adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

a tale of two runs…

So this weekend marked the 1 month countdown to my first half-marathon, an event which I was excited about doing this early in the season for several reasons.  One, if I want to do a half-Ironman triathlon this summer, I am going to have to run a half-marathon at the end of it, so I figured it would be good to get really cozy with this distance as soon as possible. Second, we got this beast of a dog around Thanksgiving (her name is Daisy, but everyone calls her Supermodel) and she needs a good amount of exercise, and she loves to run.  So why not train to do a half-marathon?

Today’s schedule called for a simple 12-mile run, just for “time on the legs”.  (Coach Evil Genius and I started back up this week and apparently she ain’t playing around).  We were at my sister’s house, and I was procrastinating, not really wanting to wind my way around a town with which I am not intimately familiar in the heavy snow for 12 miles.  My husband and sister suggested I head out on the road out toward Buffalo Pass but keep going straight until I reached the private school, about 5 miles in.  So finally I started out, running from Spring Creek trailhead on the road, feeling OK.  At the turn  to Buff Pass, I turned right with all the traffic and started out along a flattish road, which eventually turned into a steeper road.  And a snowier road.  Until I got about 4 miles into the run, looked at the top of Buff Pass and realized I had gone the completely wrong way.  Which would explain all the damn hills that I thought my husband and sister had just been underestimating for my benefit to get me out of the house.

Which led me to Lesson #1 for the day:  When someone is giving you directions, you should pay attention to what they’re saying.

To make matters worse, I realized that my stomach was kind of cramping.  Pretty badly.  On a low traffic road, but with snow drifts about 4 feet high on each side.

Which led me to Lesson #2 for the day:  ALWAYS go to the bathroom BEFORE you start running.  ALWAYS.

So by the time I got back to the car, I was doing a serious “dance” and I jumped into the car and booked it out of the trailhead.  I roared home in time, and after, I unleashed a barrage of blame on Mr. Prepared– about not reminding me to go to the bathroom, about wearing the wrong socks, and about how stupid ultramarathons, marathons, half-marathons, and generally any running over a 10k is.  I told him I was quitting the race (he’s running the marathon) and that I never wanted to talk about doing a half-Ironman again.  Which pretty much precipitated our hasty exit out of Steamboat.

As we rolled home to Eagle in the Land Yacht, I started to relax and fiddled with my iPhone, reading my emails and whatnot.  I came across this post from my favorite blogger, Swim Bike Mom.

Which led to Lesson #3 for the day:  I cannot let fear make decisions for me. 

Part of my agitation all day was the fear that I couldn’t even run for 2 hours, or even 1:30.  Everyone says to me, “Oh, did you run like 10 miles today?”  but the truth is I had never even run 10 miles before. But I couldn’t (and can’t) let the fear of something I had never done before rule my decision-making process.  There will be a lot of things in my life that I have never done before, if I am lucky.

I turned to Taylor and asked if I could finish my workout when I got home.  I figured I had about 30 minutes more if I just needed “time on legs”, as the Buff Pass debacle hadn’t really afforded me good mileage coverage.  He agreed, I apologized, and I told him that I wasn’t going to quit on him and that I didn’t really think he was an idiot (maybe a running fool, but not an idiot).  So we got home, I went back out and finished about 35 more minutes of running on the familiar path, and went home feeling about 100 times better than when I arrived at my sister’s house in Steamboat.

So while it isn’t usually ideal to break a 2 hour run into 2 parts, today it was essential, because today 2 runs were way better than 1.


things I could learn from a dog…

Our dog of 8 years, Rocky, passed away this week.  His body had become a cage of pain for him, and anyone who has known Rocky knows that he was never meant for cages.  Rocky spent the first 3 weeks that we had him trying to escape until we spent an entire weekend building him a fortress in which he finally accepted that he was home, and he was safe.  Rocky had a long, full, adventurous life, and I know he is happy up in dog heaven, chasing squirrels and eating birds.

Where’s the bird?

Rocky taught us all many things about life, as most pets do.  Most importantly, he taught us that a dog CAN eat a magpie in one gulp and not to leave our birds on the floor.  Well, those probably weren’t the MOST important things he taught us, but Rocky’s wild side was certainly the most entertaining aspect of our lives for a long time.  Even after the children arrived, we still found delight (and horror) in some of the things he would do for fun and attention.

One thing that has stuck in my brain from this summer is the belief that you can do more than you think you can.  I know that I am trying hard to live my life without limiting beliefs and negative self-talk.  Dogs never think about their limits.  They never have self-limiting beliefs like, “Maybe I won’t be able to take down this baby deer that wandered into my backyard.”  They just act.  And generally, they succeed.

I always loved Rocky’s face when he did something particularly astonishing/horrifying. He would be panting and drooling and have that smile on his face like “That was awesome! Let’s do it again!”  That’s the way I want to feel about life, even if it’s only for a few minutes every day.  We should all try to capture the insane joy for life that dogs know.

Rocky and Sarah, 2007.

For all the zest Rocky put into life, he also knew how to take it easy.  That’s probably why he was my dad’s favorite grand-dog.  Both of them know how to relax, and it makes all the difference in the world.  In life, you can’t go full-tilt all the time, or you will get burned out.  I know one of my flaws is that I often don’t take time to sit and chill out, and it’s probably just as important to my mind and body as all the other stuff I do.

don’t. even. think. about telling me to get off the couch.

I appreciate the gift of Rocky in our lives.  He was a special and unique dog, and I don’t just say that because I have an original portrait of him in our office.  The best way I can honor him is to remember the important things he imparted to us through living his life with amazing passion and appreciation for what he was given.  Love you, Big Cat!

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