Walking Tour of Concord NH

I got an idea in my head that I would walk all the streets in downtown Concord as a way to get three miles in. Copying the idea from Rickey Gates who ran every street in San Francisco. Since I can’t run, yet, I decided I would walk (without dogs). I don’t count mileage when I walk dogs. 

Today I decided that on this walking tour I would listen to my new playlist I just created for April. I started from my house and headed to downtown. I walked up and down the streets:

I decided to take some pictures of the beautiful buildings and some trees.

My playlist was pretty awesome.

Girl from the North Country – Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. 
I recently watched Escape at Dannemora and this song played during a dramatic scene. Plus the lyrics are pretty awesome and I love the North Country. “So, if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair, Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline, Remember me to one who lives there, She once was a true love of mine.”

Time to say goodbye – Andrea Bocelli 

Change – John Waite
From the soundtrack Vision Quest – just love this song. “It doesn’t matter who you are It’s all the same. What’s in your heart will never change”

Pretty – Ingrid Michaelson
“I’m not just pretty, No, I’m pretty damn good, Sure in my own skin, Again and again and again.”

Roll Me Away – Bob Segar
Pretty much my anthem: “Stood alone on a mountain top, Starin’ out at the Great Divide, I could go east, I could go west, It was all up to me to decide.”

Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“Tell me somethin’, girl, Are you happy in this modern world? Or do you need more? Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

When You Were Young – The Killers
This is my all time favorite Guitar Hero song to play. “Can we climb this mountain, I don’t know Higher now than ever before, I know we can make it if we take it slow.”

My Body – Young the Giant
This is a great song to run to but alas, I walk: “My body tells me no! But I won’t quit ‘Cuz I want more.”

He Knows – Jeremy Camp
“He knows. Every hurt and every sting. He has walked the suffering. He knows.”

Just be Held – Casting Crowns
This is one of my favorite songs. Beautiful: “There’s freedom in surrender. Lay it down and let it go. So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away, You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held.”

Nothing Compares 2 U – Chris Cornell version
I just discovered this version by Cornell that is on the playlist. I like the Sinead O’Connor version but I can’t listen to it. “It’s been seven hours and sixteen days, Since you took your love away.” Here’s the O’Connor version:

Colorful – The Verve Pipe
The Chris Cornell song reminded me of this song that was on the Rock Star soundtrack so I added it to the playlist. I just love the final scene in the movie when this song plays.

Happy Sunday.

Thoughts on Hope

There are moments I think we all feel hopeless about the future, and that nothing exciting will ever happen again. I know I felt that way almost every day this week. I start down the path of negative thinking and my mind spirals. 

This morning on a hike with my dog this happened and I couldn’t shake it. 

I hiked from the usual start on the Winant Trail and randomly took one of the many spur trails and ended up on a windy, back and forth trail that I’d never been on. It was one of those trails perfect for mountain biking because it helps you practice sharp turns and zig zagging up a hill. 

I only saw one other person and his dog during the early hike. The sun was shining and it seriously was a perfect day but my mind was not so perfect. 

Towards the end of the hike back to my car Winnie disappeared for the longest amount of time. She loves chasing squirrels or digging in the dirt. Ten minutes later she appeared on the trail after searching up and down calling her name. She was out of  breath, tongue hanging to the side and dirt all around her snout. I was so mad but at least she came back. I got back to the car and drove home in an even more foul mood.

When I’m in a bad mood like this I write; and today I wrote while sitting in my sunroom trying to get rid of my dark thoughts. I started writing about how I feel pessimistic about the future. 

But then I began thinking about last year. 2019 was such a game changer for me. I started dating again and just when I thought I’d never meet anyone I met someone. I started to really liking my job. I trained for 28 weeks for an A race. Nothing about all these things was perfect but thinking about how they came into my life – many by chance, by taking a risk, by changing my attitude – changed me in such positive ways. 

As I sit and write I remember how everything – everything – can change on a dime.

I’ve had the same morning routine for five weeks: get up, open the curtains, walk the dog, drink coffee. Thirty five days in row.  I want and need a change. I think about how one little event or action can change it all: a phone call, an email, a text, a random conversation. Everything can change in an instant. And these random acts can change your thoughts, your mood, your happiness and the future. That’s what I want to remember.

As I write about this hope, I decide that I will try to be the one who gives it to someone else instead of expecting it all myself. So that is what I’m going to do today. I’m going to call, text, send an email. 

This is what writing does for me. It helps me process what is going on in my head and change it around. The simple act of pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) makes me more hopeful. Thanks for reading.

Today is Saturday, Quarantine Edition

Today. 

It’s cold and windy out but I will bike and run. But first, I’m waiting for it to warm up a bit and of course, watch the 11:30 Cuomo Press Conference.

This morning I took both dogs on separate long walks and started the puzzle my BFF George sent me. I’m not really into puzzles but when a friend sends you a gift you use it. It’s a bit more addictive than I thought it would be.

It’s going to be a full day of exercise, puzzles, news watching and a vow to finish reading the last two Sunday New York Times that are stacked on my coffee table. What are you doing on this Saturday in April?

