Thursday, July 6, 2017

On vacation and in love

It's a bit embarrassing but the truth is both Husband and I are completely in love with Jackie, which means our days are a good deal less productive than they used to be. Training and caring for her eats up huge chunks of the time we used to spend reading, writing, doing chores, etc. On the upside, taking her for walks, playing with her, snuggling her, and laughing at her antics give us heaps of joy.

The proof is in the grin on my face in the photo at the top of this post, which Husband took when we visited Cherry Hill Beach a couple of days ago. Also in the fact that I don't mind being woken by her at 6:30 am - even when I'm on vacation, which I am this week. Her excitement and happiness upon rediscovering her people each morning makes it totally worth it.

Of course, it helps that she's stupidly photogenic.

It's been a good vacation so far - with plenty of glorious weather, running, time at the beach and delicious food. Since Monday, we've spent time at Broad Cove, Risser's Beach and Cherry Hill Beach. I'm headed back to Risser's on my own this afternoon because Jackie and Husband need a break from the sun but we plan to go walking at Hirtle's Beach tomorrow to round out the week.

Here are a few pics from our meanderings this week. I haven't gotten as many shots as I hoped - you know, because puppy - but hopefully they'll give you some sense of how beautiful it is in our little corner of the world.

Fortunately, I have managed to do a fair bit of running this week - not to mention heaps of walking with Jackie. On Sunday, I ran an easy 12k up the river and back, which felt mostly fine, despite warm temperatures and plenty of humidity. Tuesday and today, I ran a shorter 8.5k route to the pedestrian bridge and back, stopping occasionally to take phone pics and chat with folks I met en route. Both outings felt comfy, despite the warm weather - which should mean my fitness level's improving.

My current plan is to increase the length of my weekend runs by no more than a km or two a week and gradually add hills to my Thursday runs in preparation for tackling a half marathon at the end of August. However, much depends on how busy things are at work and at home as the summer progresses, and whether training feels like a chore rather than something I want to do. If all goes well, perhaps I'll go for the gusto and register for a full marathon later in the fall as well.

This week, a couple of things made me feel more positive about training. The first was this article about four things neuroscience suggests have a tendency to make us happy. It was a great reminder of the importance of gratitude and the ability to make choices.

The second was news that an old friend is to undergo a bone marrow transplant next week to treat the blood cancer he's been fighting for several years. He wouldn't like me saying he's "fighting" cancer. You see, he's a scientist and, in his view, it's the treatments that fight the cancer, not him, but I can't say I agree. Yes, the treatments are necessary to deal with the cancer - courage and determination on their aren't enough - but without his ongoing efforts to remain positive and persevere, the treatments wouldn't possible. Though he rarely complains, it's clear the many rounds of chemo he's had since his diagnosis have taken a heavy physical and emotional toll, and next week's treatments will be just as tough.  I admire him tremendously for dealing with it all as he has and, knowing what he's up against, makes me even more grateful I can run.

With that, it's time to get moving. I want to squeeze in a little time by the ocean this afternoon before we head out for dinner and jazz by the river this evening. Happy running! I'll try to be back with further running updates and more beach and puppy photos soon.

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