Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Old Friend

Sometimes we meet up with an old friend after years apart and it seems like we haven't missed a beat. We are able to understand immediately what the other is trying to articulate. The conversation flows like we just talked the day before. We experience a level of comfort that is hard to find elsewhere. Just because we may have lost touch, haven't seen each other in a very long time doesn't mean our connection is any less. There is a mutual understanding that we both have missed the other and have never forgotten but other things have gotten in the way. Neither of us judges the other for the time away, instead we just pick up right where we left off. Sure, there have been changes over time but the fundamentals that drew you together in the first place are still deeply routed.

This past week I reacquainted myself with an old flame. It had been 17 years since I had strapped a pair of boards to my feet and pointed them down a hill. The boards have morphed a bit, my body has aged but like old dance partners our timing was in tune. I admit I was slightly nervous, wondering if we would jive like we had years ago. As soon as I clicked my boots into my bindings all nerves disappeared and I was right back to where I had left off. I had decided ahead of time to take it easy and slowly regain familiarity but I quickly discovered that was unnecessary as hours of muscle memory came flying back into my body. I was making turns and gaining speed and grinning from ear to ear. Yes, it had been a long time but old friends click right back into place.

"AH, how good it feels. The hand of an old friend."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winter Lessons

It's been a long time since I've lived in real winter. My friends in Southern California think that they have started winter, I think it rained:0 I may have forgotten a few things about living in snow, but mother nature is making sure to provide me learning experiences. Here are a few lessons that I have survived.

1) Leaving your wet bathing suit and towel in the car to dry doesn't work. You will have a frozen suit and towel. Think it's cold getting in the water, try doing it in a suit with ice on it!

2) Your favorite jeans become the ones that you can fit a bulky base layer underneath. One good thing, come spring I'll look like I lost inches without doing anything!

3) That 'winter' jacket you own, is now a base layer. It is also your pajama top.

4) You don't blow dry your hair for looks, it is functional. Wet hair become icicles and I have discovered wearing ice on your head does in fact drop your body temperature.

5) Wool is awesome. Wool base layer, wool socks, wool hats- those sheep are on to something. Even wet wool keeps you somewhat warm. An old wool sock over your water bottle helps keep the water from freezing while you are skiing. Wool isn't as itchy as it was when I was a kid either. Just another thing that my grandparents knew, they always had wool socks.

6) Snow dogs are made for the snow. Tana will sit out in the snow bank for hours watching squirrels. That one should have been obvious, being that she's called a snow dog.

7) If you are going to live in winter, embrace it. That means, getting outside and enjoying it. Which in turn means that the equation of how many bikes is enough,  N (being the number you own) +1, also applies to skis.

8) The weather is real, you need to know what is happening if you are going to plan or do anything. Mother nature may have other plans for you. AND, wind chill can make a difference.

9) When the sun shines on freshly fallen snow and the trails are in perfect condition for a ski, winter makes you forget that summer exists.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let it Snow

For the first time in years I am looking out the window at a dusting of snow on the ground. I am very excited to be spending some winter time in the mountains. I can't wait to strap some boards to my feet and explore, but there isn't quite enough snow for that yet. I am not the only one loving this change in climate. My snow dog has finally discovered that she actually does in fact love snow. She wants to just sit out in it and watch the squirrels in the trees. While I have grown accustomed to perpetual summer, I am looking forward to winter. They say that the grass isn't always greener but the snow sure is whiter:)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Girls Best Friend

My little buddy is 12 years old now. I am grateful everyday that I get to wake up and see her little face looking at me, dog breath and all. We've had many great adventures together and I hope for many more.

'Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend, never owned a dog'. 

"my goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already believes me to be"

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lessons from 100 miles

Training for and running my first 100 mile race I learned many life lessons. It is amazing how similar doing a race of 100 miles on foot is to the race of life. Along the way there are choices to be made, mistakes made and many learning opportunities. There is no right or wrong way to do 100 miles or life, we all must choose our own approach. It has been quite awhile since I have posted but I have been reflecting on all the things that I realized along the way.

