ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Huh, from recent posts in my journal it looks like all I'm doing is building a house. Well, that's...not far from the truth. I see that the last time I posted about running was last August, when I decided to DNS the Thirsty Thirteen half marathon, and the last biking was our Thanksgiving vacation to Scottsdale. But I get super antsy without physical activity, so I've definitely been doing stuff, I just haven't been writing about it.

After several years of "exceptional drought" we finally had a relatively epic winter. It snowed a lot in town, and it snowed a LOT up at Purgatory. We pretty quickly earned out our ski passes, going once or twice a week.

IMG_20190315_140609 IMG_20190222_145121

Even with the snow, I was able to run 4-5 times a week throughout the winter, because Durango keeps the (paved) river trail plowed, and at midday it was usually pretty pleasant. Because of the issues I had after my pelvic stress fracture, I've been trying to keep up my stretching and core exercises and increasing mileage verrrrrry slowly, so I'm only up to a slow 35mpw right now, but I registered for the Steamworks Half Marathon in early June, so I've got something to train toward.

We also took out our mountain bikes for the first time since our Arizona trip! Things are still muddy up here (though rapidly drying out), but there are a few trail areas near Farmington, New Mexico, about an hour's drive away. Last Saturday we went to an area new to us, the Road Apple Rally trails, and spent a very pleasant couple of hours.

On the Kinsey Trail, near Farmington NM

Other than that, we are still madly packing and moving things and cleaning. The movers come on Friday! The closing on our old house is a week later!
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
I haven't posted since Thanksgiving, oops. So here's the short version:

  • After returning from hiking and biking over Thanksgiving, I had a great week of working out, a combination of walking, mountain biking, and the elliptical at the gym. I also started doing short sessions on the indoor track at the gym, alternate loops of a slow jog and a walk, after elliptical sessions, just to ease into running again.

  • Then I had a not-so-great week, though I am not sure why - I think I must have been sick - but after a ride on Wednesday I didn't do any exercise until the following Wednesday, when I went for a walk. I got back up to the rec center for some more elliptical and mini-jog on Thursday, December 14th. I also called my mother, as it was her birthday; she was in a nursing rehab facility recovering from a fall the week before, and my father and some of their friends were there, giving her a little party in her room.

  • Then it was time for my own party, as Britt's company had scheduled a holiday weekend in Telluride! Since it had been so warm and dry, we packed both ski stuff and bike stuff. On Friday afternoon we left work early and mountain biked at Phil's World, which is more or less on the way (we rarely go there because it's a long drive, so we took the opportunity!) and then when we arrived in Telluride we had just enough time to shower before meeting the rest of the group for drinks and dinner. Saturday was for skiing, which was only possible on a small subset of runs with man-made snow, but for what it was it was fine, and the relatively warm weather meant we could have lunch on the mountain at the outdoor French restaurant Bon Vivant. Stupid expensive for lunch, but really excellent food, and the view couldn't be beat:

    cut for photo )

    After a few more runs, we decamped to the hot tub, then went to the big company party. Sunday (December 18th) we had a leisurely breakfast with a couple of friends and then drove back home, taking a detour through Cortez to buy a picnic lunch to take on the Canyons of the Ancients Loop in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. We'd done this ride a few years ago, also during an unusually warm and dry winter. This time, on our newer bikes and in better shape, I think we managed a lot more riding and less bike-pushing!

  • We got home, put away our gear, showered, and sat down to dinner...and my phone rang. It was my youngest brother, telling me that my father was in the hospital, having just suffered a cerebral hemorrhage...and my mother was due to return from the nursing rehab center the next day! He and his family live fairly close to our parents, and they'd been helping out while Mom had been in the nursing center, but having simultaneous health crises with both parents was a bit much to cope with.

  • And so I flew out to Maryland on a one-way ticket the next day, after spending the morning on the phone with my brother, checking flight schedules online, and emailing my (extremely understanding) boss. Four incredibly difficult but rewarding weeks later, after getting the situation more or less stabilized, I finally came back home. That was two weeks ago.

I'd brought running shoes and exercise clothes, but I only managed three very short runs (15-20 minutes, the last on a treadmill) due to things being in continuous crisis mode. (I also brought my laptop and key cards so I could do work...I did zero work.) So my fitness level is basically back down to zero; I've managed to run pretty much every other day now that I'm home, but I'm very slow and my endurance is pathetic. (The good news is that my stress fracture must be completely healed by now?) We went skiing once, but the winter is still unusually warm and dry, and conditions are not very appealing. I'm hoping to take advantage of the weather to run and bike and slowly get myself back into shape - we've got a White Rim trip on the schedule in mid-May, and we'd like to do some backpacking this summer.

Anyway, that's the scoop. I'll have more to say about that crazy month taking care of my parents, but for the most part, I hope this marks a return to frequent posts about my outdoorsy pursuits!

*taps mic*

Nov. 22nd, 2015 04:41 pm
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
I, um, haven't posted for two months. How did that happen?

