Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tap Tap Tap . . .

I knew it had been a while since I visited the blog, didn't realize it was well over two months.


What's been happening? Somewhere between everything and nothing. 

Here's the condensed version.

I finished my big race. My body decided to be done for a while. Then my grandfather passed away, followed shortly by our family's beloved dog, Heidi. My grandfather's passing was expected, he was 97 and was in failing health. My dog's passing was not. At only 8 1/2 she collapsed and died the evening after Iris and I flew to WI for my grandfather's funeral. We didn't even get to say goodbye.


Such huge loss coupled with the exhaustion of training for and running my race left me physically and mentally unable to carry on any semblance of a running schedule. I just felt broken, in every way. At first I was really frustrated-- mainly because I had a big race coming up (Squamish 50k) and I needed to be ready to keep up with Tara. But there was just nothing I could do. A six mile run around my hood was a herculean effort, and that was after I barely willed myself out the door. My hip didn't recover, it still hasn't recovered, and it let me know that it wasn't happy with any efforts to run. So I just kind of stopped caring to fix it. It became obvious that Squamish was out of the question and I had let Tara know, which sucked. Running that race with her was going to be one of the highlights of my year, so putting in to words that I was letting it go stung.

To complicate matters we decided to get a new dog. Riggins came home At the end of July when he was eight weeks old. It was a sad/weird/exciting process, the decision to get another dog so soon after Heidi's death. We are "dog people" and our home without a dog felt really empty. Also, for a long time I wanted a puppy, one I could train to be a great trail companion (Heidi hated running, and other dogs), but decided I couldn't do that to Heidi-- she would have HATED a puppy. So the idea of a puppy had been planted for a bit, but we thought it would be years off as Heidi grew old with us. We also realized summer is a perfect time to raise a puppy, so we decided to go for it. It's been awesome and difficult. Raising a puppy isn't unlike raising a biting, walking infant human! But we love him so much, it was the right choice for us. He is crazy awesome. It will be a while before he is ready for long trail adventures, but we'll get there!

Riggins resting during a short hike on Denny Creek Trail at 11 weeks old.

A couple of weekends ago I went on my first, and sadly only, summer "running" adventure. I met up with two friends to tackle a section of the Wonderland Trail on Mt. Rainier. We went from the Fryingpan Creek Trailhead up to the Panhandle Gap and back down. I think it was 11-ish miles. There was actually very little running involved, which suited my out-of-shape body just fine. I got a sweet taste of what I love about running though: it takes me to places that are truly amazing while accompanied by wonderful people. It felt really good to be out there!

Outside of all of this summer has been okay. My daughters and I have gone camping and hiking a couple of times, and that went pretty well considering I'm not really a camper. It's been nice to find new adventures that aren't running and that also include my family. I've also been working all summer, which is the first time I have had to do that since I had kids. It's obviously nice to have the extra money, plus my job is hanging with my adorable niece, but it's tough to do everything I already have to do, then work on top of it. Some day my responsibilities will magically dwindle in number, yes?

Camping at Lake Wenatchee State Park was 80% awesome and 20% terrible.
This was part of the awesome.

So, that's about it. Feels weird to just type out 2+ very full/amazing/challenging months in a few short paragraphs, but there you have it.