If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thanks ... and Moving Along

First off, thanks to everyone for the kind comments and emails last week.  It was a great lift and just wanted to let everyone know it was appreciated.  Kathleen is doing fine and we are going along through the waiting process that is normal to occur after the radioactive iodine treatment. 


Kathleen was quarantined for two to three days so as to not expose others to radioactivity - and she was stir crazy!!! So following two days of complete isolation from the outside world, last Sunday she was allowed out of the house - so we hit the Garden for a run! We were still super cautious about being in close proximity to other people but out on the trails that was no biggie.
Free at last
Enjoying the grayish sunshine below Siamese Twins
The Hill
Siamese Twins with no crowds

It was good to get out to the Garden, and especially nice for Kathleen to be outside.  Kathleen ran a nice 7 mile loop, then relaxed with a book in the Pilot while I went for another loop to finish with 13 miles on the day.  Good times!

Shoes - Montrail Masochist 

Nice Long Run
Reservoir with a nice backdrop

Last Saturday, Kathleen ran early before she had to go in to work for a bit.  Though her body won't allow her to push the pace at all or get long distances in, she has still been getting out for her runs without much trouble and just keeping them shorter than usual.  But shorter runs are far better than Zero runs!!!  I was a chump and waited for it to warm up before heading out on a long run.  I have not done as many of these lately and just wanted to log some miles and stay out on the feet for a while.  I headed over Flying W trail toward the Garden, but took a detour up onto Blair Bridge Open Space.  We always see these reservoirs in the satellite photos, but have not ever gone on top of the hill to check it out. 
Looking down from the top of Blair
Sweet views with the blue sky making its return!
Up on the west ridge looking across the Garden
Same reservoir, different perspective...

I looped through the Garden on Palmer Trail, then up out of the park on the Ponderous trails to the ridge above Glen Eyrie.  From there looking east, you can see the reservoirs far below from the beginning of the run.  Dropped over the gate and onto Rampart Range Road for the long cruise back down to the Garden.
Not the Saguaros that you will see over here, but they're all we have to offer!
Parting shot - heading home
One happy pair of shoes

It was a great day, with temps in the 50's for most of the run which I will take any day in the winter!  The run ended up being 17 miles and though tired, I felt overall quite good to finish a run like this in February.   Longest run yet in the Saucony Peregrines and my feet seem to like them real well.

More Blue Skies
   Group shot at Ute Valley Park

Sunday morning we got out early for a run at Ute Valley Park, and it was quite a bit more crisp than Saturday.  We were meeting friends in Castle Rock for lunch so we got in a nice 7 mile run on the trails and then hit the road.  It was also the inaugural run for both of us in these puppies:
Brooks Pure Grit

So back in time a bit to the big day at the hospital, Jill showed up wearing the Brooks Pure Flow shoes.  We were intrigued and of course GRILLED her about them.  Her new race team is sponsored partially by Brooks, so she also was privy to the Pure Grit and encouraged us to check them out.  We did.  And then we bought them :)  I felt so good running in them, that I took another jaunt at Ute when we got home later in the afternoon.  First shoe since the Masochist that I can cinch down and run without having some foot discomfort.  After some miles in them, watch for a review here.  Happy Trails!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


UCH - Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion
 UCH - Main
 The view from the endocrinology department - showing a mere fraction of the buildings on the enormous campus
 Souvenir container

For the last couple months, as you may have noticed, there has been diminished evidence of Happy Trailing in these parts.  Kathleen's overall health had been slowly fading over the last quarter of 2011, most likely a combination of the Graves Disease and the cumulative effect of the anti-thyroid drugs she was taking for the past year.  Since early December, we have been consulting with specialists at University of Colorado Hospital in Denver (this is a huge hospital - almost a small city in itself) to look at options for a more permanent treatment for Graves.  It had become apparent that the AT meds were not going to provide a shot at any period of remission for Kathleen like we had originally hoped for. 

While there is no cure for the auto-immune component of the disease, disabling the majority of the thyroid's functionality can provide a huge relief in the symptomatic effects of Graves, since the thyroid is the main target of the antibodies.  Most often, unless there are extenuating circumstances, the chosen method for diminishing thyroid function is through the use of radioactive iodine (I-131 for you physicists out there).  The iodine is taken up by the thyroid, then over the course of 3 to 6 weeks, a large portion of the thyroid dies and the overall function of the organ is greatly decreased.  Once this occurs, most patients require synthetic hormone replacement therapy, which is a simple pill taken daily. 

So today we started the day early at UCH with blood drawings, then several tests leading up to some pictures and scans of the thyroid.  The docs then determined the ideal dosage for Kathleen, ordered a custom pill from the nuclear pharmacy (do you know where your neighborhood nuclear pharmacist is???), and at 5:15 pm she swallowed a pill that we hope will be the start of getting the major hassle of this disease behind us.  Since it takes a while for all this to occur, it is still a waiting game, but at least now we have some better sense of direction.  If everything comes to fruition, summer may be the start of Kathleen feeling normal again...for the first time in a long while.  We're hopeful...
Jill helped brighten the day!!!

It helped Kathleen out a bunch having a mid-day visit from Jill, who drove way out of her way to the 'not so hot' part of town to hang out and have coffee (& tea) with us.  By the middle of the day, the anxiety was building a bit on Kathleen so being able to relax and muse about getting back to running hard was a great way to break that tension - it was a huge lift!  Thanks Jill!

So, over the next few months, there may be some longer periods of down time on the blog, not because of inactivity, but more because of the need to get back to normal - been a while, so we might not recognize it at first!  Don't worry, we're not going anywhere!  Happy Trails...on the comeback trail soon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You never know what you'll get in the Rockies!

Saturday morning, we woke to snow and temperatures hovering around 10 degrees, with a wind chill subzero.  It was snowing lightly, as it would all day long, so we decided against more sane judgment to head out for a run at Ute Valley. 
 Kathleen runs up from the arch
 Quiet forest
 Top entrance to Ute Valley
 Peaceful running
Heading out - looking over the west rim

We got our 10 miles in, then got back inside to stay warm the rest of the day.  Good run, but not hoping for many more at those temps!!
Now go back 1 week, and we had blue skies, 40 degree temps, and a great run in the Garden - weather jaackpot is looney around here lately!
 Say oooh, aaaah....
 Top of the ridge above Rampart Range Road
 Ridge Trail
 Kathleen on Rampart Range
Nothing like the Garden on a blue sky day!

Not bad for a 12 mile run in the middle of winter.  We will certainly take this over the recent alternative even though we desperately need the snow!  Just thought we'd throw up some quick pics so everyone knows we're alive!!!  Happpy Trails!
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