I made a joke on social media as #jenin50 turned west that I was "Westward ho!" My friend flipped that around and started calling me "the Westward Ho." I think it's a funny. I used it a lot because it made me giggle.
But now I'm going to become the Westward Ho, at least until November. That's because I'm moving to Boulder for the months of September and October. Annie Oakley Tater Tot and I are going to give the Colorado town a whirl to see if we like it.
Why Boulder? It has the feeling of a small city but is a short drive to trails and mountains. It also has a college where I could teach (and yes I'm already talking to them about that if I stay). And running: oh boy there's a lot of it. I was starting to train for my second 50K trail run right before Emily died in January, and I'd like to pick that up again and see if I like that too. Running a fall marathon (maybe) is a way to get myself back into the habit of running a few times a week, and putting miles on my legs again so that if I want to go ultra again in the spring, I'll be ready.
I'm not really stressed about moving two reasons: first, I lived out of my car for two months leading up to this decision, and second, it's not final. I rented a furnished condo for two months, after which I plan to return to New Jersey for November to run a marathon (maybe) and hang with my family through at least Thanksgiving. Then…who knows? I'll decide then.
That also means I'll be finishing my 50 state quest this year, probably on the long way out to Colorado. If that happens, it means I'll have reached my goal of wrapping it up by Labor Day. I went about it from a completely different angle than I planned – and picked up a dog along the way – but now? It feels just right.
Speaking of Annie Oakley Tater Tot – she's great! I've had her for two weeks now, and bringing her back to my mom's house to see the vet and work on some training was the right call. I don't know if she was ever an inside dogs, and getting used to the noises of suburbia has been a challenge, but a lot of positive reinforcement and of course treats has done magic. Her foot also healed while she rested as my co-pilot for a week, and she's come out on two runs with me – I do most of the run myself and bring her out with me at the end. I think she'll be a fine running dog.
I have a lot more thoughts on adopting one dog while still grieving the death of another, but I'm going to keep them close to the vest for now. I will, however, point out that the most recently named tropical storm is Emily. Fitting.
"Running with My New Pup" for The New York Times. One bit of work news is that I've taken over the New York Times running newsletter, which comes out every Saturday. It's free so you should sign up!
What I'm Reading
Readers, I've neglected you here! So here's a list with short reviews:
- Jenny of the Tetons by Kristina Gregory. It's book for readers age 8-12 that I bought while at Grand Teton National Park because I wanted to know who Lake Jenny was named for. I liked it and would recommend it for your kids too.
- Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini. Holy smokes. I know a lot of this information is out there, but what an engaging listen, since I took this one in via audiobook.
- The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming. I've passed this one a few times when searching for audiobooks from my library, but finally got it for my drive because, well, why not (and it was long and I had many miles to go before I got back to New Jersey). It was an engrossing listen and filled in a lot of gaps I had in my knowledge of Imperial Russia. Also, quite sad at the end. I knew what happened but not how it happened.
- Wild Cat by Christine Feehan. This was a Little Free Library pick and a bunch of misogynist bunk. Almost every modern romance novel I've read (and I've read a lot) has moved beyond the dominating male hero. This one did not (their relationship screams abusive to me).
- Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe by Laurie Lisle. I'm reading this now and it's quite good. I visited the O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe and Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico, which is where I bought this book. Glad I did. She's a fascinating woman.
I finished with dear Doctor Blake and am anxiously waiting – along with the rest of Australia, it seems – for them to finish filming their final season and a telemovie that will end the show. Mom and I also watched two movies when I got back: Moana, which I loved, and Some Like it Hot, which I've seen many times before. We've started Shetland now. What is it about the UK and their crime dramas? They're so good!