Sunday, October 26, 2008


Although not catastrophic, my move from Kalispell was a significant personal change. I feel as though I've been viewing myself from afar for several weeks. I was in between worlds, one foot in each place, not ready to make the final leap. As a social worker, I could see myself moving through the stages of grief, incapable, or possibly uninterested, in changing the course of events or my reaction to them. Then, one day last week, I realized that I'd quite suddenly reached acceptance. I'm sure I'll continue to have a faint sense of loss, but there are many good things about my life.

1) Re-connecting with my husband - Despite the physical distance between us for so long, it never really negatively impacted us, but it sure is nice to see him walk through the door often, prepare meals together, have bagels and coffee while reading the Sunday paper, or just sharing the events of our days. Such simple things, but great things.

2) The trails - a whole lot of miles of them for me to lose myself. Best of all, they provide respite on the windy days. A brief set-back after a major toe against cast iron end table incident. It's slowly recovering and I'm running again.

3) Working in a high school again - I grew up with my father as teacher, coach, principal and my mom as our school chef. Our life was based on school seasons and bulletin boards, cleaning beakers, moving desks, serving food for basketball games, etc. I love every aspect of being part of that setting again, even in the role of therapist (minus the fee for service program, billable hours and paperwork) and am so thrilled to be in a place where teachers take an alternative approach and WANT the kids to be there. Plus, I have an office with red walls and student artwork - how crazy good is that?

4) New and old friends - So thankful Rebecca moved here before me. Her presence has helped in more ways than she'll ever know. Also thankful for the visit from Bernie and Diane. As Bernie said, anticipation for an event can sometimes outweigh the actual event - but not so for that evening. The hours of conversation and laughter with two people I truly admire was exactly what I needed.

5)Family - My niece turning one year old. The intuition and support from my parents. It just amazes me that they just KNOW, from miles away, nuances of how I'm feeling.

6) Health - The Milk Dud crisis has passed. You know you're in a funk when an entire carton (the big movie theatre kind) is emptied on an almost daily basis. I've now moved on to real food once again. My body thanks me.

I'm hoping to figure out the next phase of running soon. My first plan is to find an ART chiropractor to help work out some kinks from a major summer of adventure. Second, I think there's a Fat Ass 50k in my future. Third, this winter I'm going to try some snow shoeing and cross country skiing. We'll see what happens...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday morning, I got up to assist Rebecca with her 5k to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. Steve was supposed to help out too, but unfortunately, he was the recipient of a nasty virus and stayed in bed with fever, body aches and headache. Despite the snow, cold and blustery wind, nine brave souls showed up to support the cause. The YMCA was nice enough to provide a cozy room for pre-race instructions and the post-race awards. Please visit Rebecca's Team in Training site if you'd like to contribute.

Race director showing off fancy technology

Sunday, I woke up to snow and felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I downed some food, dressed in warm layers and my Gore-Tex Salomons, put the truck in 4-wheel drive, and headed to the trails. No one had touched the snow yet, so I blissfully made the first tracks through several inches of new powder. It was tough going, but SO MUCH FUN! Most of the trails were runnable, but it was hard to tell where the trail was in areas, so glad I chose a familiar one. I slid hard on a couple switchbacks, but the pillow of snow protected my bottom. The return trip was cold on the face due to the windchill, one of the things I've got to get used to again. The following are pictures from my adventure. They are fairly dark due to the snowfall. The last picture is of me covered in ice.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Am I ready for this?

"A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the southern half of Montana including Helena and Great Falls through the weekend until Sunday. A major winter storm and below average temperatures will impact the state for the duration of the weekend with the potential for a significant accumulation and slick roads with the full on winter conditions. Saturday, snow on and off and heavy at times especially in the mountains. Highs only in the 20's to around 30. Snow will come to an end Saturday night into Sunday. Total accumulations will range from 2"-8" in the lower elevations, and possibly more than 2 feet in the mountains. Sunday, slow clearing and windy, highs around 40. "

I hope the weather cooperates for everyone traveling to Hungry Horse to run Le Grizz...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Learning to run uphill

Today was my second week joining the local club for a short trail run. I can't say enough positives about this group. Many of the runners are veterans of ultra distance and would kick my butt on any day. It doesn't seem to matter because they always wait at various points along the trail to make sure no one is left behind. How great is that?

After the first run, it was very obvious that I don't have much experience RUNNING uphill. Partly I've been too lazy, but also there wasn't regular access to these kind of trails where I used to live. But, I'm trying and I'm determined to get better. The main concern is my heart rate. Once I start heading uphill, it sky rockets. My goal tonight was to keep the last runners in the group in sight, and just focus on doing the best I could. It was a blast. The trails were new to me and the views were beautiful. Plus, once we got going, I completely forgot about the crazy wind.

Another change is that this group is made up mostly of men. I'm used to running primarily with women. It's not a negative at all, just different. I very much appreciated the encouragement from the group, especially Martin coming back down to run with me up the last bit of uphill!
I also got to enjoy some local history facts regarding some of the trails from the only other woman running tonight. Several members of the group are running Le Grizz this weekend, so am wishing them luck and good weather!

The following pictures were taken this past weekend. After running 10 miles with Rebecca on Saturday, Steve and I did some hiking to check out the fall colors. The sun wasn't cooperating with me, so the pictures don't quite capture the scenery, but I'm posting them anyway.

View of a lone biker on the trail across the gulch.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. We're helping Rebecca put on a 5k to raise money for Team in Training Saturday morning and then off to Bozeman for some much needed shopping!