Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It's all in the socks!
Prior to the summer's run, I realized that my sock supply was woefully inadequate - both in number and quality. I did not have enough socks on hand to provide my feet with a fresh pair of socks for each of the 12 15-mile segments I would be running between laundries - and, if one counted only the hole-free socks, I really didn't have enough to make it between laundries. So I went sock shopping.
I generally do not care for shopping - but socks are a different matter. They can be very fun - especially when browsing through running socks of various designs. So! I got me six pairs of socks, each with a different design, plus a pair of free Brooks socks, and a pair of "going away" socks - and that added to my carefully counted six pair of hole-free socks gave me just enough socks to make it through the week, with a couple of spare pairs.
Once on the road, though, I discovered some nuances:
- The new socks were a tad thicker than my older socks and consequently were not entirely comfortable for my afternoon runs when my feet were a bit swollen.
- I needed to wear the ankle-high model (rather than the low-cut model) of socks when running trails in order to keep dirt and pebbles from creeping into my socks.
- However, when I was dealing with my sore leg, the low-cut socks were easier on my swollen leg.
- As the miles added up, so did the holes in my sock supply. So then I had to wear the newest socks in the mornings (when I generally ran more than 15 miles), saving the holey socks for the lesser mileage of the afternoons.
- And, of course, if a state line crossing was on tap for the day, I simply had to wear my Colorado flag socks.
So why am I bringing it up today? Well, being October 31st, I wanted to wear a pair of socks that offered a Halloween flavor. As I went through my sock drawer, I saw a pair with a yellow/orange-colored design that I had left behind thinking they were my smiley-face pair that had too many holes to take on the trip. Lo and behold, they were my sun logo socks that I had entirely forgotten about. A favorite pair, no less, since the logo is much like the logo for Kendall's family's ski lodge (which they no longer own). I can't believe I neglected to take them on my Run To Michigan! But now I have a hole-free pair of socks with one of my most favorite designs. Bonus!
Monday, October 29, 2007
More than speed
I'm glad today's typing went that quickly - but I'm also very very happy with the leisurely pace of the trip and the opportunity it gave me to revel in the sights, sounds, and smells of the heartland. As Ghandi said: "There's more to life than increasing its speed."
'Tis a lesson well-learned. Today's picture was taken during this morning's run when I paused to marvel at this wasp's nest amidst the fall colors. Pausing, marveling....good.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
- After class, the instructor offered to do caliper-based fat measurements. I decided to have mine done, figuring I'm about as thin as I'm ever going to be (tho' it would have been interesting to be measured on August 1 ...I've certainly put on a layer since then...). Sure enough, I came out at 19.6, less than when I had an underwater check back before I was a mom. Not being of the lean-body-type end of the scale, I was pleased with the reading. Now I just need to keep it there! Thus, I made a mental note to record the reading so I could compare it to future readings. (Oh how I wish there were yellow stickies for the brain; I seldom remember those things I think of during a run.)
- I spotted a bumper sticker I wanted to tell my family about: "A PBS brain in an MTV world." Kind of clever. Now we just need to change the world!
I believe I've mentioned in the past that our pooch just loves to roll in things.
Well, this morning while Kendall was walking Jester before the sun had risen, Mr K kicked something that he later said sounded like a leftover container. Kendall walked on but, apparently, off-leash Jester decided to investigate further.
When Jester dog finally came running back to Kendall, his fur was slimed and odor-de-vinaigrette emanated from our furry friend.
Thus the bath for salad dog.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm doing volunteer work early in the morning in eastern Boulder. Lately, I've been running home from the job - and the run takes me right along the bike path that I followed out of Boulder on my way to Michigan. Paul and I were running and chatting along that path the first day of The Run when one of us spotted a bunny. The other didn't quite understand what the first one said. "Money?" No.... "Funny?" No.... And eventually the funny money bunny phrase, repeated often during the summer, was born.
Every time I've run home along that path this fall, I've seen a bunny. And am reminded of the run. And funny money bunny. And Paul. It was a very good summer for this lucky mama.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I was in Michigan last week to help mom celebrate her 87th birthday. Did you know that it takes less than two hours to reach the west shore of Lake Michigan if you travel via jet plane from Denver? And to think it took me 47 days by foot... It was interesting looking down at the heartland from the plane, seeing the crisscross of country roads and fields...and wishing I were down there feeling the breeze against my face, hearing the birds, smelling the grasses ...instead of being stuffed in a metal tube hurtling through the sky. On the other hand, I was able to fit in a visit with my mom during my short 6-day window of free time.
My mom is a remarkable woman.
She spent most of 2005-2006 as the full-time caregiver for my dad as his health failed. During that time she learned all the ins and outs of being chief house manager while pretty much putting all of her own stuff on hold.
After dad died last December, mom kept plugging along, taking care of the various issues that arise with becoming the sole caretaker of house and home. And she continued to put her own stuff on hold as her daughter launched her grand run from Colorado to Michigan. With the run complete, mom's body spoke up and said it was time for her to give it some attention. Consequently mom found herself dealing with a number of health issues.
By the time I arrived on the scene last week, mom had pretty much dug in and told her body that she'd had enough of being sick and housebound and that she was turning that ship right around. She was back on her feet, driving hither and thither, getting her thrice weekly physical therapy, going out with "the girls" and generally kicking her heels up ... or at least putting one foot in front of the other as she marches on through life.
And I thought I got all my bullheadedness from my dad. Ha!
Paula & Mom at The Run's finish 8/1/2007
Upon my return from Michigan, it was time to tackle the Denver Marathon. I had run Denver last year. This spring, when they offered a "buddy" deal, Joe buddied up with me, signing up for the half while I signed up for the full, thinking that it would be great fun to jump into a marathon after running 1400 miles across the country. What great shape I'd be in! Such endurance! So light on my feet! Ha (once again)!
It turns out I'm really in no mood to race and my body seems to be in no mood to run fast. Figuring that anything quicker than 11 mpm pace for 26.2 miles would be unrealistic and not wanting to be out there for who-knows-how-long, I dropped to the half marathon. Wise decision. Race day dawned cold (30s), rainy, and, oh boy, a bit of a breeze too! Worse weather than I had seen on my entire run to Michigan by far (at least for the cold and wet ends of the spectrum). I had hoped that, although the looming marathon didn't provide the inspiration to train for speed that I had thought it would, perhaps the actual running of the marathon would inspire me to greater heights afterwards. That didn't really work so well either as I mostly just got inspired to jump into a hot shower after I got home then don my warmest clothes, crawl under some blankets and be a couch potato all afternoon.
I must confess to being rather frustrated with my turtle-like speed these days. However, I do find it encouraging to discover, while running, that I am still intrigued with veering off course, meandering about, exploring new routes, and enjoying all the sensations that come with putting one foot in front of the other while traversing this magnificent planet...no matter what speed.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
"Don't encourage her"
was my husband's automatic reaction whenever anyone brought up The Run during the early days of the idea and planning. In fact, he got to say it once again when the Wausau Daily Herald interviewed him; the article closed with this quote from Kendall: "My first and constant refrain was, 'Don't encourage her.' But once she gets an idea in her head..."
It is undoubtedly Kendall's tolerance for the ideas I get in my head - combined with his bodacious sense of humor - that has kept us married for 32 years - today!
If you ever find a spouse who is willing to cross the country with you at four miles an hour, cheering, singing, and dancing along the way, consider yourself one lucky human!
To Kendall, who stayed by my side as I chased my dream - thank you for a glorious 32 years and a magical summer.