For my last day of vacation, Buddy and I did a morning tour of Mt. Ascension trails. We started out at the Lime Kiln trail head, did Rocky Road, Prickly Pear, Archery Range, Entertainment, and 2006 trails. We were on the trail at 7 am since it was going to be a hot one and Buddy doesn't handle heat well. It was almost cold in the shade; my fingertips were white for the first hour, but Buddy was in heaven.
While on the trail, we had the pleasure of meeting Michelle, a local runner (this year's Don't Fence Me In 30k winner) and dog lover, whom Buddy has deemed lovely. He would have enjoyed running at her fast clip, but was satisfied just to be outside. We ran what we could, and hiked the rest. Buddy stayed on leash most of the time due to the frequent encounters with deer. I wanted to avoid the panic of waiting for him to return after his attempts to herd them all. Yes, it's happened more frequently than I like.
By the time we reached the top, it was getting hot for him. We attempted to find the connector to the Eddy McClure Trail, which I had planned to take back. Unfortunately, it was in full sun, and Buddy was already panting. For some reason, Buddy hates to drink water on the go. I've read this about herding dogs; they don't want to eat or drink until their job is done. It still makes me crazy as I worry about heatstroke. So, we descended down a shady trail back home.
We finished after about two hours, my longest workout in several weeks. I felt pretty good except for some shin cramping towards the end. I had only brought water, instead of my usual Heed, since Buddy was drinking from it too. I'll either need to bring Saltsticks next time or Buddy will have to get used to Heed!
The school year officially starts tomorrow for staff. I hadn't posted about this change before for reasons not necessary to disclose. My graduate studies were in school social work, but it was hard to find a position in Montana. This past spring, someone retired and I was hired as a Social Services Coordinator for the district. Which means a lot of good things including -
1) I can serve students that need assistance regardless of health insurance or diagnosis
2) I do not need to bill for services
3) I no longer have to do the absolutely ridiculous amount of Medicaid paperwork
4) #3 also means I don't have to worry about doing paperwork at night or on weekends
5) I am no longer on-call
6) I still get to be in the school working with awesome people
It also means I get school holidays and vacations. I consider this a crazy, wonderful perk of the job, but it was definitely NOT the reason I accepted the position. My husband and family are already wondering what I'll possibly do to keep busy next summer. I've got plans though, which include a lot of gardening, visiting family and running.
Since I missed an entire year of races due to this injury, I'm planning to use the winter to rebuild my base and then figure out a race schedule. I've got some ideas, how about you?