The first snow came through Colorado and it seems a distance memory. The weather changes quite drastically here in the Rocky Mountains. It can be snowing in the morning with zero visibility at 35 degrees and by the afternoon the sun is shinning and you are sitting on the back deck in a T-shirt with a 65 degree breeze coming through. Quite profound!
With the seasons changing and the cold weather blowing through the state, I’ve decided to take some time off the bicycle. After a very long drawn out season of bike racing I was ready for a break in October. Then, Maija and I moved out west where I found myself on numerous rides exploring the mountains on my bicycle. I even somehow lost 2-3 pounds from climbing so much. In any case, November came and I knew a rest from riding was necessary. I started doing some of my winter running for cross training. I even managed to get into the pool a few times with Maija for some Masters sessions. Running here at altitude and dry weather is a lot different than back east. I grow tired easier but realize I do not have to run as hard to get the same given effort in. Running has always given me lucid feelings. Personally it has always been the most simplistic of endurance endeavors and every run provides a sense of adventure. Yes, bicycle racing is on the forefront in terms of competitiveness but I will always do some cross-train-running in the winter. Most of the time when I run it’s either with Maija, the dogs, or both. Let me tell you, even though I consider myself a scholar on canine behavior; Running with three dogs is no easy feat. As I run through the suburabs here in Highlands Ranch with three dogs by my side I’m constantly getting head turns from soccer moms, kids playing, and other passerby’s. Some people must think I’m a dog walker / runner again. Nope! Just me and my three pups! I enjoy running with them and it seems at minimal they enjoy running with me and each other. Usually I’ll have the young one Mickey by my left side, and the two adults Cooper & Frito to my right. They don’t stop and sniff during our 3-4 mile run because they know this is exercise time. Towards the end of the run when I’m getting tired I’ll stop for them to relieve themselves. I have also been taking the pups over to the local dog park. You can almost take bicycle and walking paths to get to the park. It’s the one cool aspect of Highlands Ranch. Most of the time I’ll run them over to the park. They seem to enjoy themselves with the other dogs there. I have always believed dog socialization is important. Unfortunately the dog park is a toss up in terms of the “personalities” you are going to get. The majority of the time the other dogs at the park are relaxed and balanced, but of course you always get an owner who doesn’t have a clue how to discipline their pup. I tend to speak my mind more often then expected to the other owners but I feel as if I need to pass positive information forward based on my past experiences from helping aggressive and unbalanced dogs. Once the dogs grow weary or I run out of water (which ever comes first) we run back to the house where they slump down on the floor and take their afternoon nap.
Mickey who is now 9 months old is getting used to his new surroundings. Frito and Cooper are trained to act a specific way around Maija and I. This structured line of events include sleeping arrangements, feeding, and playtime. Mickey is one smart fellow. In only a couple of weeks he has fallen right in place with Cooper and Frito. Mickey and Cooper especially play constantly together. In some respects I feel as if Cooper is more relaxed with Mickey here. He doesn’t have to worry so much about what I’m doing, he just plays tug or wrestles with his new friend. Frito plays with Mickey as well but not as often. Most of the time Frito goes into hibernation. Maija a while back was given an extra large Cozy Cave for the Holiday’s. We still do not have a bed for Mickey but maybe he will be surprised with one! Mickey still needs a lot of direction but is learning quick. Actually, this past weekend Maija and I took the pups up to Deer Creek Canyon Park where we let Mickey off the leash for the first time. Turns out he is fine off a leash just as Frito and Cooper are. Sure every now and then we have to yell “Mickey!” if he strays too far. It took about 35-45 minutes to run up the trail to the top of the mountain. The vista along the trail is absolutely breathtaking. As you look out to the left you can see Chatfield State Park, Downtown Denver, and other nearby landmarks. We totally forgot to bring the camera but I’m sure we will be doing that run / hike again soon.
In other news I’ll be racing for a new team this coming racing season. The team is called BRC Cycling. They are a great group of guys and I am excited to see what this race season has in store for myself and the team. I will also be racing and training on a different bicycle which I’m just as excited about. Pictures coming soon! I also got some part time work with Sony which is a lot of fun.
My parents also adopted a sweet and beautiful Wheaten Terrier named Kramer. I haven’t met him yet but it looks like I’ll be seeing him after the new year when I head home to visit the family.
Welcome to the family Kramer!
I am going to make myself a promise to start writing more in my blog. I’m realizing writing in cyberspace here can have a profound difference on my life, friends, acquaintances, and strangers who read my posts. Although my posts might not be something profound as anecdotes of political satire, media entertainment buzz, or other formidable social media exploitation.
Who I am and what I represent is a series of personal thoughts, adventures, and experiences of my path through this doohickey called life.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!