I love May in the Wasatch. The trails are clear of snow but not too dusty. The snakes are usually still asleep. (I say "usually" because I'd have to jinx myself and stumble across a big rattler on my afternoon run....) Days are warm enough to climb outside and feel the sun on my shoulders; nights are cool enough to keep the quilt on the bed.
Not quite cool enough for a fire, though you can be sure Brad keeps offering to build one.
We've been climbing and bouldering in Little Cottonwood. I've been running in the foothills and canyons. Last Saturday I tried to run with a group of my favorite Women of the Wasatch (seriously, if there were a calendar, they'd be January - April), but was reminded that "nice easy pace" is relative. After suffering for 15 minutes, unable to breathe and knowing that I couldn't keep the pace for another 12 feet let alone 12 miles, I bailed.
Note: I hate bailing. Especially on running or climbing. I knew I had to, though, because going on would have been worse. My slowness might have compromised the quality of the others' run, I'd have risked injury (my hamstring has been super cranky lately) and I was worried about Red Dog, who was already showing signs of thirst.
So I said goodbye and turned around. I drove home assuring myself that this didn't mean anything, that I could still run the day's miles and that if anything, I'd have more fun running at my own pace.
But I still kind of felt like I'd failed. I guess it's inevitable.
I did get my miles in, and afterwards, I gardened. I planted full sun perennials ans veggies, because our yard is completely south-facing and I'm under the false impression that perennials require no work.
Not entirely true, but whatever; I have a year to forget that.
Lavender because it's calming.
Shasta daisies because they remind me of Mount Shasta, California.
Sweet red peppers because they're Brad's favorite.
Jalapenos because why not?
Chicks and hens because I saw them at Nicole and Paul's house and thought they were pretty.
Another kind of daisy that looks like a Gerber, but isn't.
I hauled rocks around the yard to make borders for my gardens. I dug into the hard soil, turning it in favor of the fresh stuff below. I threw fistfulls of wildflower seeds around the yard. I watered everything and gave it a final once-over before going inside to take a shower.
The satisfaction I felt at the end of the day trumped my earlier sadness. I felt accomplished and proud. It didn't matter, anymore, that I wasn't able to keep up with the girls on the run. It mattered that I'd exceeded my goals for the day - even though it took me longer than expected.
Tonight we're heading to the desert for a few days. Climbing tomorrow and Sunday and working from Moab for a few days next week. I'm looking forward to running the slickrock trails, bouldering and climbing in the evenings, visiting old friends and being tired at the end of every day.
We both have big climbing projects this weekend; Brad wants to climb 35 pitches in a day (and in Indian Creek, that's HUGE. The pitches are long and tiring. As Ari says, "the climbing's all Olivia Newton John - PHYSICAL."). I have 2 projects in mind - hardish routes, one I've never been on and would like to try to onsight, and one that I've toproped but never led. My plan is to breathe through the tough sections and everytime I want to say "take," force myself to make two more moves. That way, I'll likely have moved the tough section, I'll be in a position to place gear and I'll be more motivated to keep going, with the chains being all that much closer. (Incidentally, I notice that both these routes are rated 11d o rockclimbing.com. Hmmph. I thought they were 12a. Those sandbagging bastards.)
So that's the plan.
I've been scattered lately because I just started a new job. I've returned to the climbing industry and am handling marketing and PR for a small, young company. I'm working from home, which is the best perk ever.
And here's my office for the next week:
And here's a shot of Arnie and Red cuddling, because it's been a while since you've seen that:
And here's my new lamp, which I love:
I feel kind of like Chevy Chase in Fletch, when he's showing off his photographic evidence, and he says, "and here's the dog that tried to bite me, and here's my rental car..."