Monday, October 8, 2018

Ah-Ha Moments Gives Me Much Needed Peace

Monday (5.4)  Walk/Run for 4 miles.  I felt it at the end, well I felt it in my knees at the beginning, the decent from Shrewsbury Peak, all 1,200 feet of it I felt all the way down and was still kind of feeling.  Moving does help move the pain into 'uncomfortable' versus 'pain'.

Smoke Metal by Burlington Beer Company
Much better in a glass pint glass, funny how beer can be like that.
I had to get a blood draw, and now you get a patient ID tag and have to go through the who are you when is your birthday.  When I saw the "age 51" on the tag I looked at the nurse and said "I'm not that old, am I?"  she laughed and said, "It's just a number."

After dinner Jax noticed me fiddling around with the jacket rack and got all jumpy and spinney, ah, he wanted to go for a walk!  I grabbed a reflective vest, headlamp, the movie to return to the library and Jax and we had a nice stroll in the mist which transitioned to rain.  He was more thrilled about the rain because that meant he would be toweled off once we got home, one of his favorite things especially with a big towel that goes over his head and whole body and he can wiggle around like a ghost I suppose.   All in all, not a bad day.

So many mushrooms in the forest.  This must be a banner year for them.

Tuesday (5) In the morning my knees weren't happy with the extra mile or the rain and I had a day of meetings so I didn't bother to pack my gym bag, I'd at most get a couple long walks in around campus between meetings and between the rain.

I found it rather, not sure what the correct word would be, for someone who ran the Boston Marathon a few short months to be envious of how quickly I can get up a set of stairs and not be in pain, discomfort, not pain.  Funny is one word, but sad is another...  Pain is pain discomfort is discomfort, and mostly what I have is discomfort.  Or I've convinced myself that is all it is.  Hard to tell, we all measure pain differently.  The thought of taking the long walk to the cafeteria didn't overwhelm me like it did him.  We both agreed going DOWN the stairs strikes a few notes of fear.

Meh, not the usual deliciousness Oskar Banks brews

A friend posted an article on "4 Signs you are ready to run an ultra."  I wanted so badly to put in #5.  You are willing to never be able to run again once you've pushed your body further than it wants to go.   But I remembered I should say encouraging things or say nothing at all...

Jax sporting his fashionable orange.

Dave hadn't been out for a ride in a while, I texted to let him know I could get home early and take Jax to Burlingame for a hike.  We all get grouchy when we don't get exercise and fresh air, he definitely needed some of both!  For an imaginary husband he certainly can test my patience; guess I missed the chapter on making your imaginary friends loveable ALL the time.  I mistakenly thought the loop took us an hour, its 3 miles.  We started about 5:30 and the sun sets about 6:30, it would be dark, maybe for the last 1/10th of a mile. About 2 miles in it was really getting dark, darker than normal with the clouds for, oh it feels like rain, crap.  The mist started a bit, then I turned on the flashlight on the cell phone, Jax walked a few steps ahead of me and I shone the light down in that gap to make sure I didn't fall.  We both know this route pretty well, but it had been a few months since I had been on it and who knew what sort of blowdowns had happened or if new rocks emerged from the continued degradation of the trail or if the High School Mountain Bike club were back to their old tricks of moving things off the trail, just when you expect you are supposed to jump over a log, you find it is missing and begin to doubt your memory of the trail you spent a few Saturdays running laps on.  The mist transitioned to rain and we were soaked by the time we got back to the car 90 minutes after we started.  It was a grand time for both of us!!  Next time I'll remember my headlamp.  As an aside the flashlight didn't drain the battery in the iPhone, I was happy about that. 

Whoops it got dark and I forgot my "10 Essentials"

Wednesday (5.7)  Back to the normal day for hills.  Rather warm and humid for an October day, we hit most of our usual paces.  We dragged up the last hill.  I'm not remembering anything else about the day.  


Thursday (3.4) Another day of meetings with just enough of a break to biological balance but nothing more.  I took the long walk back from the cafe at lunchtime, I had to be in that part of campus for a meeting, picked up a friend along the way and I showed her a way to get another 3/4 of a mile by going to the outer edge of the parking lot.   We didn't talk much, her English is really poor and it was just nice to make small comments about the leaves or the nice weather or some of the crazy stuff we saw in the parking lot.   Took Jax out for a walk after dinner, he was bored, in town walks are boring.  But Dave was out testing out his bike for something or another so that was good fun getting spooked by a biker in the dark and then spending a good 10 minutes barking at him.  Jax probably disturbed the neighborhood.  We all make mistakes from time to time.    

This reminds me the neighbor with the loud truck got a new truck a few months ago.  I saw him with the new one and before I realized what I was saying, it came out.  "Nice truck that old one seemed to get louder every day."  He apologized, but I don't think he really realized how loud it was and that we all could hear it through closed windows.  

Friday (3.5)  Dave went biking with a friend so I "worked" from home.  I did get quite a bit done and had some errands to run.  I had considered taking Jax to a new management area to hike, but time got away from me so we went to Burlingame.  I decided to mix up the loop a bit and add in part of the Secret Trail.  Give him something different.  Doing the same loop does get boring.  Once we got up on the table top of granite I remembered running into Jonny up there for one of my training runs for the 50K.  That got me thinking about a lot of different things and what I have actually accomplished running and biking and maybe I should lighten up a bit on what the future may or may not hold or what I failed to complete this year.    Jax was thrilled with all the ledge and I had to scurry to keep up with him and the thoughts disappeared.  

Jax happy for some ledge to scramble up and jump off.

