Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Marathon Training (aka What the Heck Am I Thinking?)

I’ve always admired runners. Real runners, the ones that gallop along covering mile after mile with spines erect and toned arms pumping. Those sleek gazelles, muscles contracting then stretching out in a ballet of mechanics, making the effort look almost…well… effortless. My husband is one of those gazelles and he has a multitude of friends just like him who think nothing about going out for a quick 20 miler….up the mountain…in the snow (and if you think I’m exaggerating, just check out his blog http://www.fishbikerun.blogspot.com/).

I have to admit, I have always enjoyed hanging out with these superhumans. They have this camaraderie, this connection, that’s infectious and yea, ok, I have secretly hoped that by just hanging out with them maybe some of their athletic prowess would seep into me, like osmosis. But, alas, to no avail. They’ve always been more than willing to include me in their after-run breakfasts, the after-race BBQ’s, or the night-before-the-marathon carbo loads. Unfortunately, they could then go off and burn 600 calories by sneezing while I’m left holding the caloric bag (or saddlebags, to be exact).

So, with summer coming and a desire to squeeze into a bikini at least once more before things start sagging so low I’d need a crane to get them back into place, I have decided to really get serious about exercising. Wow, you might think, you are so lucky to have access to all of these athletes and all of that knowledge but you, I will point out, are forgetting one simple fact. They are not mortal! What is a warm-up to them would land me in the hospital. I waddle, they fly. I jiggle, they stride. I wheeze and hack, they breeze and whack…palms together in a high five after completing that 50 mile trail run and then head off to get pizza and a beer. Do you see my dilemma?

Erik's Exercise Log I’m sure you can then understand that it was with some trepidation that I mentioned to Erik, after he told me that he was planning to run the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, that I might, and I stress, might, want to run the half-marathon. Having been married to me for awhile, unfortunately he has become wise to my ways and knows of my aversion to any sort of athletic endeavor, and the first thing he said was, “You know you’re going to have to train…and that means running”. Hrrmph! But, once he was sure I wasn’t drunk and just spouting off, he actually got excited and came up with a training program for me. Gulp!

So, here I am, on the brink of becoming a member of a group I’ve so long admired…a runner. Ok, wait, let’s not get carried away. More, like, a jogger. Yea, a jogger. I can embrace that for now. And I’m happy to report I made it through 2 days of Erik’s training program….and I didn’t die, or cramp up, or collapse on the trail. My dogs did wonder what new game this was as I tentatively strugg…I mean, strode, down the trail, but, heck, I was doing it and I believe there was even a slight breeze in my hair and a trickle of sweat on my brow. Now, I certainly won’t be high-fiving anyone anytime soon and I do still have 10 weeks and 5 days of his torture training left to go but I will cautiously admit that my first tentative foray into this scary new world was, dare I say….fun?

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day Of Spring

Spring is definitely springing here in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas. The weathermen are threatening more snow but I'm going to my happy place and will believe these 70 degree days aren't going to budge. All the local stores have started putting out their hardy annuals, varieties of bagged mulch and soil amendments and I have to admit I'm like a crack addict when it comes to that first sniff of rich, dark dirt. I want to grab my trowel and start digging! I knew I was in trouble when I caught myself with my nose pressed up against the glass of the local garden center wondering if I could possibly keep a hybrid tea rose alive in our rolling tin can that we now call home.

Ah, how I miss my garden right now! I'm certainly having a great time on the road but there is a piece of my heart left behind in the dirt of Missoula. I wonder if my crocus are up or if the tulips have started making an appearance, and if my little magnolia made it through this tough winter. So, to my gardening friends in Missoula, wish I was there to plot, plan, weed and turn that soil with you and please plant a pepper for me!


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