Amazing

I find it amazing that it has been four years since I retired. November 1, 2017, my last day at the telephone company, I drove my 1950 Jeep to and from work…just like I did on my first day there in November 1991.

And, it’s also amazing that 38 years have passed since my fiancee’s doctor recommended hospice. I remembered that by going out on long slow run run. Running and cooking were our “time together”. We studied together as well, but that was more of an individual effort because engineering and pre-med/micro-biology did not have a lot of common classes.

Equally amazing is how my definition of a long and slow run has changed since the early 1980s. Sigh…

Hobbies

We are continuing to pack things up so we can sell the house and move elsewhere….elsewhere being somewhere “not hot” and “not city”.

As the packing goes on, the number of hobbies I can do become more limited. But, something that will not be packed up (for many years, I hope) are my running shoes..so I still have my trail running.

When I got home from the run, my wife told me, “You’re soaked. You STINK! Go shower!”

I guess I did work up a bit of a sweat. 🙂

Cement Running Shoes

About three weeks ago I was carrying an 80 pound (35kg) bag of cement and did not notice the curb when I took a step.

My severely jolted ankle and knee immediately started throbbing and I had to stand still for awhile before I could continue my limp to the car. I waited a few days for the pain to subside and tried to run, but I only made it to the end of the street before my knee “told me” it was a bad idea.

I tried a couple more times spaced a week apart and each time my knee “complained”.

Yesterday I tried it and at the end of the street, my knee was feeling just fine, so I continued on for another 3 miles (5k) before turning around to return home.

It felt SO GOOD to run.

I’m now 60 years old and I know that at some point the years will ‘steal’ running from me. I will be sad when this happens and I will do everything I can to put it off for as many decades as possible. If I’m lucky, and careful, maybe I can be like Fauja Singh…completing marathons at age 100.

Things Did Work Out

Today, I was out running along the city parks’ running-walking-biking-riding trails. It felt good to be breathing hard and sweating a bit.

Around quarter after 9 am, I stopped for a few moments and thought about how much my life has changed, how far I’ve come in 37 years and how thankful I was that things did “work out”.

Halloween, 37 years ago, around 9am, my fiancée and I were brought into her doctor’s office. It wasn’t the exam room, but the doctor’s actual office. Around 9:15 in the morning, the doctor walks in, sits down and begins with, “I’m afraid I have only bad news.”

He was right. It was bad news. He told us that none of the available treatments had slowed her ovarian cancer and there was nothing left to try. He knew that my fiancée had completed her pre-med program and had been accepted to medical school, so they “talked technical” for a few minutes. He then went on to tell us that he felt it was time to consider hospice.

I remember her slowly nodding her head and me holding my breath until I felt like I was going to explode.

When my fiancée was in hospice, she kept making me promise that I would keep on living and also insisting that things would work out.

After thinking about “that day”, my thoughts returned to today and I thought about my wife of 31 years, our 22 year old daughter, our careers, our retirement and “life in general”.

My fiancée was right. Things did work out.

Running….

I ran 6 miles this morning.  At 7:30am, when I started, the temperature was already 96F degrees with 47% relative humidity.

When I finished, I needed only one word to describe the situation.  Like the character Ralphie in the movie Christmas Story, the word was not fudge.

 

Painting While Sick

I’m still feeling the effects of whatever has me in its grip; very sore, sometimes dizzy, coughing, runny (more like gushing) nose and no energy.  When I think I’m starting to feel better, I slide backwards.  It’s making me wonder if I’m a descendant of Sisyphus.

While painting, I can deal with the no energy, soreness and coughing–just slow down a bit and be careful how I reach for things.  The dizzy part is a bit more of a problem.  Dizzy and being atop a 24 foot extension ladder do not belong in the same thought unless the thought is concluded with “It’s not happening”.

Fortunately there is  work to done that doesn’t require me being on a ladder; cleaning, caulking, painting around windows and stuff like that.

It will be a bit out of order, but that is better than doing nothing at all.

So…slowly…I’m shuffling off to “work”.

What I would really LOVE to do is to go running….but when I breathe deep, I almost get tears….so, like ladders, no running.  For now.

Grrrr……

Yet Another Reason to Run

owl1

This morning, shortly after I finished running along my favorite trail, I just happened to look up into a nearby tree and I saw two owls….the bottom half of the second owl is in the upper left corner of the image.

I slowly walked away from where I was standing and I went home to collect the DSLR camera…all the cell phone camera image would have shown was a tree.

Obviously, the owls were still there when I returned.

I didn’t want to disturb them, so I brought my  43X spotting scope (equivalent to a 2100mm lens) with an adapter to attach it to my camera.

The lens arrangement makes the camera “manual everything” and the image is not as “clean” as a regular (expensive) lens would provide, but it’s good enough to show off what I was privileged to see this morning.

They were about 100 yards from the only picnic table at the trail head parking lot and I used the table to support my tripod, so I don’t think I unduly disturbed them.  Even so, I was being watched!

250 yards (230 meters) away is a very busy divided highway with three lanes each way and a 65mph/100kph speed limit.  The passing motorists, hidden away in their cars, likely had no idea of what they were missing.

Intervals

Today I ran some intervals.  Intervals are good, but I only do them once every week or 10 days…..any more than that and it would become a perfect example of too much of a good thing is bad.

If you’re familiar with interval training and the heart rate zones, the chart of the workout I did today should tell the story.

zones

Minutes spent in the standard 90-80-70-60-50 heart rate zones

 

If you’re not familiar with intervals and heart rate zones, interval workouts involve alternating periods of “hard” and “not quite as hard” exercise, and the zones have to do with the intensity of the exercise.   Exercising with a heart rate  in zone 1 is “nothing”, exercising in zone 2 is “easy”, exercising in zone 3 is “getting harder”, exercising in zone 4 is “quite an effort” and exercising in zone 5 is “In the next minute or two, I’ll have to choose between slowing down and falling down”.

 

I do this…just because….. 🙂

 

Strep Throat

Soon after I got back from my deployment, I ended up with strep throat.  It seems I can’t fly without getting at least a common cold.   Anyway, a trip to the urgent care facility confirmed I had strep throat and I was prescribed some antibiotics.

I’m finally starting to feel better.  It was hard to sleep for several nights and I’m still tired.  At least I no longer have the “I must have cleaned my throat with an acid soaked wire brush” feeling.

I hope that tomorrow I will feel well enough to go running.  I sure do miss my running.