Tuesday Run #1: 12 miles on a hilly loop then a flatter trail warm down, much of the hilly portion with a running buddy. Again, very pleasant.
- Tuesday Run #2: 3 miles looking at Christmas lights on the way to meeting the family at a restaurant.
- Wednesday Run: 13 miles from the very beginning hints of the snow storm and on into the big snow, big wind, way cold. Very exciting.
- Thursday Run #1: 6 miles back and forth on a neighborhood street that had been plowed once. Very tough going.
- Thursday Run #2: 2 miles attempting to look at Christmas lights until I realized how stupid it was to be out there in the rutted moguly snow in the dark.
- Friday Run: 11 miles of verrryyyy slow running. Per my log: "snow pack, two feet of snow, ice, you name it - except clear roads." The middle chunk of this with a running buddy - good thing he was along since we encountered a never-plowed 1 mile stretch of bike path (in the middle of a 4 mile stretch of bike path) and I toppled over as we were wading our way through the thigh-high snow...I'd pr'y still be floundering in the powder if he hadn't been there to pull me out! I added up my miles for the week upon returning home and realized I'd have to run 16 miles on both Saturday and Sunday to get my 95 weekly total. I had my doubts that that would happen, given the road conditions...
- Saturday Run #1: 11 miles with the first half very slow over packed powder and icy chunks but the last half with running buddies along the cleared portion of the same bike path as yesterday's run. Very tired and tight quads, glutes, and hams from all the slogging through snow.
- Saturday Run #2: after the morning run I was ready to drop my quest for 95 miles, I was just so tired of running through the snow and ice. But, I had to mail my sons' tuition payment so I stood up from my desk, told my younger son (the cross country runner) it was time to go for a run to the post office, and donned my running gear (just a couple hours after returning from the morning run). Off we went to the post office, then extended the run a bit into the next neighborhood over, then returned back to our neighborhood at which point I realized that if I did another out/back on our semi-plowed neighborhood street (a one-mile long stretch each way), I'd have a total of 5 miles for this run and 16 miles for the day. Done.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
No faux sneaux here!
My route started on a southerly direction then curved east/northeast where the wind picked up a tad - but the snow lightened even more and I was starting to believe we were in the midst of a faux sneaux storm. This was maybe 5 miles into the run. Howsoever, about 8 miles into the run, the snow gods got serious, the wind howled and the snow whooshed down. It got so bad at times I had to swing around and put my back to the wind...the snow simply stung too much when I was pointed straight into it. Fortunately, around 10 miles into the run my route curved west and south putting the wind at my back....but not before questions such as "What are you, crazy?!" started popping into my head.
I was having to dig deep to keep myself running, then decided to provide myself with a little diversion and ran past my pre-retirement office, waving at all my coworkers as I passed their windows. One dashed outside and hollered "Are you nuts!" and I replied with "This is what you get to do when you're retired!" By the time I got home, I was one frozen popsicle runner. And just as I stripped and was stepping into the shower, my husband walked in yelling "hot latte delivery" - my hero!
Oh - as for the weather forecasters: those who were going for the big numbers had it right. We're measuring 18 inches in our backyard, a mere 12 hours since I started running in the aforementioned "wee itty bit of a dusting of snow" and the flakes continue to fall.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Running: play? job? sanctuary?
Back when running was strictly play, it also provided a sanctuary whenever I was going through a rough patch. It just so happens that I've hit another rough patch and when I headed out on my longest run of the week at 5 a.m. today, I was wondering if running, now my serious endeavor, would still provide sanctuary. I'm relieved to report that, yes, running - no matter how seriously I need to take it - still soothes the soul. My miles gave me time beneath the moon and stars, sounds of a nearby owl, a rooster, and the rhythmic tapping of my feet against the pavement, wind brushing my cheeks and crisp air filling my lungs, the mountains' gradual appearance on the western horizon as the sun slowly climbed behind me. A couple of hours alone with my thoughts heavy and light undulating with the ground I covered - then a rendezvous with my running buddies for another hour running, this hour with their banter and friendship. Yes, running is still my sanctuary.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Paying attention to the details
- got the coffee started as soon as I walk in the door
- stretched gently but thoroughly - all parts of my body
- drank some chocolate soy milk to do a quick nourishment replenishment during the window when replenishing is most effective
- hosed my legs down with cold water - lots of cold water, lots of hosing, thighs on down
- fixed a good breakfast and sat down and ate it without rushing
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Meeting with The Coach
So, between now and June, I stay on the four-week cycle:
Week 1: pile on miles
Week 2: pile on more miles
Week 3: cut back on miles and emphasize quality (hills, tempo, fartlek and an overall quicker pace)
Week 4: easy week
Throughout: focus on recovery (nutrition, vitamins, stretching, ice, epson salts, sleep)
Based on the plan we arrived at today, I'll be running 100-mile weeks by mid-January. And the week of March 12th, I'll run a 180-mile week ("for my head" since I'm really concerned about going into The Run, of many 180-mile weeks, without ever having run a 180-mile week). I'll also have a 160-mile week in April and a 140-mile week in May to experiment with back-to-back 30-mile days. The last 3 weeks before The Run I cut back on the mileage so I can hit the road feeling fresh. So! That's the plan ...as of December 13th!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Where do the mornings go?
