The green fields turn to gold faster than you can say gesundheit.
One of the great things about living in the Northwest, compared to the Texas I grew up in, is the changing colors. Most colors coincide with the changing seasons, but in the Palouse you can tell what time of year it is by the color of the fields. We're at the end of summer and everything has turned to gold, which means harvest time, which means lots of fun stuff floating around in the air, which means allergies, which means we've entered the only time of year when tissue sales in the Palouse are (likely) higher than micro-brew sales. I wake up, blow my nose, and spend the next 30 minutes sneezing. Not just little cute hee hee hee sneezes either. This are get out the Windex and clean some windows afterwards type sneezes. This lasts for about a month. We've bought stock in Kleenex. And Windex. This week is a cutback week and I think I'm ready for one. My legs feel great, but it's pretty obvious that a week with less miles will do some real good. I hope. I'm getting into territory that I'm unfamiliar with so I'm going to trust my training schedule as much as I can.
I said goodbye to Sadie at the doorway (and Jeanie too) and headed for the trails. My last two runs have been on pavement and I felt like I was having trail withdrawal. Last Saturday's run has me so excited. So I went out to Moscow Mt. and did the Headwaters Loop. My goal was to run the entire thing - no walk, no stop, no skippity-do-da. It's a 5.5 mile loop that starts at around 3,000 ft and tops out around 4,000. I always have to walk at least part of some of the steeper sections. But today, minus the few seconds that I was rolling down the hill after a root vs. shoe encounter, I was able to run the entire way. This made me happy. I' m making some serious progress with my training and I think it's a safe bet to say that I'm in the best shape of my life. Even better than any point during my four years working for Uncle Sam.
I'm so excited about the progress I'm making. So excited that I went and did something crazy again. I sent in my application for the Cle Elum Ridge 50k trail race next month. It will be difficult and an incredible challenge but I'm pretty sure -- uh, I mean totally confident - that I can finish it. I know, I know, I haven't even run a marathon yet. Eh, who cares. (All naysayers and/or hecklers of my decision making please click here.)
As crazy as it might be that I'm going to run an ultra-marathon before I even run a marathon, there is something even crazier going on in our midst. Go check out Rob's blog and look at the race he has scheduled for Sept 8th-9th. If you aren't familiar with the race then go to the race's website and read the "rules" to get a better appreciation of just how crazy it is. Good luck Rob!
All in all I'm having a great time and simply love running. I've said this before but I'll say it again - this is fun.
PS If you click on the last photo and look closely near the bottom left corner just in front of the trees you should be able to make out the moose that crossed in front of me on my way to the trailhead. Wish I could have gotten the camera out faster because there was a beautiful shot as she was crossing the road.