During a 100 mile race all competitors are on the same set race course but none of us are having the same race. The same in life. We may look like we are on the same path but each of us experiences it differently. In this regard, attitude carries you way further than your feet ever will. Approaching an obstacle or a difficult situation as a learning experience and new adventure makes it a much more pleasant experience.

None of us can go it alone all of the time. There were many times during the race that I relied on my crew and pacers to help me through. Without them I'm sure I'd still be out there. It is not a sign of weakness to accept that at times you might need help. I trusted my guys 100% to get me to the finish line and they put so much energy into helping me reach my goal. I can only hope that in the future I will be able to do the same for them.

Along the way, I would run with some people for a while and then they wouldn't be there anymore and I'd be running with others around me. Often times the same people would come and go at various times throughout the event. The same happens in life, people drift into and out of our lives at various times. Enjoy them while they are there and know all of us are floating on different currents which will at times converge again.

I was lucky in my 100 mile race that I had assembled a fantastic group around me. I had great training mentors, my crew was top notch and I had the best pacers a girl could ask for. It made it so much easier to have so much positive energy and great people on my side. The people we choose to have in our daily lives have the same effect. Surround yourself with loving, positive, and energetic people that you care about and life is good. We all get to choose who is on this voyage with us, choose wisely.

It isn't always easy when you are running 100 miles. There are lots of times when it is downright hard and you feel horrible. Really low crappy parts. Those times can happen in life too, but you know what, they pass in the race and they will pass in life.

Having a plan is a good idea for nutrition and pacing and clothing. Being flexible on your plan is even better. Things come up that we can't anticipate and we need to adapt. Sure you can plan out your life, but what if a great opportunity presents itself that doesn't go with the plan? Are you willing to give it up to stick to the 'plan'? Not all plans work out, sometimes we need to be able to adjust our plan on the fly. If you can do this in a 100 miler you will have a race that you didn't even think was plausible, if you can do it in life you will have a full life.

We have no idea what another persons journey is about. There were people doing the 100 mile race that had to drop at various parts of the event. They were fighting with injury or the inability to train effectively due to time constraints. Whatever reasons that they didn't make it all the way, they all were courageous enough to toe the line. I know a few people who made it to the 50 mile mark and called it a day, they are heroes to me. They knew going in that they were going to have a difficult time of it, but they went out there and they did what most people couldn't do without injury. Everyone out on that course was fighting some demon of their own. We never know by looking at someone what monsters they are battling, show them kindness, life is not easy and getting out there an living it everyday takes bravery.

No matter how much support you have, how many people are around you and how busy the path you are on is, it all comes down to you. You have to make the choices to guide your life in the correct direction, you  are the one steering the ship and if you can enjoy the journey you will arrive at the destination in peace. We all end up at the proverbial finish line, some of us just earlier than others. Let us hope that when we get there we can all celebrate a life well run:)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Goodbye Leadville

At the beginning of the summer if you would have told me how difficult it would be to leave Leadville, I would have shaken my head. At the time I had no idea how the mountains would change me. Tana and I had an amazing summer there and we were both sad to leave. There are so many things I am going to miss from being there. The number one is the views that I was treated to each and everyday. No matter what direction I looked the scenery was soul filling. Morning walks with the dog won't quite be the same. There was no better way to start the day than gazing at the mountains. Until we meet again, thanks for the awesome summer! 

Morning walk
2013 Leadwomen

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mile of Tears

Running 100 miles gives you lots of time to think about your journey. I was overwhelmed with the support I received in reaching for the goal of Leadwoman. Throughout the day, the night and into the day again I couldn't believe how many people were pulling for me. I had 4 guys who came here to crew and pace me. I don't know what I did to deserve so many wonderful people in my life but I am grateful daily. I was able to hold it together emotionally until the last mile. All the thoughts of well wishes and the cheers from the sideline spectators brought me to tears and they didn't stop flowing. I've lost it emotionally at a finish line before (in 2010 I cried all the way down the hill to the finish in the bike race) but this was different. I felt such an huge wave of love and support from all my friends and family far and wide. I set out to do something that was well out of my comfort zone. Something completely unknown and scary and I made it to the finish. I savored all the cheers and was so happy to have earned the title of leadwoman. That last mile I shed some tears of joy, of exhaustion but none of pain. I I didn't leave my soul on the course, my soul expanded by each and every race and experience in this series. Of the all the miles I covered the mile of tears will always be with me. Thank you to everyone who made my dream a reality. 

