Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good to be Home

it's good to be home.  really, really good.  and after 8 1/2 hours in the car yesterday i was ready for a run today.  the weather, however, did not cooperate.  i ended up running for about 3 1/2 hours in a downpour with thunder and lightening, but my spirit could not be broken.  i'm home.

i missed Salt Lake so much while i was up in Gillette, WY for the last two months.  i got some good runs in about an hour away from town, but for the most part i spent most of my days wondering what the heck i had gotten myself into and wishing i could just be home.  it's not to say that i didn't run into some really nice people in Gillette, but the more time i spent there the more i realized that over half of the population of Gillette is comprised of people who have moved there for work because work cannot be found in their own home towns.  a lot of those people really just want to be at home like i did.  in the last week that i was there i had several people ask me, "so, how do you like Gillette?"  and honestly i couldn't hold back anymore.  i flat-out told them that i was moving home in "x" number of days and glad about it.

the drive yesterday was not an easy one.  about 5 hours into the drive i decided that i should probably let the dogs out because we hadn't even gone on our morning walk because i was so anxious to get the heck out of Dodge.  so i pulled off on a county road and let the dogs do their business.  i told them, "you'd better not get yourselves into any rattlesnakes."  and just as i said it i saw a dead rattlesnake in the middle of the dirt road.  i looked up to see Artemis sniffing at another snake in the road and i yelled at her, "NO!"  she looked dejectedly back at me and i realized that that snake was also dead.  "let's get outta here," i said to the dogs.  and after our 5 minute break we were back on the road.

it was fairly windy across Central Wyoming, but not too bad for the first few hours as we were headed in a southwesterly direction.  when we hit Rawlins and I-80, however, things changed.  headed due west, the headwind was so bad that when i looked at my gas gauge it read 22 miles per gallon.  granted, the car was loaded to the hilt and there's a box on top, but i usually get between 26 and 28 miles per gallon.

and the traffic ~ sheesh!  tons of cars and trucks on the freeway all the way from Rawlins to Salt Lake. several trucks thought that they were fast enough on the downhills to get in the left lane and pass slower-moving trucks, only to realize that when they were headed uphill against the stiff headwind they could only manage between 50 and 60 miles per hour.

i stopped at Little America to let the dogs out again (after getting a triple latte at the Starbucks in Rock Springs, which i'm certain saved my life if not at least my sanity).  the wind nearly knocked me over as i got out of the car.  it brought to mind traveling with my brother in his old VW bus years ago... when he opened the door to get out at the gas station and fill 'er up, the door was ripped out of his hand and his glasses were blown straight off of his face... his glasses went skittering across the pavement as he chased them, bent over at the waist, trying to catch up with them (he eventually succeeded).

as we drove the canyon from Wanship west to Park City, my anticipation of seeing the Wasatch Mountains grew.  popping out of the canyon i got my first glimpse ~ Deer Valley Resort still had snow on the ski runs, and the snow stretched all the way across to the Olympic Park.  i got tears in my eyes knowing that i was home and would soon be spending time in my home mountain range (but only if the snow decides to melt this summer!).

last night i stopped by a friend's house after picking up some mail at the PO Box at the Post Office in Sugarhouse.  we sat on the couch and chatted about running and biking and endurance stuff.  and it felt so good.  good to be home, around people who "get" me and people who have similar interests to mine and a similar outlook on life.

i spent most of my 18-mile run on the roads today, running in a deluge and flinching at the thunder and lightening.  and honestly, it was wonderful.  it's so good to be home.  you know you are having a good run when every song that comes on your play list, you think, "oh!  this is my favorite!" and just want to run forever and ever...

Dr Artemis offered to stay on and see patients in Gillette, but i told her i would miss her too much.
it's good to be home.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finishing up... and moving forward.

i'm about to finish up my first week of training under the advice of my coach, and i gotta tell ya, i feel pretty good.  i'm starting to feel like maybe training doesn't always have to be so difficult and that maybe last summer i was "overtrained" and pushing too much all the time, trying to get a lot of hard miles.  on the other hand, maybe it's because i'm still running around town here in Gillette and in the Black Hills and the miles here are easier.  we'll see what things are like once i'm back to the Wasatch.

but the Wasatch Mountains are still covered in snow.  friends are sharing photos of ski touring (still... ) and local races have had to change their courses because the snow level looks to be still around 7,000 feet, and lower than that in the north-facing aspects.

i'm going into my last week of work here in Gillette, WY, and i'm so happy to be going home.  looking at race photos of the Wasatch foothills green and blooming with mule's ears (flowers) makes me so homesick, you don't even know.  i'll be back for a week of running in my local hills, then going over to my other homeland, Bavaria, Germany, for two weeks.

i have some good runs planned for Germany and am so excited to see family and friends.  our neighbor in Germany assures us that we will need to spend some time cleaning up the yard as well (he's pretty much a master gardener, which makes our yard look pretty plain and un-kept) and we'll have a bit of work to do in the house as well, cleaning out old belongings of my dad's and donating clothes to charity.

i'm going to miss my fluffy-dog running partners while i'm in Germany ~ yesterday we did a 15 mile loop in the Black Hills and last weekend we did a spectacular 14 mile run near Sundance, WY.  photos today are from those two runs.
loops on the upper trail of Dugout Gulch meant we hit this refreshing waterhole three times ~ the dogs were happy about that!