Just a quick update on things. My back issues have continued to bother me, so a few weeks ago I got a second MRI. It showed that my herniated disk is in fact healing just fine, so my spine doc suggested another injection in a different spot, which seems to have helped a lot though not entirely banished the pain. But things are definitely improving. Next step will be a massage therapist who specializes in recovery and rehab.

I've been running a pretty solid 30-35mpw and have recently stepped it up to 40-ish. We're supposed to have an El Niño-fueled snowy winter, so I will be happy if I can maintain that throughout the winter - supplemented with skiing, of course! We have weekday passes to Purgatory, as usual, and I hope to do a lot of skiing this year. Britt's company is sponsoring a weekend at Telluride in early December, and I'm excited about that as I've never skied there before. And I hope to get the older of my two brothers, who lives in California, out here for some skiing this winter.

Britt and I will be running the local Turkey Trot on Thursday morning, which is a five-mile mixed trail and road race. It's not a competitive race in the sense that the only prizes are supermarket pumpkin pies for the top man and woman finisher, but after the race there are always incredible random draw prizes. I've won hiking socks, a pound of coffee from a local roaster, and a $50 gift certificate to a really nice restaurant in previous years.

But my next real race won't be until March. I hope to run the Canyonlands Half again, though I don't hold out hope for any great time. If I can improve over the summer I might target some fall races as goals.

After a long hiatus I have been updating my Canadian vacation reports. Four sections are done, two to go!

Speaking of vacations, Britt had a couple of meetings in California and so I flew out to Palm Springs after the first of them. We spent the weekend in Palm Springs, hiking up Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday and visiting the Living Desert museum on Sunday, and then he attended his conference at the hotel and I worked from the hotel room and wandered around the resort. It was fun! And I've booked our next major vacation, a trip to New York City timed to coincide with our (gulp) 25th anniversary. We'll be seeing Hamilton (YAY!) and Book of Mormon, doing a little museum-ing, and then flying down to visit with my aged parents in Maryland for a few days before flying back home.

So, uh, hi, Dreamwidth! Long time no see! I will try not to be a stranger! (Well, not any stranger than usual...)


Jan. 4th, 2015 11:18 am
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
With the start of the new year, there is a sense of beginning anew, of starting over, even though all we've marked is an arbitrary spot on the calendar. Even so, for me things feel like I'm starting from scratch again - actually, like I'm preparing to begin to start from scratch, because I'm not even there yet!

In the fall I was looking forward to taking a short break from running during the second half of October, then ramping up my training for the Boston marathon. Well, you know what they say about best-laid plans. At this point, not only am I not running, I'm unable to do any exercise at all. I'm fat and cranky and hurting. While I have not yet ruled out going to Boston to cheer on my friends, the marathon is out of the question.

The story thus far )

When I told Mike (my PT) that I thought it was getting worse rather than better, he suggested that I see a back specialist; he says my lower back is really tight, and he suspects the source of the problem is there, not in my glutes. This is a reasonable possibility, as I've periodically had back issues. So I made an appointment for this Thursday.

And then, on Friday, Britt and I went skiing. This was our first time up to the mountain this season, and we didn't know how his knee or my butt/hip/leg would do, so we planned a relatively short day on easier terrain.

The first couple of runs I felt great. I didn't even notice my usual low-level pain. Plus, I just got new skis this year, longer and smoother and lighter than my old ones, and so it was a real delight to be making turns on the lovely new snow we got on Thursday! Or at least it was for just short of three runs, because I was nearly down to the lift on the third run when suddenly, for no apparent reason, something went SPROING in my back. I came to a screeching halt and tried to put myself into the least painful position while I waited for Britt to realize that I was waving and screaming for a reason :-(

Fortunately, we were not far from the lift that ended at the restaurant, where we'd been planning to stop for lunch anyway at that point. Between the slow lift and the slow service, we took a two-hour break, and I had a pint and a half of muscle relaxant, so our return to the base (which requires two runs with a lift in the middle, taking the easiest path and going slow) was not as miserable as I had feared.

So there you have it. I'm even more crippled up than I was before; I'm sprawled in a recliner, downing copious amounts of Aleve and carefully doing my old McKenzie Method back exercises several times a day. But in a way this is confirmation that the trouble is in my spine, after all. So I'm hopeful that Thursday's appointment will bring some answers, or at least put me on that road.

ski day

Jan. 15th, 2011 03:51 pm
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
I have a whole bunch of things I have been meaning to post, but somehow never got to. I'm still not getting to it. Instead, have some photos from yesterday's ski day, the fourth time we've been up this year.

Britt and I have weekday passes at Purgatory which is about a half hour drive from here in good weather, maybe 45 minutes in poor weather. If it snows during the week, we'll go the day after (because we like skiing in new snow under clear blue skies better than in falling snow during the storm), but otherwise, we try to go on Fridays because the nicer restaurant up on the mountain is only open Friday through Sunday, and having lunch there is part of our treat for the day. (Weekday passes are way cheap compared to full season passes, when you get them at the end of the previous season, and weekdays are less crowded. I work on the weekend instead and my boss is cool with it.)