Coming into the finish with one of my awesome pacer (mules). 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

One Year Ago

Last year during the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike ride my friend Chris was on Powerline inbound watching the riders. She kept sending me pictures of all the riders and spectators out on the course. It made me feel homesick, for a place I had never lived but had left my heart. We decided that day we were going to attempt to become Leadwomen. For a year now we have been on the journey together. This weekend we undertake the final event. No matter what happens at the end of this journey you can't take away the amazing experiences we have had along the way. 

After the 100 mile bike ride last weekend, we got to run a 10k. It seemed only fitting that we finish it up together and spend some time reflecting on the journey. We have now done 4 of the 5 events and it has been incredible each step and pedal stroke of the way. Thank you Chris for embarking on this insane voyage with me. I wouldn't have wanted any other travel partner:)

Yes, we always are having fun:)

One more buckle for us to nab!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Miracles Happen

The Silver Rush 50 mountain bike was an explosion of awesome. Gorgeous scenery in every direction, and explosion of wildflowers and flowing streams. Maybe the week I spent off my ankle recuperating made me appreciate the outdoor beauty all the more. I found the mountains breath taking, could also have been the altitude. My ankle held up and I crossed the finish line in race 2 of the 5 race Leadman series.  I had such an amazing day out there. The night before the race the universe sent me a message on my tea bag. It said 'when the mind is backed by will, miracles happen'. It was a miraculous day:)

Thanks to everyone who got me to the start and finish lines. Believe in miracles:)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trust and Fall Back

You know that team building game where you stand with your arms crossed and your eyes closed and fall backwards? The one where you are suppose to trust that the people standing below you will attempt to catch you and are strong enough to not drop you. I'm playing that game this Saturday when I line up for the Silver Rush 50 mile mountain bike. My ankle is improving, I can walk without a limp, the swelling has come down and with a bit of tape I have pedaled a bike. I loosened the cleat so that I can easily unclip on that side. (note to self, try substituting a few choice words for that F one now so you don't get disqualified when they hear you cursing on course). Saturday morning I will close my eyes, cross my arms and trust that the fitness I am falling back on will catch me and carry me to the finish line in under the 8 hour cutoff. 

"All the world is made of faith, and trust and pixie dust."- Peter Pan
This little piggy went to market, yes I realize that putting polish on this foot is about equivalent to applying lipstick to a pig- but my mother was appalled by the condition of my toenails. 
Bring on the pixie dust!

Monday, July 8, 2013

We Are Family

One of the greatest things about my experience in 2010 riding the LT 100 was all the fantastic like minded people that I met. I was sure that if I came back and did the ride I would be disappointed after such an amazing experience. Well, magnify that by 282.4 (the number of miles I need to cover to be a Leadwoman). The fellow Leadman competitors that I have had the privilege to meet and get to spend time with are all great people. 

We have only done one race so far but the camaraderie out on the course was immeasurable.  Sure we are all here for ourselves and our own goals but we all want each other to be successful as well. Everyone out there is there for a personal reason but that doesn't mean that we have forgotten how to by caring empathetic human beings. During the marathon I was relieved to see and hear that each of my Leadman friends were doing well. I wasn't able to rest easy until we were all across the finish line safe and sound. 

There are lots of athletes around but the Leadmen are a special group. We don't just get to run or bike, we are doing both. We need the fitness to do the 100 miles on a bike and turn around one week later and do 100 miles on the run. Our training is different than a single sport athlete. Things we do seem crazy to even people who are crazy enough to run 100 miles above 10,000ft. It is great when we can coordinate some group training and I have been fortunate to do it several times.

