I've been plugging along getting ever so slowly more and more healthy. At times it's been really hard because it's most certainly not been a continuous path of improvement. Over the course of weeks and months I have had definitive improvement, but I have stretches of a few days at a time in which I feel worse than I did previous to that. It's these phases when I have the hardest time staying positive and upbeat about my health. Luckily these "bad" stretches never seem to last more than a few days at a time.
This said, I have been able to start to be a bit active most everyday. Some days this means just biking to the store and back or doing a little 30 minute strength/balance/flexibility routine at home, but on good days I'm able to get out and run for 30 or 40 minutes or bike for 10 or 15 miles. I still haven't had a single day in over 6 months now in which I would say I've felt 100%, but it's nice to finally be in a place where I can at least do a little something with my body most every day.
As I start to get a little more active it's been interesting to begin to notice just how out of shape I've gotten. It's been so long since my muscles have been as weak and undeveloped as they are right now. It would have been great to never sink as low as I have, but at the same time I feel like I'm being given a great opportunity to do the whole getting into shape thing all over again, and with a lot more knowledge and experience than I had the last time around. Should be fun to see where that takes me.
Currently I'm in Alaska for a short one week visit. Got out yesterday on a 4 hour mountain snowshoe on a ridge line that I've never been on before. After a couple month stretch in the fall in which my health was so compromised that I thought I might never run in the mountains again it feels so nice to be back to the point in which I have the health to head up into the mountains and explore new places and absorb the energy of remote, largely untraveled places. It might sound dramatic, but I certainly got pretty emotional about being able to do something like this yesterday, after not even having the option to do this for 6 months. I still have a long ways to go to get back to anything resembling "normal," but yesterday was a huge step in moving closer to where I want to be eventually.
In other news, I was recently interviewed for the current Talk Ultra episode. Some stuff about Western States 2010 (as well as my thoughts on Western States this past year), Iditarod Invitational, and my current health struggles (among other things). Click here to listen.
Also, a little update on this summer's Alaska Mountain ultrarunning camp sessions: we are still taking applicants for both sessions. There are 3 or 4 spaces left in each session so if you want to join us for a week in running paradise this summer try to get the application/deposit to us soon to guarantee your space. Click here for all the info. Also, we are still taking applications for need based camp scholarships until the end of February. Here's the link for that.
That's about all for now. Spring is just around the corner. Get out and enjoy these last several weeks of winter, all the while gaining a little more energy each day with the lengthening days, the warmer weather, and the promise of a new season. I know this is what I'll be doing these next several weeks.