It is so nice to be back running again. It's been a long year with injury after injury since my ankle ligament surgery in December 2005. Other than Uncle Joe's 50k in September, I haven't run any ultras this year. I recovered from the ankle surgery just fine, but every time I increased my mileage a bit, I thought I could increase it a LOT. I forgot the advice "enjoy in moderation." Finally, things are coming around. Last week I ran a 15.5 mile hilly run at an 8:15 pace, followed by 3 miles the next day and 9 the next. Finally, I felt I had graduated to running with my husband and friends again! In fact, they were the slow ones!
Since I had time off work this week like most other people, I had some time to put in some miles. BUT I had to remember to restrain myself. And I did. And it went well. I ran 4 miles Thursday, 18 slow miles on Friday, and then I made myself take Saturday off. Today, I ran another 10+ with David and Dennis and Steely. I feel fine tonight! The ankle always lets me know it's not 100% after I run, but a little icing always cures the grumbling.
Today was cold, cold, cold! We've been lucky with the warm weather so far, but the wind picked up and the snow started and stuck to the ground. My hands froze during our run, as usual in the cold. Still, I couldn't complain. I am back in the running and am so grateful for it.
David and I put up our Christmas tree and wreaths and did a little decorating. Not much; we're simplistic.
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!