First trip up Hope Pass with Fellow Leadmen Chris and Swamp

Night run after the marathon with Pitbull and Swamp

Hammer fest on the 100 course with Catherine and Pitbull

There isn't much time for socializing and just hanging out when you are training for Leadman (unless you are Co Scotsman who does the majority of his training in the coffee shop) so most of our socializing is done on the trail. 

"You discover more about a person in a hour of play than in a year of conversation'. 

On Saturday while I was out training on the 100 mile run course, this happened to my ankle

 Not exactly what you want your ankle to look like a week out from a 50 mile Mt bike race. Peoples actions speak volumes above words. Yesterday I had 5 different Leadman competitors drop by to help me with walking the dog, visiting me, brining me ankle braces, dropping off ibuprofen, offering to get groceries for me, providing me words of wisdom and just checking up on me and keeping me company while I convalesced. I feel very blessed to be part of this group of people. We are not competitors we are family and although we all have individual goals, we are all in this together. Thanks for being in my Leadman family to Chris, Andy, Catherine, Willie and Stephen. I hope our family keeps growing and on August 18th we are having a big family reunion at the finish line! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Braxton Hicks Marathon

The Leadville Trail marathon was the first race of five in the journey to becoming a Leadwoman. It was a spectacular course with amazing scenery. Everything looks sharper when you have limited oxygen reaching your brain. With the stunning views came lots of climbing and descending. I didn't take a camera with me so I don't have pictures of the actual day. I was cruising along enjoying myself. Around mile 20 Mother Nature had enough of my moseying and decided to cattle prod me. I was on an exposed single track on top of a mountain when lightening struck. I heeded the warning and sprinted off the mountain. Prior to actually going into labor women begin to experience practice contractions. This race was my Braxton Hicks marathon. The real work is still to come and I am no where near ready to push yet. One down, four to go.

on race course prior to race, this is close to the lightening strike location
so many wildflowers on the course

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Labor Begins

Tomorrow it all begins. The first race in the series that will make me a Leadwoman. Lots of people have been asking for my plan. Truthfully, I think having a plan right now is about as useful as most womens birth plans. The  races will unfold as they unfold and I will have to adapt. Not saying that I am winging it and haven't been to any prenatal classes or anything. No, I know what I want to happen but in reality I just want to have a healthy happy Leadwoman at the end of all of this. That is the main objective and whatever it takes to get there I am willing to do. 

The excitement is building, the anticipation of what is to come in the next seven weeks. I know it is going to be painful, but before I have experienced it, I really don't know how painful. I know that there are no epidurals available to aid in delivering me to the final finish line. Therefore, I have spent the last months becoming comfortable with uncomfortable. I am going to be gasping for air, my legs and lungs are going to be burning, that is a given. How I am able to deal with it is the unknown. 

Yes tomorrow it officially begins but I have been in gestation since last August when I decided to embark on the adventure. Even though the marathon is just the first of 5 races, I am going to be celebrating getting to the start line healthy and happy. Still loving the training and preparation. It is a gorgeous course and I plan to soak up the scenery and fill my well with happiness all day. I need that well to be overflowing come the big races in August.

sometime tomorrow I'll be on my way up that road to the top of Mosquito pass and the turn around point. 

there was another new beginning recently up on the marathon course

view from the course

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Squat Messenger

I have been doing a fair bit of my training alone on the trails. I have maps, I tell someone where I am going and when I will be done. Still, people worried about me. The Todd being on the injured reserve list felt that I would benefit from use of his Spot Messenger in case I need to be rescued. Little does he know (well, he'll know now) I have a built in system to bring someone onto the trail with me. I have been having trouble getting the Spot to send messages when I want it to, but my Squat system works perfectly every time.