In contrast, this morning (a fairly typical post-retirement morning) saw me: wake up around 5-ish (a hard habit to break), turn on the bedside lamp and grab my book as soon as my husband awakened, get up and get ready to run when I got to a good stopping place in my book, run for a couple of hours (hill repeats with AndyE today), get back home and stretch, do situps, pushups and a few other exercises, fix breakfast, do the morning sudoku, take a shower ....and, can you believe it, it's already noon!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Gifts from Japan
As yesterday's grand finale, my eldest (Devon) returned from Japan last night. He had a great trip and came home bearing fantastic tales - and gifts! He has a knack for selecting the perfect gift and it did it once again. He brought me two wrist sweat bands, black with Japanese characters in gold lettering (CU Buffalo colors!). One translates into "strong will" and the other is "sure victory." They may be a tad toasty to wear every day on the way to Michigan, but I certainly wore them on today's run and plan on wearing them on many runs to come. Arigatou Devonsan!
Friday, December 08, 2006
- a hardcopy Nebraska map from AAA,
- Google Earth - which has the best road detail I've found so far and provides GPS coordinates - but doesn't provide the ability to save a route (that I've been able to find)
- mapmyrun.com - which does allows one to save route - but you've got to do it in increments (the last time we decided to create routes in 105 mile increments)
Fortunately, I had written down every 15-mile section of the route including the roads followed and description and coordinates of each 15-mile end point so it's not been an entirely wasted effort.
I sure would like to find a more robust mapping tool, though - one that provides map and satellite image graphics, can handle a long route (ultimately 1500-1800 miles), shows mileage as the route is laid out, allows marking of 15-mile segments, offers road name details and GPS coordinates, and accommodates saving and editing. Not asking for too much am I? Does anyone know of such a tool?
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Too much....running? rest?
In any case, shortly after my run (and stretching, showering, breakfasting), I headed over to my husband's school to help him out in the library. Today's job was picking up big boxes of books, emptying them to scan each book's bar code, repacking them, carrying the boxes over to the side of the room out of the way, then picking them back up, emptying them, stamping each book, then carrying them over to the side of the room again. (He has his methods and I'm just a volunteer so who am I ...systems analyst that I am... to argue finer points of efficiency with him ;-)) Towards the end of my shift at the library, Kendall's brother showed up to say 'hi' as he was on his way to deliver Christmas trees from his ski hut property to a tree lot in town. So I went with him to help unload trees from his trailer and truck. I'm feeling much better now!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
A day at the desk
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
My running buddy and I ran along the Boulder Creek Path (beautifully cleared of snow). It just so happens that right on the other side of the creek path where we were running sits my old office.
After dashing back home after the run I had a bunch of paperwork to take care of before heading out again so I chowed down on a breakfast of yogurt and cereal while doing the paperwork. It just so happens that my standard start-of-the-work-day routine used to consist of running then dashing off to the office where I would sit at my desk and work while eating my breakfast of yogurt mixed with cereal.
I headed out to my next rendezvous by walking to a bus stop about a mile from my house - but I was a bit behind schedule so ran the last half-mile or so to catch the bus. It just so happens that when I would catch the bus to work (rather than walk or cycle), I would catch this same bus and invariably have to run the last half-mile or so because I was always cutting it too close.
My next rendezvous was a delightful lunch with a couple of former co-workers, one now retired and one still working. It just so happens that the conversation turned to the workplace where the same old politics and conundrums are carrying on full steam.
But! For the rest of the afternoon, my new glorious life of the retiree came to the forefront...wandering around the downtown (pedestrian) mall, Christmas shopping, peeking in new stores, browsing at the library...completely free to explore for however long and wherever I liked. Ahhhhh......
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Next up: a lighter mileage week and a lot of time at the computer figuring out if I can complete The Run in 9 weeks.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
To continue my pursuit of 90 miles this week, I went out again just a couple hours after getting home from the first run for a multi-part run:
- ran around the neighborhood and the neighborhood to the south of us (~4 miles);
- stopped by the house to tell my husband that I'd be running to the CU women's basketball game and to please bring a dry shirt - then ran to the basketball game (~2 miles);
- watched the game then ran from there roundabout to the grocery store (~3 miles).
And now for the second challenge of the day: my husband just learned of the proposed 2007-08 calendar for the school district he works for. It has them starting school one week earlier than usual. This means I need to get the run to Michigan done in 9 weeks and 3 days. Gulp.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Plow! Plow! Who's got a plow?
I spent 2.5 hours this morning running around town trying to find clear footing. The roads that were in the best shape had room enough for a car - but not for a car and a runner. Boulder's plow drivers need to spend some time apprenticing in northern Michigan... Beyond the roads, bike paths were ice-packed; trails were snow-covered and/or ice-packed and/or snow drifted. The big question then became: where should tomorrow's satboys long run be held? After my scouting expedition and a few phone calls and e-mails, the plan looks like I'll start out at daybreak and head east on a fairly major road that actually is well-plowed and tends to have very light traffic early weekend mornings. I'll run 6 miles east, then reverse direction, then reverse direction once again and this time, on the way back east, meet up with the gang and we'll all run the last 3 miles east then come back west to where they all parked. Rather goofy, but it should get the requisite miles in.
I mentioned yesterday that I was going to do three runs today. Since I ran so long this morning, I only needed one shorter run this afternoon. Unfortunately, I didn't get started on that one until 4 p.m. It sure does get dark fast this time of year...and the temperature fell equally quickly. It was an errand oriented run, and running home from the errand had me pretty darned nervous...running down the main street through our neighborhood, dark, icey roads, no room on the shoulders (due to plowed up snow), cars zooming by... a little too much excitement for my frosty feet!