Saturday (7.5 & 0.9) Jess and I were going to meet up to ride the Yellow Dot / Vin Gormley trail in Burligame.  I was super nervous, to the point of nearly wanting to bail, about this ride.  All I could think of was all the trouble I've had riding this trail and how horrible the rock gardens are and those damn bog bridges and falling off them.    We met up and discussed how to ride the trail clockwise or clockstupid.  She thought the race next weekend was clockstupid and I thought probably not because there would be several left-hand turns across hardtop road and that just didn't make sense, but considering who is hosting the race, it isn't out of the question.  We decided clockwise as that is the best way to ride or even run the course.  I was happy for that because I knew I had about 2 miles of super easy riding until the dreaded curvy bog bridge where I fell.

Turns out Jess is only a little bit better than me.  Her years of dirt bike riding helps her to pick the A-line but it's the pedaling that gets her all wobbly and she had to get off to navigate exactly where I knew I was going to have to dismount to navigate.  We could both see the A-line but could not figure out how we'd get the bikes from there up on that bog bridge.  If we would spend an hour 'sessioning' that part we would have nailed it.  So was this a skills session or a ride?  We decided it was a ride and from that point forward until the little hut we walked our bikes over that ridiculously long bog bridge.  I did get on after the hut and managed to fall with only 2 feet of bog bridge left!  OMG Mind over matter!    Of course, I fell on my bad shoulder but was cushioned by some bushes.  No harm was done (to the bike or me).  

Trail Carnage.  I got mixed up in some thorns, it was easier to ride through them.
After that part, it was smooth sailing and I remembered how much I love the VG and while there were a couple spots I did need to dismount because my confidence was a bit wobbly after falling off the bog bridge.  We picked our way through the rock gardens and sped along the even smooth single track.  I had such a great time and felt like I managed to break through a lack of confidence barrier that has been haunting me since the spring.  


Jess and I went to lunch and talked a lot about moving through our various illnesses, injuries, and physical limitations, and how sometimes it is ok to not do an event more than once or do an event just because your friends are doing it or know that anything over 3 hours of continuous effort is going to be a stretch.  Very therapeutic, for the first time I was able to think about what I have accomplished and be ok with being impressed with what I've tackled on my feet and in the saddle.  Those things may never happen again, or maybe they will, for now, I've accomplished a lot and should be proud of myself even if I never run another race or ride another century.


Sunday (4.3) Woke up to rain.  WHAT!!!  That wasn't on the schedule.  Dave went fishing, last trip of the season.  I'm a little less than motivated when he's not home and even less motivated with the rain on the porch roof (it is copper, the sound of rain on metal is soooo soothing to me).  I did get up and feed Jax and went back to bed.  He came up to check on me and remind me we had a date for a hike to a new place.  Funny how he can remember those details but not the detail he isn't supposed to go out at 2 a.m. and have a barkfest in the backyard.  

Rattlesnake Ledge
We went to Tillinghast Pond and Wickaboxet Management Areas.  They are connected and there is a third one (Pratt) in there I discovered on our hike.  Of course, it was on one of the maps,  I was really only concentrating on where we were going to hike.  As it was a new place I wasn't sure how used it was or how well marked the trails were, but it seemed like either they were marked or there was just one loop.  

On top of Rattlesnake Ledge
He always makes me nervous, I'm just sure he is going to jump.
Lots of interesting stuff to explore, Jax wandered off to Rattlesnake Ledge and that seemed like a fine idea.  We explored up there and followed an unmarked trail until we found the blue blaze trail we started following and followed that for the rest of the adventure.  I'll figure out how it all interconnects at some point.  It is a 30-minute drive out there, and it seems so silly to me to drive to go walk in the woods for 2 hours, but that is what it is.  The trail was lightly used while we were there, it was humid and kept threatening rain, so that may keep people away?  

It was a good hike and Jax was desperately in need of something to drink and we found a pond!

Soak and drink, multi tasking!


Still no pictures.  I'll get to it. I'm enjoying the rhythm of the pattern.  This is definitely the correct yarn and pattern combination.  I'll be happy to wear this when the snow flies.


"The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane"
by Lisa See

I will be sad when this ends but I want to know how it ends.  One of my nieces is a Chinese girl, she was born in the Hunan Province, very much like Haley in the book she was left on the doorstep of the orphanage.  Unlike Haley, there was nothing left with her to even give her a clue where she came from.  At this point in the book, Haley is about 13 years old and in a group therapy session with other Chinese girl adoptees.  They are discussing being Chinese and having a stringed instrument foisted upon them at a young age, as well as the expectation that they will do well in school because they are Asian, and frustrated that the other Chinese kids, born in the U.S. to their Chinese parents look down on them and don't think of them as Chinese because they are raised by white people.  Couple all this with the knowledge they were abandoned by their mother's.  I've always thought Adele, my niece, would have a difficult time, I was mistaken in the root of that problem only being her adoptive parents, not that she looks so different from everyone else and thoughts of why was she abandoned by her mother.  These girls too talked of the fear of being sent back if they misbehaved.  Then I think about my nephew Jin, he is Korean, except his parentage is known, and sealed in the orphanage in Korea, his parents were in college and made the choice to give up their baby versus terminating the pregnancy.  He will have the option of finding his biological family.  I can't blame him if he did, it is important to know where you came from.   I'm sure a parent would have a much different feeling on the matter.   As this is a novel and most likely has a  happy ending, one of the items Li-yan left with her daughter when she left her in a cardboard box on the steps of the orphanage will tie Haley back to her lineage.  There are other story-lines in the book equally as fascinating, however, this one grabs me at a very personal level.

Beth, swapping peace for anger.

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