Squat system you say, how do I get myself one? Well, they don't have it at REI! Let me give you an example of how it works. I am riding along the trail. Haven't seen a soul all day. I have the increasing urge to pee. I stop the bike. Hang my pack and clothes off the bike that is leaned up on a tree. I usually ride in bib shorts so this means taking off my jersey and my outer layers. I then proceed off the trail into the bushes. Sure enough, I pull down the shorts and am mid stream when someone appears. The first time my Squat tracker worked I heard a truck approaching. I hadn't seen anyone in hours and now a truck is coming up the dirt road. Of course, I can't stop now, I've been holding it too long already. The truck slows when it sees my trail side garage sale going on. The driver looks over to me and it is none less than the founder of the Leadville Races Ken Chlouber. I give a casual wave from my squat position and he moves on. 

This is not a one time phenomenon, it has happened repeatedly. I'll check to make sure there is no one in sight. Haven't seen anyone in ages. Seems safe to go, so I proceed to commence the routine. Sure enough, I met my new friend and fellow Leadman Andy( )right after I pulled up my shorts. He came running around the corner. Yesterday, I was out on a long run. Hadn't seen a soul on the trail all day. Had to pee, thought to myself just before I did the deed, 'well the lonely streak is about to end'. Was walking along the trail pulling up my shorts, rearranging my drawstring and once again the Squat messenger worked perfectly, a husband and wife came around the corner. They might have wondered why I was giggling. I know that even though I can't always get the Spot messenger to work the old fashioned technology of the Squat messenger is fool proof:)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hoka One One

My first impression of the Hoka One One shoes was 'how does anyone run in those moon boots?'. Looking at the shoe they seem cumbersome and bulky, nothing could be further from actuality. I have now been using the Hoka Stinson Evo shoe for two months. 

The women's Stinson Evo

The first big test I had for the shoes was after I ran a 100km race in another pair of shoes and my feet were trashed. I wanted to complete a 100 mile week and my feet were in pain laying in bed. Once I laced up the Hokas and started running, I couldn't feel a single blister or the swelling that was in my feet. I even had a cacti needle wedged into one toe and it didn't phase me in the 40 miles I ran in 4 days. I had another friend who could barely walk around on a broken toe but he could run in his pair of Hokas. Extreme testing but positive results.

This book should have a chapter on using Hokas!

As far as fit, it fits me true to size. It has a very roomy toe box but I haven't experienced any front slippage. I did have to use the top eyelet to lace the shoe and that is one fault I found with the Hoka. It came pre laced with the quick laces however, it was not to the top eyelet. In order to prevent heel movement I needed to lace it up to there for my narrow foot. The laces were not adjustable and I had to cut them off. Hoka did supply a pair of standard laces. Laced to the top my feet are very stable inside of the shoe.

Looking at the shoe it appears to have your foot very elevated and this is another illusion. The heel is not raised and the shoe does not cause instability while running. For the amount of cushioning you feel with this shoe it is amazing how much trail feel you also have. If you were a princess you could feel the pea but it wouldn't bother you at all. Hoka provides two choices for insoles for those that are particular. I am not but I do know people who have done modifications for hammer toes and other ailments and are very satisfied. 

For how big the shoe appears it is remarkably light. If you want to know the specifics check out the website but I can attest that they are feather light. This is something you appreciate the further into a run you go. 

Prior to wearing the Stinson Evo I was unable to run downhill as fast as one of my training partners. He was wearing Hokas. Once I got myself a pair, he no longer could gap me on a descent. These shoes promise that is time to fly, and they deliver descending. The traction on loose gravel and dirt is fantastic and you don't feel disconnected from the trail but you don't feel like the trail is hammering itself into your legs. 

At the beginning of a recent run we crossed a river up to mid-thigh. Needless to say, my shoes were drenched. I was amazed at how light they still felt and how quickly they dried out. No rubbing problems when wet and great drainage.

