For a while I was skipping the running and since I hate the elliptical, I decided to try the rowing machine and discovered that I love it. So, for a brief while I was rowing for my cardio until I could go back to running. Of course, as soon as I started running again, I had the pain coming back in the Achilles. I was doing some Googling to try to figure out what to do because I have to go back to running and ran across someone talking about massage being the key. And it worked! As long as I massage my heal and my calf a couple time a day for a few minutes I am pain free and running. At the end of this week I will have run 60 miles and be pain free.
The running in Casper is pretty amazing. There are lots of multi-use paths. Sadly, not all connected, but that seems to be the eventual plan. Not all lighted but some are and that is amazing for early running morning. I can run the path by the river, and it is light enough that I can see what I am doing. And there are bathrooms and water on this path. I am big fan. I have discovered paths to are super flat and go on for miles and miles. In the early mornings I usually start by running around downtown where I live because it is so well lit. On the weekends I love to run the streets and look at all the beautiful old houses. It’s not a big city so if you want a lot of miles you really have to be running up and down streets. It always feels super safe. I rarely see anyone running or otherwise. My biggest concern is a loose dog or a scaring a deer into the street and having it get hit by a car.
When I first started running, I was running in the afternoon after work. I was convinced that as the weather got colder I wouldn’t won’t to run in the morning. But I really prefer running first thing in the morning, so I went back to the mornings and the cold weather hasn’t been a problem. So far, the coldest has been around 17 degrees, I think. It isn’t really the cold but the wind. 20 mph winds are pretty much an everyday deal around here and 40mph gusts are not rare at all. I did buy some warmer gloves, but they aren’t worth the $50 they cost me. My hands are just as cold as they were when I wore cotton gloves. They are gore-tex so that will come in handy when it is snowy or rainy. I did try to run day after a big snow with mixed results. I pulled out my nano spikes to discover that they rubber had broken on one of them I tried to give it a go, but it wouldn’t stay on. In the end it was too bad. I stayed on paths that I knew had been shoveled or where the area would have gotten a lot of sun and the ice would have melted and evaporated. I am looking at the Salomon running shoes that have the metal grip built in, but they only come in men’s sizes so I don’t know how that will work for my tiny foot. Come on Salomon – that’s not cool. Women need grippy shoes too!
But I am not in rush about the shoes because I am coming home soon! It’s a good news/bad news situation. My college has decided to go online for the rest of the semester after Thanksgiving. We continuously have quite a few cases on campus and the decision was made to keep from overwhelming the public health system here. I just read in our local paper that Wyoming has the highest rising rate of cases in the country and we are at the bottom of the list for mask compliance. Sigh.
I am happy to come home and see my family and maybe even more my dog Pasta. But I also have really loved living in Casper so it’s a little bittersweet to be leaving, even temporarily. Casper is pretty interesting place. Maybe still stuck in the past, but the people are nice. For being such a conservative town it’s also a very artsy town. Evidently there is a law on the books that women can also be topless so there is a woman who rides her moped around town with no top on. I have to admit that I almost crashed my car the first time I saw her. My mind couldn’t work out what is was actually seeing! It’s nice because it’s small enough to be very walkable and feel like a small town. Driving it takes me about 10 minutes to be across town. But it’s big enough to have everything you would need, and for the rest you can always order it. Denver is only 4 hours if you really need big city shopping. I have already been a few times but that was to take advantage of cheap airfare. Casper sits at 5000 feet above sea level but in 15 to 20 minutes I can be at 8000 feet and the top of Casper mountain. I haven’t done any running up there, just hiking.
Hopefully the running will continue and I might even hope into some races before the year ends and I will have more to report on a regular basis.