Thursday, May 22, 2008

What Do You Think About While Running

I'm fully into the marathon training period now ... or at least I should be ... And, each time I go out on a run, I think about things as I slog (slow jog) along. One of the things that seems to repeat is that I wonder why I don't run as fast as I did at one time. I think awhile, and start counting up the years. I started running about 27 years ago ... and I wasn't even a spring chick back then! Then I realize my decreased speed does not surprise me too much. In any case, while running, I sometimes think about the "phases of my life".

When I started running, I was at a major transition point in my life. One of the major periods in my life that I picture myself as having gone through.

These phases they might break down into the follow general categories:

1. Pre-memory -- The time from birth until the first things I can now remember;

2. Childhood -- This period would begin in the grade school years, and go until about age 10 or 12 or so;

3. The Middle Years -- Probably the time after the grade school (grades 1 through 8 were in my hometown) 9th grade was 1-year of Junior High, followed by the three years of High School; (the transition from 8th grade to 9th grade was a major change -- leaving the "hometown" school and riding the bus to another place for school and where moving from room to room for each class also happened) ... so this period was quite a change for a small town boy used to the same routine everyday;

4. College years -- Again a major transition, since I started driving (without a license for the first few weeks) when college classes started ... before that, everywhere I went was either on foot, bicycle, or riding as a passenger as my parents took us (me) somewhere ... so the college years were a time of real change, independence, and the beginning of self-discipline;

5. Shortly After College -- Marriage, drafted into the US Army, totally an 18 month period that saw some of the major changes in my life that still affect me today;

6. The First Married Life -- A time of starting my career ... drifting out of both my marriage and somewhat out of the first career, and landing, upright for the most part, some number of years later. This was quite a major life phase with so much happening in the period of 10 to 12 years. Some of the best ... some of the worst;

7. The Beginning of My Current Life -- new jobs ... new marriage ... liking what I was doing, and after all was said and done ... finding myself;

8. The Now Life -- Still wondering what I am going to do when I finally grow up ... but realizing that I am/have grown up and this is what I am today.

So, these are the "life phases" that I think of myself as having lived. It looks like I broke it down into eight categories ... "My Life" periods of time. I have wondered where I would have changed something. And, if I had taken another path, what would my life be today? I know I can think of a number of places where a decision could have been made that, now anyway, it seems another decision would have been a better decision to have been made than the one I made at that time. But, where I am today is where I really enjoy being, so I am not sure that I would switch to another path. But, maybe. It would be interesting to have that option in one's life, wouldn't it? I wonder where I would be instead of where I am today. Would I feel better? I'm not sure.

So ... this is what I think about while out on my long runs. Pretty crazy I guess.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May Beginning to Mid-Month Weather Summary

Just to keep this site up-to-date with what I have posted to Wunderground, I decided to post the month summary so far. Spring is changing to summer over the next couple of days and the high temperatures are expected to move through the 80's and into the low 90's. This will be quite a change after the last couple of days that had cooler temperatures and some much needed rainfall.

05/15/2008 The increased humidity due to rain over the last couple of days made for tracks in the dew covered grass this morning. Overnight clouds were breaking up and rippling across the eastern half of the sky early today.

Clouds in the East Sky Above the Horses
Clouds Above the Pastures

Ripple Clouds Above the Old Barn
Breaking Sky Over the Old Barn

Tracks in the Grass During the Morning Walk
Tracks in the Dew

05/14/2008 Another day that started with some overnight showers. A rain pattern that would be nice to have repeat for the next couple of weeks, actually. Since conditions have been quite dry since the snow melt, the rain is helping with the spring green-up. Patches of sunlight took place throughout the day and into the evening.

Sun Patches Showing on Distant Foothills
Sun on the Foothills ... Horses in for the Evening

Getting Down with Jonah for the Morning Grazing
Getting Down with Jonah for Grazing in the Grass

05/13/2008 Some light rain ended overnight. The morning saw low clouds and fog along the hills that surround the ranch. Variable cloudiness defined the day with peeks at the sun but temperatures hovering between 55 and 60 throughout most of the afternoon.

Clouds Over West Hills during the Morning Walk
Morning Fog Over the West Hills

05/12/2008 There was another overnight shower and clouds persisted through the morning. The close foothills had visible snow again today. Cool temperatures hung on with the mid-day showing low 40's. An early afternoon "sucker hole" of sunshine disappeared as a light rain followed me back down the road while I ended my run. I had to remove my sunglasses after they were sprinkled to opaqueness. It became a fine afternoon for a video and popcorn snack! Meanwhile, the horses grazed contently through the afternoon and evening.

Horses Across the Pasture Near the Creek for Evening Grazing
Evening Grazing Out by the Creek

Morning with Misty Clouds Above Snow on Foothills
Morning Low Clouds Over Foothills with Overnight Snow

05/11/2008 A bit of rain fell overnight, so the temperature stayed mild (low 40's). There was no ice formation on the unheated water this morning. With the overnight rain, the morning had an interesting misty cloud look to it. The day, spent at day two of the horse clinic, was one of off and on rain (east of the ranch about 25 miles, and close to the Swan Mountain range). After returning to the ranch, it appeared it had been dry here, with no automatically recorded rainfall, and nothing new in the outdoor manual gage. (Oh, oh, the weather geek thing almost showed, I think!) A quick evening walk of the dogs was done and the horses were all back together again and enjoyed the evening munching in the pastures.