I haven't taken flight in my Hoka Stinson Evos yet, but they have taken me to the top of the world. I will be using these shoes in my quest to be a Leadwoman this summer. Dorothy had her red slippers to take her home, I'll have my Hokas!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Man

Ever since Tana was a puppy ( 11 yrs ago) there has been a man in our neighborhood that puts her on high alert. She doesn't bark at him, she just watches him very closely. He walks with a back pack, a wide brimmed hat and a bit of a slouch. As soon as she spots him, she circles back around and gets behind him on her walk. She keeps a very close eye on him until he reaches a certain boundary. We have no idea why she does this, but her sense tells her that he needs an escort out of her territory. She has spotted him outside of the immediate neighborhood, once in downtown he was on the opposite side of the 101. She stopped and made sure he was far away before she would budge from her post. 

Over the years we have wondered what causes her to be so suspicious of this man. Maybe it is the contents of his backpack? Something about his smell? She doesn't pay attention to other people who have on hats or backpacks or walk with a slouch- unless all three are present like this morning. We were walking along and all of the sudden she stopped dead in her tracks and had missile vision locked on to something. I looked across the street and sure enough a fellow was walking along with a backpack, a slouch and a hat. I tried to explain to her that it wasn't who she thought it was but have you ever tried to reason with a dog on a mission? We had to cross the street and she had to get within sniffing distance. She put her nose in the air and did some sniffing and then stopped, looked at me and headed back where we were going. It wasn't The Man. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Silver Mining

I just read the story of the Silver Queen, Baby Doe Tabor. Her life was not easy. Sure, there were times when she was the queen of society, but there were also times when she was living in rags in an unheated, unplumbed shack. Bet she wished then that she hadn't spent so much money on silly trinkets!

It is fitting that I read this the same week that I started doing recon rides on the Silver Rush mountain bike course. The Silver Rush 50 is the second race in the Leadman series. If I want to strike silver I am going to have to dig as deep as those miners did. They led a hard uncertain life and I feel that I will be experiencing many of those things during this race. There are going to be very rocky bumpy times. I hope that I can hold my fortune and not end up burning all my matches on the early climbs. If I do, I'll end up like Baby Doe dying in the Matchless Mine. 

Climbing the back side of Ball Mountain

Not nearly as hard work as what the people who settled this area experienced.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


The first time I came to Leadville in 2009 I will never forget the feeling as I summited Fremont pass. I had a headache, I was breathing rapidly and I was lightheaded. I was driving. 

A week and a half after I arrived here this time I rode over the pass on my bike. I was happy to not experience those same sensations. I wasn't able to push hard though and took it pretty easy to the summit both directions.  The first few days I was here I would check my pulse oximetry (I may not work as a nurse anymore but I still love the medical devices:)). At rest I was 90-93% with a heart rate in the low 50's. When I would test it at light activity, such as scrubbing walls (which took 3 days) I would drop to 86-88% with a heart rate in the 80's. The first time I did an easy trainer ride I couldn't get my heart rate up over 120 without my Oxygen sats dropping to the low 80's. This is probably not that interesting to most of you but it is how I was testing my progress. It's funny that I am so excited to use my pulse oximeter when I don't have a computer on my bikes and I don't use a heart rate monitor and rarely break out the Garmin. (which I haven't done yet here because I really don't need to be told I am going slow). 

Last Friday I was able to do a tough trainer workout and actually work hard. It was super windy, gusting to 50mph in town and I didn't think it was smart to head out over a pass with no one available to rescue me. Tana has been a great companion but she still hasn't mastered driving. We will work on that. During the trainer workout I was happy that I could push as hard as at sea level. Three years ago when I had the princess canopy bed I also had a mask to use on the trainer. The more acclimated I got the harder it was to drop my oxygen saturations. It is a nice feeling when it is no longer your lack of oxygenation holding you back but your legs. Now the real work can begin, I am saturated.

Drove my heart rate into the 160's and couldn't get my saturation below 90. (it was tricky to get a picture while still working hard enough to maintain these numbers)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Can It Get Any Better?

Every day I am out on the trails training and every day I think to myself this is amazing. I look at the scenery around me whether I am on the bike or running and am in awe. I think every view and vista is the most spectacular I have ever seen, and then I turn a corner. Perhaps I am in a permanent euphoric endorphin state. 

