My cat Abby is getting up in years and starting to show signs. She went for her yearly checkup last week and her thyroid gland has started getting overactive, something not uncommon in older cats. She also is on something (Lactulose) to help her bowels (at least she didn't have to have a colonoscopy to figure that one out). In some ways, our lives are following parallel paths - her thyroid and my blood pressure (and now cholesterol); her lactulose and my psylium; and just getting older in general. I have one advantage over her though - my telomeres should be flapping in the wind! A recent study showed that active older people have longer telomeres (the "arm" part of your chromosomes) than their sedentary counterparts. As we age, we lose nucleotides that make up the chromosome and the outward effects are those of aging. That loss is slowed down through an active lifestyle. So all you active old farts pat yourself on the back! Now if I could just do something about my genetics - at least my doc says my HDL is so high (thanks to an active lifestyle) that it negates the slightly high LDL (the High Density Lipoprotein is the good cholesterol and keeps the arteries clean, where as the Low Density Lipoprotein clogs up the works).
As for an active lifestyle, last Sunday was the return of Lord Hill run. Several of us, Laura S., Lauren, Ali and Ida all met and carpooled to the run in Laura's cool Prius, feeling like VERY GOOD citizens! We got there in good time and were smart to make a pit stop on the way, as there was one porta potty and a long line at the start. It was pretty dang cold - 32F - while we were waiting around, but I guess I'm getting used to it cuz it didn't bug me that much. At least there was no rain! We saw lots of other folks from other runs including my friend from Capitol Peak Ultra, Linda B., and Erik Barnes, who has a nice report and photos here. After getting prerace directions from Tim, we took off. Ali, Laura and Lauren were all ahead of me from the start and I settled into my nice semi-slow pace. I like to start slow and taper off from there (apologies to whomever I stole that phrase from). I enjoyed listening to other people talking and cheering on the speedier ones on the out and back section in the first part. After the first turn around, I ended up running with a couple, Jeff and Robin Loen. Jeff was doing the 50K and had done it before, whereas Robin was doing one loop, like me. He eventually went on ahead (and ended up running with Linda B - small world, this ultra community). Robin and I hung together the rest of the run and enjoyed keeping each other company. Usually I am running alone, and she said the same went for her. Anyway, there were parts of the race where the scenery reminded me of the woods I grew up playing in, in southeast Texas! I think it was the deciduous trees that triggered that memory - certainly not the hills! And oh what a hill the Lord provided - there was a notoriously steep one in the middle where I felt we were just shy of using our hands to get up it. Don't know what that would have been like had it been raining and muddy - fun, I'm sure. Further, the 2 and 3 loop folks had to face it again - what studs! There was the usual mud, though not much compared to Capitol Peak, and other smaller hills. We finally came in at 2:16 (10.5 miles, according to Tim), where all but Ida from the carpool were cooling down. Tim had the soup going from the back of his truck and there were lots of awesome goodies that people had brought. Soon as Ida came in (about 12 minutes later - her first trail run, I think), we pretty much packed up to head home. It hadn't gotten much warmer (39F) and we all had obligations back at the ranch. I got one obligatory photo before we piled into the green-mobile to head home.
It was a good run and I really enjoyed hanging with Robin. I felt great all day - maybe next year I'll have to do three loops so I don't feel so damn good at the end! Next up is Orcas Island Fat Ass 25K and Linda's birthday weekend! Yay!!