Horses Grazing in the Green Grass of the Summer Pasture
Horses Grazing the Green Pasture

Morning Clouds above the Ranch Buildings
Clouds Above the Ranch Buildings

Fog and Clouds in Foothills
Clouds and Fog after Overnight Rain

05/10/2008 It was cold overnight, with ice on the top of the horse waterers again. I was away from the ranch to a horse ground rules clinic all day, and mostly in an indoor arena. The ranch that sponsored the clinic had a nine week old Friesian foal. I was reminded of Quinn ... he would have been three this week. ... The weather was a mix of high overcast with the temperature rising into the lower sixty range.

Cabin near Swan Mountain Range
Cabin near Swan Mountain Range

Mare and her Foal
Mare and Foal

05/09/2008 Well, after the blue sky, fluffy clouds, green grass, and dandelions of yesterday, today is another reminder of the weather variety available in NW Montana. The horse water heaters have been turned off for the season, but this morning, they could have been helpful to keep the layer of ice from forming on the water. In addition, it is snowing nicely right now (about 9:30 AM). Pretty amazing! ... Later ... The snow did not last very long and the rest of the day was a mixture of clouds with glimpses of sunlight. It even felt warm enough to the horses that some of them decided to splash around in the creek pond for a little while.

The Boys Splash in the Pond
Splashing Horses Video (click this link)

Morning Snow Squall
Morning Snow

05/08/2008 Today started bright and clear and stayed that way during the morning dog walk. But, as I look out now, some serious cloud cover is moving quickly to cover the last of the blue to the east. Time to get out and do some tasks just in case the afternoon brings another light rain event. ... Later ... The tasks were completed and the rain event did not appear. Instead, the sky was filled with the kind of clouds that just become whatever you want them to be as you lie on your back and look up at them. It was a wonderful afternoon just to rest with the dogs and enjoy the green grass and dandelions that can grow freely here at the ranch.

Clouds and Blue Sky
Clouds of Many Shapes

Titan Lying in the Grass
Titan Lying Low in the Grass

Ginger on the Grass
Ginger in the Grass and Dandelions

Titan against the Blue Sky
Titan on the Blue

Clouds over the Trees
Cumulus Clouds Over the Trees

Cu and Blue
Cu on Blue

Watching the Clouds Drift Over
Lying Watching the Clouds

Morning Dog Walk Time
Morning Dog Walk

05/07/2008 Cloudy, and some additional rain today. So, actually, just kind of nice day to catch up on some indoor activities. All necessary outdoor activities were also accomplished between a few light showers. During the late afternoon and evening, enough breaks in the clouds allowed full shadows as the horses grazed away enjoying the growing grass.

Clouds Over the Grazing Horses
Evening Clouds over the Horses

05/06/2008 There was a quick overnight shower that dropped 0.02" of precipitation. This was followed by an early morning rain that dropped another 0.09" or so before breaking into a mix of clouds with blue sky patches showing. So far this has been enough to just settle the dust a little. A combination of clouds with light showers became the pattern of the day. Another quick shower drifted through during the early evening. Afterward, the sun cloud assortment continued until the sun disappeared and darkness arrived.

Cloud Mix After the Morning Shower
Cloud Mix after a Morning Shower

05/05/2008 Today, high clouds persisted through most of the day. They don't seem to be bringing much moisture (which would be helpful, as it is quite dry here at the ranch this spring). The thin clouds allowed a filtered sun to push the temperature into the mid 60 range today. Green up is beginning in-spite of the dryness, and today, after a short trail ride, a couple of the horses enjoyed free grazing in the yard.

Wanita and Corrie Free Grazing in the Yard
Wanita and Corrie Free Grazing

05/04/2008 The cycle of days is repeating, with another nice clear sky today. Like most days, the horses were waiting for feeding again this morning. The low just touched the 30 degree mark overnight and with the sun, mid 60's are expected this afternoon. Yesterday, clouds showed up about mid-day and held the high to just at the sixty mark. No clouds, should mean warmer! And ... so it was, with temperatures in the upper 60's late in the day.

Horses and Reflected Fence
Horses Outside the Reflected Fence

Waiting at the Fence
Waiting at the Fence, Again

Mirage in the Woods
Neighbor's horse, Mirage, in the Woods

05/03/2008 With a clear morning, the thermometer showed about 55 degrees. Unfortunately, this was the indoor reading! Outside, it had dropped to the middle 20's again, and with no fire going to heat the house overnight, things cooled down a bit. I expect the full sunshine of the day will result in a more reasonable indoor temperature by late afternoon. Since most chore work is outside, the indoor temperature won't really matter until evening!

Horses Waiting for their Morning Feeding
Horses Waiting for their Morning Feeding

05/02/2008 A mostly clear day today. The horses visited the creek again, both for wading and getting the fresh grass growing near it. I did another bicycle excursion into Kalispell and decided to feature the silo again. This time I just did a view down the fence line toward the silo and other structures. The evening was a sunny comfortable one and called for another fire ring event (no image, this time ... beer and brats repeat!)

Fence Line Leading to the Silo
Fence Line Leading to the Silo

Corrie Frames Wanita
Corrie Frames Wanita

Harmony and Orpheus Grazing in the Creek
Harmony and Orpheus Grazing in the Creek

05/01/2008 Mixed clouds started the day with sun making a full appearance by mid-morning. There was a mix of clouds and sun during the afternoon. The horses enjoyed a drink from the pond that recently starting filling again after a dry couple of days during which the creek had stopped flowing. At the last animal check the sky was totally clear. So, I expect the temperatures to drop to the mid 20's tonight. Kind of a chilly start of May.

Horses Get a Quick Drink
Afternoon Water Break

The Farm Next Door
The Farm Next Door

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time to Catch Up Will Come

The last couple of weeks sort of have skittered away. I need to catch up on a lot of things that have happened and I will with some updates to this entry and some changes to previous blog postings. Let it be said, that time moves quickly and sometimes I have trouble keeping up with it.