Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, January 8, 2016

You really DO get more with honey than vinegar!

Last week, we did a little shopping online and on Wednesday, everything showed up.  As I went through the 3 packages, I quickly realized that something was amiss with the REI package.  What we ordered?  A birthday present (so not revealing!) and a couple of other things.  What we got?  Not what we ordered.  Bummer.

I called the REI customer service number first thing this morning and got a personable and helpful person to help me.  Through our conversation, I realized it might be easier for me to return the wrong items to the local REI that’s on my way home from work.  The customer service representative also checked the store inventory and confirmed our items were in stock.  Win!  Furthermore, she let me know that she was sending me a $10.00 REI gift card for my troubles.  Win X 2!!

A quick stop at REI on my way home today, I kept my fingers crossed that all would go smoothly.  It did!  The cashier apologized for the mistake and went out of her way to make things right.  I walked out of the store with exactly what we wanted and in plenty of time for that person’s birthday.  Win X 3!!!

I’m not perfect and certainly don’t always handle things perfectly, but I’m so glad I didn’t go into this with any curt attitude.  Everyone makes mistakes…even REI.  Solid proof that you do get more with honey than vinegar…including some fancy new VT Darn Tough Socks!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sounds of Silence

Our first measurable snow fell recently and quickly became a glazed sheet of ice.  Though pretty, it sure is a challenge to walk on it.  As I wrote about here, I was able to benefit from placing screws in my shoes to successfully navigate 50K worth of trails last week.  Bella, on the other hand, doesn’t have that option.  So the icy covering is really a challenge for managing her basic need of going to the bathroom.  She slips and slides and has quickly snubbed any idea of venturing out into the backyard as she normally would. 

Plan B....

This means I’m taking her for more frequent, formal walks down the street….morning and night.  At first, it’s a pain to get us both dressed at 9:30+ at night, but it’s also the most quiet time of the day.  The sky is crystal clear, showing off its brilliance in stars. The cold air and snow combines to create a "muffled" sensation, where it sounds like….nothing.  Not a peep.  It's peaceful.  

I'm kinda diggin' it.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Accidental Ultra

Moe, Melissa, and me pre-run
A week or so ago, Melissa mentioned she was running the GAC Fat Ass 50K.  I’ve had my eye on this local trail race for a few years, but weather, injury, or just timing always prevailed.  I responded that I was interested, but would likely run 3 loops of 6.2 miles each.  Melissa planned on running the full 5 loops (50K) but seemed happy for the company for however many loops I had in me.  Sure, count me in for a few!  

The icy, crunchy snow was tough, but was quickly trampled by runners.  The sun was super bright and so, even with the cold temperatures, it melted some of the snow and ice accordingly.  Enter mud!  Scott drilled some screws into my running shoes and I think that really helped today.  I never fell and never really even slid.  Melissa and Moe (a good friend of hers, who I also know from working together twenty years ago – small world!) slid and/or fell.  Fortunately, no one seemed too bruised or battered.  But a fall is a fall and generally disarms you for a little bit.  I am happy to report ZERO falls for the day.  Win!

Drilled screws work!!
As each loop passed, I continued to feel good.  I resorted back to my trusted jelly sandwiches that worked so well in other ultras, enjoyed some potato-ish soup and other various goodies at the aid station.  And oh my God, that aid station.  It was jam packed with food!!  A couple of caramel GUs (because c’mon, they’re awesome) and a couple of salt tabs, washed down with some Coke and later, ginger ale provided the perfect diet.  I felt fueled and mentally OK.  So I kept going.

Somewhere during loop #4, I knew I was going to keep going for the full 5 loops.  My legs felt the miles, the hills, and the traction-less trail, but the weather cooperated and I was having fun.  So why not!  We finished at 6:26 and toasted some chicken soup to our accomplishment.

Now you understand the title, “Accidental Ultra”.  While I knew there was a good chance Melissa would make me do all 5 loops I’d want to see what I had today and try to complete the full course, I also wanted to make sure I stayed injury-free and healthy.  My legs will scream at me later, but mentally, this was a huge boost for me to tackle this distance today.   I feel so happy and grateful to be able to physically and mentally jump in like I did today.  The Fat Ass mentally definitely helped, with its no-pressure, run what you want, bring food as your entry fee, right in my back yard, and all around great all keeps me coming back for more.   

My 2016 is starting off on a good foot (screws and all)!

Chicken soup toast....CHEERS!