Race Report: Two Bays Trail Run

About a year ago in an attempt to make some connections in Melbourne, I joined the Crosbie Crew, a horde of enthusiastic runners led by a guy named Tim Crosbie. A bunch of them had just finished an epic trail run and for the first couple of weeks, that was all they talked about. The Two Bays. I felt like I had missed out on the run of the century. It also seemed kind of crazy, to do a long trail run like that in the middle of the hot Australian summer. Continue reading

Race report: Queenstown Marathon

As many of you know from past posts, I’m a runner. I am much slower than I was in my 20s, and I rarely enter races any more. I find them a bit demoralizing, not to mention expensive. I’m not going to set any PRs, so why bother?

But there was one event that I hadn’t yet ticked off the list, and that’s the marathon. I watched Marc train for and suffer through a few, and earned a healthy fear of the distance. We had hiked 27 miles one day on our Oregon hike, and I was completely trashed.

You have to seriously train for a marathon, Marc said, in a serious voice. Seriously.

I haven’t done anything serious for years! Plus, there’s all that research showing that ultra long distance running is terrible for your heart.

Maybe I should just eat cookies instead.

But this year, I decided the time had come. Enough is enough. I’m going to run a marathon! Continue reading

Why so fast?

IMG_0762Yesterday as I was powering down Sasamat to meet a friend for a walk in the forest, I overtook a man and a small dog. The dog was setting the pace, waddling along and stopping frequently. As I passed them, I joked, “You guys are moving along at mach speed today!”

The man smiled. “It’s senior speed,” he replied. His love for this little fireplug of a dog was palpable in the air as I passed.

Later, in the park, my friend and I were surprised by a huge guy wearing earbuds who flung himself off a wooden walkway at top speed, nearly mowing us down. He pounded into the distance, leaving us gasping in his wake. Continue reading

The elusive Om

You should take R–‘s,” says the woman just ahead of me, when I ask at the neighborhood community center if they could recommend a yoga class. I’m hesitating between the three classes offered; they all promised to “accomodate” those with “limited mobility.” R–, it turns out, has had extensive training with the best of the best.

Despite the fact that the class is an hour and a half long, which summons painful memories of a brief and humiliating yoga experience in Baltimore, I decide to take the plunge. I set great store in word-of-mouth recommendations, particularly from elderly women with recent knee replacements. If she can recommend it, I should be okay. I sign up for a ten-class session.  Continue reading

Dispatch from the wild west

So many things have happened in the Gydle-sphere lately that I have not been able to manage the mental focus it takes to sit down and write for more than ten minutes. Even if I had managed to pull myself together, I don’t think I would have been able to choose any one thing to write about.

Here’s a three-sentence summary to catch up:

On July 8, a group of friendly Kosovans from Allied Moving company came and put all our stuff into a shipping container and drove away.  Then we took off to the Alps and hiked for twelve days. Luc and I barely had time to recover from that before we packed our bags, loaded a very unhappy Minnie the cat into a cat carrier and headed for our new digs here in the wild west.

As I’m settling into my new, albeit unfurnished, home and getting to know my new city, the mental clarity is slowly returning, like coffee grinds to the bottom of the cup. The itch to write once again needs scratching. What precipitated this post? you’re probably wondering.  Am I going to tell you the sordid details of my Canadian immigration experience? The wonders of shopping on Sunday? The exhilaration of running in a midlatitude rainforest?

Maybe later.

No, what happened was I almost fell asleep at the wheel. Continue reading

Last lines to Lausanne

IMG_2781My last days living in Switzerland are looming. Two weeks and I’ll be back across the pond, the sun rising hours later on a completely different body of water. As the time draws nearer, I realize that:

One, I’m getting really impatient with things that drive me nuts about Switzerland.

Two, I’m already feeling nostalgic about the things that I love about Switzerland. Continue reading

Moment of (unexpected) beauty

It was a long, wet winter here in Heidiland. And is has been a cold, soggy, hypothermia-inducing spring. Down in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, Lago Maggiore is brimming over. Around here the farmers can’t plant their potato crops, because the fields are too muddy for their tractors to till. Continue reading

20km de Lausanne: hypothermia version

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Hello. It has been a week and a half and I am finally warmed up enough to type.

Last year’s 20km had people suffering from heat stroke. This year, it was hypothermia. Nothing like a little variety to keep those race organizers on their toes. Continue reading

Dispatch from the pit

IMG_0509It happened today. Out running along the lake in a cold drizzle, I felt it. The low pit of winter is past. We’re on the upslope to spring. There was a huge gaggle of cormorants (is gaggle the right term for cormorants?) on the fake island in Preverenges. They must be on their way to Scandinavia. They must be feeling it, too. (I took this picture the day before.)

I know it officially happened on December 21, when the balance of dark versus light hit bottom and the slow climb back into the sun began once again. But January is usually still too dark and cold and, well, winter for it to register. Today, however, despite the clouds and the rain, I finally feel like I’m climbing out of the hole. Continue reading