The architectural icon on the hilltop

I not only got myself out the door to run this morning, but I ran past that house — and actually ran past it — up and down both hills in each direction, out and back. This is the same location that I described in this post from last September (the house in question is just below the place where two uphill streets meet at a 90 degree angle). Back then the temperature was 75-80 degrees, whereas today it was only 55-57, and I know that makes a huge difference. But still I am going to give myself all kinds of credit for finally mastering those particular hills. No walk breaks for me today.

Once I got past the two major street crossings, there were no humans around except for several gardening crews, one other runner, and an elderly couple walking very slowly. He was helping her use her walker, and when he shouted to me that I made him feel guilty for not running, I replied that he had a good reason for walking and that it was great to see them out there.

These hills, that house, and another couple of up-and-downhill miles through that neighborhood will comprise about a third of the otherwise flat course of my next half marathon in February (this was the site of my first half marathon in February 2010). Knowing now that I can run those hills that were so challenging before is going to be a big psychological help for me when I start increasing the mileage of my Sunday morning training runs.

Although I’ve been tempted to peek through the gate for a better look at that house, I didn’t need to stop and rest at that point today, and besides there was a gardening crew just arriving that I didn’t want to bother. I’ll go back some other time at a slower pace and simply stop there and take it in. There are other houses in the neighborhood that I need to find again as well… I’ll have to look up the street addresses again, just as Kurt and I did when we went out gaping together two years ago. I had gotten a little blase about the architecture here, but at the moment it seems to be important to re-establishing my sense of place so I’m going to let myself enjoy it.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the fresh grapefruit that was waiting for me when I got back to the condo, and I didn’t mind the time I spent doing laundry and sweeping the patio this afternoon. I ate in tonight and felt a little lonely, but it was not too bad.

Tomorrow I’ll be at work again (I love the fact that as a remote worker, I can work anywhere) with back to back meetings beginning at 7:00 AM. The almost idyllic quality of the past two days will fade and then I’ll just be here, working and eating and running and sweeping, almost as if this were normal life.

With today’s run I also achieved a milestone I’ve been working on for a while — I earned the Bronze level Presidential Champions award. I’ve managed to log 40,000 points for physical activity, which puts me well on the way to Silver status at 90,000 points. I stumbled upon this program back in May, when I committed to doing regular exercise and logging my activities for points. At first I sometimes gave myself credit for “lifting and hauling” (pushing Kurt’s wheelchair, hefting oxygen tanks, and such), but these days I really only count running, hiking and (when I’m in this place) swimming, so I probably could have hit the 40,000 point mark a bit sooner. But like Foursquare, it’s a game that I play with myself to make sure that I’m getting out there, seeing other humans and doing things that are good for me instead of staying home and becoming a hermit.

I’m not writing so much about grief lately, am I? Yes, it’s still there, but it’s no longer eating me alive, and that is a great relief.


Posted on November 29, 2011, in Architecture, LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I’m sitting here kind of like the older gentleman you reference! You do make me feel just a little guilty…yoga doesn’t exactly fit into a Presidential Champion grid! You are amazing…keep it up! Whew! Debra

    • Well, you don’t have to do everything on the list, and yoga is certainly on the list. You get to choose your activities, and points are based on intensity and duration so you set your own pace toward the goal. Like I said, it’s just a game that keeps me honest about getting out there and doing something…

  2. Bruce Herrington

    Are you aware that the columned house (monstrosity?) just west of That House, was Elvis Presley’s?

  3. Sounds like a couple of “fun” days before settling into the weekly routine were exactly what you needed to reacclimate, a way to “bloom where you’re planted.”

  4. I’m doing a holiday running challenge. I think it’s great you are keeping track of your progress and working towards goals!!

    • I’ve learned that having goals that get me out the door is the best thing I can do to stave off depression. I get to breathe fresh air, see wildlife, say hi to people, and experience that very real runner’s high.
      Especially at this time of year, I think it’s good to grab all the opportunities you can get to release stress and just be.
      Happy running!

  5. I saw you comment the other day about making friends in the desert. I know you and Kurt never got to meet my sister Glenda, but I think you two would hit it off. I can send you her phone number if you wish.

    I am happy to read that you are healing, I know this must be difficult. Glenda is a widow as well, and has been in a relationship for several years now with a great guy who adores her.

    Enjoy the weather and keep writing!

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