On the first day of the first week of Ironman Boulder training, I was sitting at my kitchen table creating an orange rind barrier to block my blind cat, who was determedly headed for my plate. My favorite morning breakfast, which I like to eat every morning, when I can, consists of an orange, divided into thirds; a banana, divided in half; and a hard-boiled egg. The egg is halved, and has a few drops of truffle oil on it followed by a sprinkling each of herb salt and smoked paprika. I eat, in strict order; 1/3 of the orange, 1/2 of the banana, 1/2 of the egg, repeat, finished by the last third of orange. Because I have food rituals. One of these days I'll describe my rules for eating snickers, M&Ms, and grean beans.
In an uncertain world, there are some certainties I enjoy. My food rituals are among them.
Blind kitty stared at me, or rather, pointed her face in my direction. Eventually, thwarted by the barrier of foul-smelling orange peels, she leapt off the table, trotted toward me, and leapt back on the table, knocking over my coffee. Dammit. It's hard enough making my coffee properly because for every pot of coffee Sweet Baboo puts in EIGHT scoops of coffee, thereby ensuring himself a large pot of espresso. I add hot water and my favorite creamer. I made another cup of coffee for myself.
It is the minutia of these mornings that keep me inside, managing them, rather than outside running. But today would not be one of them. I carefully strapped my Garmin on, dressed in clothing would start me out on a cold morning, and loaded a music list into my music player. My favorite running jacket, my compression injinji socks, my Altra Boca AT trail shoes, my favorite knickers from Target, running bra, and top. The minutia, carefully arranged into rituals, I'm mindful of each moment because of the details. Today, i focused on the details that woukd get me out the door, not keep me inside.
I hit the trails for a little over three miles, which were slow and painful. I ran a loop that Sweet Baboo worked out in the foothills, over trails. It's a fun run. There's sharp uphills and downhills, long uphills and downhills, and some flats. The first part is mostly uphill, and then rolling, finishing with and long, winding downhill. My lower legs are still pissed about all the downhill pavement running I did last weekend, so it hurt.
At one point during my run I hit a high point in the climb, and look down over the city, where street lights are still on. The sun is up on the other side of the mountain, but not on mine, yet. There are some small, white flowers that I think are a primrose growing alongside the trail. The first of the cars arrives at the trailhead.
More minutia: the sigulare, the higher dose of advaire, and zyrtec that my doctor put me on. 30 seconds a day that make this run possible. For the first time in months, I can breathe and don't feel like I'm drowning.
The second day there was no spilled coffee, and the run hurt a little less, and I think was about two or three minutes faster. The cold morning was bracing. The coffee was energizing. The shower was steamy. By the time I finished drying my hair, the sun was streaming through the window.
And then I went to work.