Friday, December 16, 2011

Be Like the Dog, Girl

We're getting a lot of snow these days. A lot. So much, that I'm beginning to fear for my spring race training. As soon as the sun peeks out for a day or two to de-ice the roads, it snows. And my trails in the mountains and hills are only passable with snowshoes. Which I guess is okay, because I read somewhere that for every mile you run in snowshoes, it's like doing three on dry land. Except I don't really run. I slog. I participated in a 5K snowshoe trail run at the top of the Sandia's last year. It took me an hour. The top runners finished in something like 32 minutes and 3 seconds. The only thing that made me feel better is that half the participants were also slower than I was.

But I need to bust through some kind of wall if I'm going to finish the Cedro Peak Ultra in April. I reach a certain high point—"hey! where did that muscle come from?"—and then I get smacked back down—"No way—huff, puff—am I going to be able—huff, puff—to make it back home—gag, spit, hurl." Somehow, though, I do. Mainly because I live in fear of having the mountain rescue team called out on me. Hyperventilating while sweating buckets at 10,000 feet is not my best look.

So I'm trying to take inspiration from Maddie, who has become my primary motivator to get out regardless of the weather or my slacker ass. She stands 18 inches and some change off the ground. Weighs 35 pounds, and is about my age in dog years. And she never stops. If she's not on the move, she is sitting at my feet and staring at me, waiting until we move. Rarely does she ever relax and just fall asleep. You drop a pin, that dog is UP.

I took her on two long treks last weekend, a straight up the mountain snowshoe slog at 10 percent grade to 10,500 feet on Saturday and another in cleats along the trails in the hills behind our house, and she never flagged. The only thing that happened was the higher we got up the mountain the first day, the deeper the snow and I was afraid I'd lose her altogether (and I was approaching the hurl stage). So I turned us around. Otherwise, she was fine. And the next day, she could easily have done double what we did. As soon as we got home, all I wanted to do was stand under a hot stream of water for the rest of the day while S.B. fed me slices of pizza. Maddie wanted to play ball.


chickory said...

sometimes a dog is the rock you need to carry on. Just this morning I was professing my undying devotion to my own dogs. Dont makes the snow dirty.

Bretthead said...

Is she an Australian Shepard? I had a red tri a long time ago and was in the best shape of my life because I ran with him almost every day. His name was Wrigley of course!

Jenny said...

Chickie's right, no hurling! What a great dog and I know what you mean about the bounding energy that certain dogs have.... I have one like that and I am amazed at how she can spend an hour chasing the ball.. back and forth, back and forth, and then pop up like a cartoon character.

I love reading about your snowy world and your outdoor runs/etc. You.Tuff!

moi said...

Chickory: I know, I hate dirty snow! We just got back from another foray and some kind of small animal had got itself killed on the trail. Blood and fur everywhere. Wish I'd had my camera. Maddie, of course, had to ROLL in it.

WTWA: Aw, I so see you with an Aussie Shepherd named Wrigley. Do your boys ever ask for a dog? Maddie's a Border Collie, which is pretty close. Same intensity, loyalty, wedded to the hip-id-ness.

Boxer: If we put Maddie and Coco in the same room, do you think they'd finally wear each other out?

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Running in snowshoes has to be worse than running in sand. And at 10,000 feet to boot. You're a tough one, Senora.

Figure out how to have Maddie help you to break through the wall. Write it down and sell it. And you could become the health guru for dogs and people alike. Why you could retire off the DVD sales alone.

czar said...

Karl, as always, is exactly correct. On the second point. I have no reference point for the first. I am certain he is exactly correct there as well.

Moi, you are an inspiration to millions. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. It's all I can do to leave the house.

But a new year is just around the corner . . . resolutions are brewing and just waiting to be broken.

moi said...

Karl: Hmmm. "The Dog that Got Me Off My Ass." It has a nice ring to it.

Czar: Resolve, man, resolve! Besides, isn't that new pup of yours a bit of a spaz?

czar said...

@Moi: On the new pup, yeah sorta. But even I can run in a straight line.

On the more athletic dog front, a friend of ours has a two-year-old half-pit, half-Lab -- looks mostly like a pit. We were in a dog-friendly neighborhood bar in Greensboro a few weeks ago, and I offered to take Felix for a walk -- mostly to get myself out of the bar. About three blocks away, Felix decided that was enough. He jumped up, grabbed the leash about halfway, and started walking me back to the bar. There was no doubt about it.

Aunty Belle said...

Heh...send Maddie to me--I'll turn her into a bookish dawg. That'll teach her to practice moderation --if she ever gits the chance again.

Moi, I'se draggin' now--ya run so much it wears me out.

I'se in Czar's camp. It's a lotta gear up jes' to leave the house--I been tryin' since dawn. Least mah shoes is on.

I hate to sweat. I did that onc't in 1999. Since then, I doan do sweat. It messes up the snow too--I know youse seen it along the trails--them inch long thin icicles stickin' in the snow? yep--sweatcicles from passing runner-folk.

moi said...

Czar: Obviously, that dog has a drinking problem.

Aunty: But, Aunty, surely you must sweat when you make your treks along your pilgrimage roads? Or do you carry a parasol and a fan?

Pam said...

I'm with Karl, you are one tough cookie and love his idea for a book. She's a Border Collie, right? Made for working and breaking through barriers. But please keep the snow. Please. Please. Please.

moi said...

Pam: Another doozie of a storm starts tonight (we're supposed to get another six inches), stretching from New Mexico upwards. But it only touches your panhandle, so you'll escape unscathed.

Anonymous said...

see? blogger ate ah response--now I'll try as Anon.

I doan trek but one a decade--git in ten years of exercise in one fell swoop. An' "trek" be more like hobble.

Moi--Blogger put Aunty in a coma--not sure if they will revive her Porches. Cain't seem to git no help from the Blogger contact links--they may think the Porches is spam. I'se filled in the forms they suggest, but not sure how long it takes to receive a reply. Or, how long before the loss is permanent.

May I borrow your blog to appeal fer help? Anybody wif' a good idea about what to do?
please email me at:

Thanky, Moi.

moi said...

Aunty: To lose you from the blogosphere would be devastating! Is there an 800# you can call to see what happened? If anyone has any ideas . . . post them here and Aunty will check back.

darkfoam said...

i'm exhausted just reading this post!
but how inspiring you are. maybe iy will rub off. (written as i'm laying flat on my back)..

auntie! i'm awfully glad to see you here! i couldn't believe all your blogs were just gone! how awful! i think i'm gonna allow anonymous comments

czar said...



czar said...

well, that didn't take long. Aunty is back.

Aunty Belle said...

Moi, Foamy, Czar--
oh y'all is jes' so cute!

The Porch blogs is restored--whew!
T'aint been mah favorite day, I assure ya'--four years of material sucked down a black hole.

I ain't at all shure what happened or why it's resolved. The Great Google Mysteries.

I'll blog it, of course.

Thanky fer yore encouraging emails.

moi said...

Foam: See there? You have a good excuse: "Exercise? I don't need no stinkin' exercise. Moi does it all for me."

Czar: Google is the devil.

Aunty: Whew! Life without you would have been boring.