A good friend sent me the following quote. 'Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls'. Joseph Campbell. Well right now doors are being flung open for me. I am feeling more and more blessed every day. 

I am enjoying my second spring of the year:)

You might remember my post recently about loving my life. Well, my dear sweet friend Cathy sent me my very own necklace. Live the life you love, love the life you live. I don't think it can get any better, but I still have many corners to turn!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best Summer Ever

Hello human friends, because my dog friends are not able to read you might need to read this to them. I wanted to let you know that I am having the BEST summer of my life, and it is not even officially summer yet. I am loving life in the mountains. At first I wasn't sure about all this white stuff I am encountering on the ground but I am learning that it is pretty good for eating when I am thirsty. Yes, I know, I am a snow dog but post holing through it isn't that much fun. When I can cruise over the top of it, I love it. Don't forget I am OLD, as a human I am closing in on 80. Look good don't I? My human is doing some crazy event this summer and I am doing my best to get her into shape. I walk her twice a day and take her for super fun trail runs. 

I wasn't sure about the start of this adventure, I barely had room to spread out!

I've developed quite the bone collection. The other day I dragged a whole rib home. My hunting skills are getting tuned.

Sometimes I ride shotgun, my bones are filling up my bed:0

I've finally learned that if I listen I get some privileges, it's the summer of freedom!

 There are lots of ground squirrels up above tree line, it's worth the effort to get there

Check out the view, I am on top of the world-almost

After a hard workout everyone should ice their legs.

Today I am resting, HARD. I don't know what my human is planning for me tomorrow and I need to be ready! If any of you want to visit let me know. I can show you where to foxes live, where the best bone hunting grounds are and I've figured out how to get through snow drifts. Like I said, it's the BEST SUMMER EVER! Love Tana

Monday, May 27, 2013

Shouldering the Responsibility

Last week within three days I received two different shoulder surgery photos. One from my mountain bike bud The Todd. He was out training and crashed, ended up shattering the head of his right humerus. Got lucky, didn't need shoulder replacement, they could fix it. BUT, now he is out of the Leadville Trail 100. I have been looking forward all year to spending time riding with him in the mountains. Now that isn't going to happen. 

Speedy recovery The Todd.
Addendum, The Todd now is slowly becoming the 6 million dollar man:)

Three days later it was my running buddy Waynes Worlds turn. We had known he was going to need surgery on his shoulder. All winter and spring though we held hope that he would recover quickly and be back at it fast. He is registered to run the Leadville Trail 100. Now it seems he won't be recovered quickly enough. Not to do the training, but he will be running again by then- just not 100 miles. I was so looking forward to running the start of the race with him. He needs me to hold him back a bit a the start. Keeping fingers crossed that he will be up for some training before the race.

Speedy recovery Wayne's World

So, now that the two boys are on the injured reserve list it leaves me to shoulder the responsibility of getting to the finish line of both 100's. I'll do my best boys but I'll be missing you every pedal and step of the way! Hope my shoulders are broad enough to handle the load:)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Just Another Day in the Office

I can now breathe easily while stationary so it was time to get back to work. I have heard lots of reasons why the training in Leadville isn't good yet. Maybe most of the courses are still covered in snow but there are plenty of options available and where there's a will there's a way. I am not here to vacation and spend my days sitting around a coffee shop whining about trail conditions. I am here to do work. Yesterday, I put on my work clothes and headed to the office for the day. Here is my day in pictures.

Time to punch in and get at it.

Trail looks pretty clear to me
I started out at the lakes
Made it up to 11,700ft from 9.400
Pretty Awesome day, looking forward to more days in this office. I could become a workaholic if I'm not careful:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Making Friends

We haven't been here in Leadville even a week yet. Still, on our morning and afternoon walks we have managed to meet quite a few people and already are feeling a sense of community. Today Tana made a special connection and I know she is going to want to visit her new friend daily. Our circle of friends just expanded, they sure are foxy here in Leadville:)