it didn't have to be this way.

But somehow I knew it would be.

Having finished my first ultra (though admittedly as short an ultra as qualifies) back in October, I realized that I wanted to do more of them and at increased distances.  I also recognized that, having completed my first attempt in less than impressive fashion, I was going to need to incorporate more cross-training.

And by more I mean I needed to do SOME cross-training.

I've always been intrigued by triathlons and impressed by triathletes.  A major obstacle to my becoming such an athlete was the fact that I didn't and haven't ever owned a road bike.  An even bigger obstacle (and the real reason why I never owned a road bike) was the fact that I have just never been very interested in bicycles.  Obviously that was going to have to change if I was going to tackle a tri.

There was one more potential roadblock and that came in the form of my being both broke and cheap.

The kindness of my family came to my rescue, as it often has, in the form of a jointly purchased gift certificate to a local bike shop in my figurative Christmas stocking.

Weather and scheduling has continued to push out my visit to the shop and delayed the frank conversation I was going to need to have with my feet and running shoes about having to share my attention.  Lily is struggling with the sharing concept at the moment as her soon-to-be-one little sister is getting hands on Lil's toys, clothes, her "every things" on a much more consistent basis.  So, I've been getting a lot of practice at explaining the need for give and take, but as stubborn as Lil can be, I knew my feet were going to be a bigger challenge.

With a little luck, I'm going to be heading to the bike shop in a couple of hours and, cowardly, I still haven't spilled the beans.  My feet, though?  They know something's up.  There's a tension in the air that cannot be ignored.  Like it or not, my running shoes are sensing intrusion and are going to consider it "them" vs. "it". 

Here's hoping that logging some miles on the bike will improve my running performance and one day we can all look back together and laugh at our foolish early doubts.

My fingers are crossed.  And they're not saying a word to my toes.



February is quickly drawing to a close and my running log is woefully empty for the month.  Back-to-back blizzards, sick kids and a busy schedule have wreaked havoc on my regular running schedule.  I don't want to suggest that we live in the middle of nowhere (I wish), but we live rurally enough that the accumulation of 30+ inches of snow means that after the plows have gone there are four to five high walls banked smack up against the roadside, leaving a runner nowhere to hide.

Of course, there's never any shortage of excuses and the reality is that I didn't find a way to get it done these last few weeks.  Between shoveling and snowshoeing, I just barely managed to maintain some level of fitness, though each day I could feel the creep of atrophy.

Today, however, I managed to sneak in a rare twofer, running to work in the morning and then, after being informed by the garage that our minivan was going to have to remain another night, running to my mother's home to beg a ride home for me and my children.

It only ended up amounting to 6 miles total and the elevation gain was fairly tame, but it felt fantastic.  Managing to run not once but twice was truly liberating and, with even more bad weather threatening to wipe out the next couple of days, it seemed important that it happen.

I love me a twofer.


new wheels.

Do you remember the giddy anticipation you had when you got your first car?

I do.

Unfortunately, our running family's newest set of wheels arrived just ahead of a foot or more of snow, so it won't get an immediate test, but Spring looms (have you ever really believed in the predictive powers of large rodents?).

In the meantime, the girls went ahead and picked their seats and patiently let me fine tune their respective harnesses.  Lil spent the next half hour buckled in her seat, reading books, eating string cheese and singing/humming songs.  If I could pry her hands free of that string cheese, I'm pretty sure the Kelty Speedster Swivel Deuce would receive two thumbs up.



opportunities missed.

I've been back from Salt Lake City for a couple of weeks and have been struggling to sneak miles into an agonizingly busy schedule.  That has me kicking myself all the more for not having put in more time in my sneakers while out west.  Funny how hindsight makes all the excuses I came up with at the time seem really, really weak.  I'd love to be reflecting on lung-tugging single-track wanderings, but all I've got is the desolation of northern Arizona from a 30,000 foot perch and urban sprawl framed by mountains out the window of my hotel room.