Mountains and snow and me )

These and a few more at Flickr:
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Yesterday: was our Democratic Party county assembly. For those of you not in caucus states (probably most of the American readers of this journal; and of course other countries do things differently) and for those of you in Colorado who haven't gotten involved, this is where the delegates elected in our caucus get together to cast our county's vote for statewide and national candidates (this year, just for US Senate) and for local candidates, and vote on party platform resolutions, and generally get all rah-rah about politics. I was not a delegate but I am part of the Local Party Machine (capitals ironic) and ran the powerpoint slides and timed the speakers. Woo. Making sausage. )

Today: we went skiing, almost certainly the last ski day of the season for us. It was on the order of 55°F out there, and it was like skiing on a slushee, fast and slick but easy to carve turns. The weird thing was that there had been a dust storm early in the week, and much of the snow had a light coat of reddish-brown dust. Not nearly as pretty as shiny white snow, that's for sure. It really stood out on the mogul tops )

We still had a lot of fun skiing, though, and my quads are certainly aching from it. And a few more pictures are here on Flickr.

A week from tomorrow: I am running the Boston Marathon! *gulp* I will make a post later this week with my bib number and information so that if you are bored and near a computer on Monday morning (or whatever it will be in your time zone) you can check the marathon website, which is tracking runners every 5 miles (I think; it might be 5K, which is really often, as a marathon is 42K!) and see how I am doing. Needless to say, I am not expecting to win. :-) My original and ambitious goal was 3:30, and my half marathon last month suggested I could do even better, but I've been injured and my training has been really half-assed because of it. I don't really know what I could do right now. I'd like a PR (3:45 or better), I'd be really happy with 3:3x, and honestly, I should just be happy to finish it, considering. So I am probably not going to know what I am targeting until I actually get out there and start running.

ETA: Right now: I totally forgot while composing this post, but I had intended to thank whoever it was who anonymously gave me a month's paid account at Dreamwidth. So, thank you so much!
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Yeah, I kinda like skiing.


Gorgeous day on Friday, and I finally remembered to bring a camera. In addition to the dorky self-portrait above ("Girl on Chairlift with Manic Grin") I took some pictures of the beautiful snow-covered mountains, and of Britt. (Unfortunately I did not take a picture of snow-covered Britt because I wasn't quick enough after his impressive header into a pile of snow on our second-to-last run.) I also got him to take some pictures of me on the bumps, although, really, it's like ocean waves; the perspective is something that seems to be impossible to capture with a still camera.

Mountains and peoples )
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
Eric reminded me on my last post that I haven't posted here in a while. So, what have I been doing?

Running. This has been my first winter of serious training, and I have to say that it hasn't been bad at all. Then again, I don't actually mind running in (light) snow. I have been running more mileage than I ever have before! And I've been getting faster - I finally got the 5K monkey off my back (my 5K time has always been much slower than what is predicted by my faster races) and smoked (relatively speaking) a race on Saturday in 22:14, a PR for me by almost 1:45 and fast enough to get me first place woman! I won a gift certificate for a pair of running shoes, which I graciously gave Britt since he has started running with me on my easy days in his beat-up old sneakers.

Skiing. We have had a lot of snow this year, which has been very nice as we also have weekday passes at Purgatory. Britt and I have gone once a week, not necessarily for the whole day but we get plenty of skiing in. When the weather has been right (and it mostly has) we have gone on Fridays, when the nice restaurant up at Dante's is open: we ski some morning runs, get to the restaurant around 1:00, have some fancy food and a Backside Stout each. It's our special treat, and actually, it costs only maybe 50% more than the crappy food in the cafeteria downstairs, and it tastes 100 times better, and it's so much more pleasant to sit in the pretty room and have a nice waitress bring us our food.

And skiing once a week has definitely improved my skiing. And! I just bought fancy new boots at an end-of-season sale, and I'm gonna try them out tomorrow. I am confident they will make me ski so much better! Right?

Politics. Oh, man, you don't want to hear about local politics. *facepalm* Colorado's caucuses are in two weeks. I'm girding my loins.

Pictures. I keep forgetting to bring my camera while skiing (we have had some beautiful days!) or running. But I got some great shots of some of the deer who hang around my neighborhood, and wow, that was five weeks ago and most of that snow is GONE.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Since we are planning on avoiding winter by being in the southern hemisphere for most of it, when Rolfe and Kristen invited us to go backcountry skiing, we figured that we might as well get a little winter in. A little winter - hah! We left Durango under sunny blue skies; as soon as we left pavement in La Plata Canyon it started snowing, and we skied up to the ridge and back down in - okay, not a blizzard, but definitely a snowstorm.

And then we drove back to town and it was sunny and warm and beautiful.

I sort of wish winter could always be nicely self-contained in the canyons and mountains, that we could choose to visit winter if we wanted to, but never would have to shovel the walk or knock icicles off the eaves or scrape the windshield. But then I wake up to the beauty of a winter's day and, you know, I kind of like winter. Which thought is not going to keep me from getting on that plane next week.


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

April 2019

14 151617181920

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @



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