Tuesday, September 11, 2007


...is the word that kept floating around in my head last week. I was wondering if I needed more structure in my day though I don't think of myself as a very structured person, as I don't much care for repetitive routine. Thinking back on the summer, a carefree, wide-open-spaces feeling always wafts over me. It's deceptive however. When you look more closely at the summer, there was very much a structured routine:
  • get out of bed as soon as the birds start chirping,
  • dress in running gear,
  • eat (typically oatmeal for breakfast...as in the bleary-eyed picture),
  • lace up whichever pair of shoes is next in the rotation of four,
  • slather on sunscreen,
  • check the gatorade supply,
  • get today's map out of "PJ's Run" book & put it in the running belt,
  • put on the sunglasses, the hat, the running belt,
  • grab the bandana and the big-honking-dog-whistle,
  • turn on the cellphone,
  • return to the chalk mark of last night's stopping place,
  • run four more hours towards Michigan following the carefully mapped-out route,
  • get back in the motorhome,
  • ice,
  • eat lunch (usually either Justin's nut butter on Great Harvest bread or Great Harvest bread and soup),
  • nap for an hour,
  • change socks and shoes,
  • hat, sunglasses, running belt, bandana, whistle
  • run four more hours towards Michigan on the aforementioned carefully mapped-out route
  • ...and if the route is a trail, grab one Paul boy, his bike and loaded paniers, and have some very enjoyable company along the way,
  • ice,
  • shower (whew! really needed that!),
  • eat,
  • sleep,
  • do it all over again.
It certainly was very much a routine - yet it certainly never got boring.

Now, no routine, but a tad aimless with just a hint of boredom. So, this week, I started working toward a bit more purpose without losing the freedom of retirement. So far the tricks include:
  • boosting up my running a bit (mileage is in the 50s and I'd like to get it even higher) - and trying to do it by just running wherever I feel like going (I do like those wandering rambles) and/or meeting up with friends - or a combination of both.
  • stopping by the rec center to lift weights and, starting Thursday, trying out a drop-in muscle toning class. (I might as well make use of that membership I got when the blizzards were pounding Boulder this past winter.)
  • pouring through the volunteer listings. I contacted a few places yesterday, received a response from one, interviewed today, and will be working (volunteering) each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 7:30-9 a.m. The early morning hours are key. If I get my butt out of bed early and get a start on the day, usually the entire day is much more full and enjoyable.
  • writing. I have an article I need to finish about the run, and I'd like to keep going with this blog - and then, who knows. Lots of folks have said I should write a book. I'm already undecided about what angle I should take with the article, much less a book. If anyone is reading out there, what would you be interested in reading about if I wrote something about the summer's run?
  • getting started on that to-do list. Many of the items on the list require a concentrated amount of time and my concentration isn't particularly great right now...it keeps wanting me to be outside. Unfortunately for the to-do list, all of the items on the list are indoor tasks. Yuck. One aspect of the run that I absolutely loved, was being outdoors all day. Wonderful stuff that fresh air and whistling wind. That said, I'm biting off little chunks and have started to make a dent in the list.
Somehow the tricks have begun to work their magic. The aimless feeling hasn't made an appearance this week, stuff is getting done - both fun stuff and 'to-do' stuff. And the calmness that introduced itself to me this summer can still be found. That's a good thing.

Day off in Red Wing, MN, relaxing with the big shoes (July 12, 2007)

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