April 5, 2020 New York Times Sunday – still needs to be read.

Mountain Biking and Living in the Moment

I’ve lost count of how many weeks I’ve been working from home. I think three but it may be four. I really like working from home because I get to hang out all day with my dogs and take many walks around the block. When I walk I think of writing ideas and create sentences. 

One of the benefits of working from home is I can take lunch breaks whenever I want, specifically the warmest part of the day so I can run or bike.

When I run I think of everything: what I’m going to eat, who I need to call, past boyfriends, trips I’ve taken, races, the Cuomo brothers and their daily banter; basically everything. When I mountain bike I think of nothing except the line in front of me; the line I will take around rocks and roots, and maybe going over a big rock and catching a little air off a perfectly placed rock. 

When I really think about all the sports I do from ultra running to Ironman, the sport I’m really the best at is mountain biking. As I maneuver over obstacles my body seems to know how to move with the bike, and my flow is natural and efficient. Yet, I spent years running and training for ultrarunning, and I pretty much suck at it. To me, running is minimalistic and satisfies my need to be low maintenance; I can run anywhere and all I really need is a pair of shoes. With mountain biking you need a bike, comfortable bike shorts, gloves, a helmet, replacement tubes and more. 

Colorado 2012

I mountain biked more when I lived out west. I biked all around Winter Park and all over the mountains surrounding Tucson. I even did a 24 Hour race with a team when I lived in Tucson.

Looking back, the weather seemed to be a little more cooperative out west and there weren’t as many roots and rocks as the New Hampshire trails. 

Tucson 2014

I’m ready to get back into mountain biking this year and getting better. I have a 10 mile loop that I like to do, right from my door. I’d like to spend less time walking some sections and get faster.

My loop in Concord, NH

I follow Kate Courtney on Instagram and when I’m flying down a hill, in my mind I say, ride like Kate Courtney – body position specifically so my weight is distributed properly. I love her workout videos and how she is so successful at a sport I love. I’m looking forward to going back to the gym after all of this to get back on track to get stronger. 

I am thankful for many things and one of them is that I can ride. Riding makes me happy and makes me live in the moment – nothing else does that for me right now. So I will ride today, maybe even in the rain. I know with the rain and cold temperatures that I will be the only one out there and that may just be a good thing.

My fascination with Andrew Cuomo

I have a new fascination that is taking my mind off the chaos that the Coronavirus has brought to our world. This is not related to ultra running, Ironman or hiking in New Hampshire. I’m turning my attention, for a while anyway, to the acting president of the United States: Andrew Cuomo because watching his press conferences seriously makes me happy.

I accidentally started watching the Andrew Cuomo press conferences on Thursday. Or watched parts of it. As I listened, half watching and half working from my sofa, he made so much sense. He talked statistics and used graphs that I understood. He was inspiring, comforting and I couldn’t take my eyes of him – this almost never happens to me when watching the news. 

Friday I watched more and then I started Googling: Who is this Andrew Cuomo? I’ve never even heard of him. 

I lived in New York State from age 3 to 12. I remember hearing about Mario Cuomo, maybe, once I moved to New Hampshire but I was young. Living in New England as an adult and later moving out west I didn’t hear much about New York or even really cared about what happened there – I was a mountain girl. And not into politics.

But now I’m bit obsessed about learning about Andrew Cuomo. I’ve read articles about how he becoming very popular lately with his press conferences. I learn that he is bold and brash, a bit of a bully – characteristics I typically don’t like like in people or my politicians. I like people who calls it like they see, are intelligent and understands how things really work. Politics aside, I really like him. 

New York Times Sunday Review, March 29, 2020

Then I read this story by Maureen Down, Let’s ‘Kick Coronavirus’s Ass’.  I’ve read the entire piece online six times now and bought the Sunday New York Times so I have it in hard copy, too. I have clicked on all the links within the story to learn more about Cuomo.

Dowd writes, “Often in the past, when people called Cuomo patriarchal, it was not meant as a compliment. It was a way to describe his maniacally controlling behavior, his dark zeal to muscle past people and obstacles to get his way.

She writes, “To the surprise of many who did not associate the name “Andrew Cuomo” with the word “empathy,” the governor has become a sort of national shrink, talking us through our fear, our loss and our growing stir-craziness.”

She detailed his history, family, kids, political fights and I began to learn about Cuomo. She added a link to Rebecca Fishbein’s story about how Fishbein thinks she is falling in love with him. 

I really liked Fishbein’s story and feel the same except that I’m not trapped in New York, but nonetheless I am being trapped, like we all are right now with this virus. 

Like her, I see next week looking a lot like this: 

“my day’s two bright spots: 1) My afternoon run, and 2) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily streamed press conference.”

Cuomo just makes me feel better.

I liked Fishbein’s honesty in that she’s not really a fan of Cuomo and detailed her disappointments with his decisions as governor such as not legalizing marijuana and not enacting bail reform. Despite it all, she watches his press conferences and is happier: “comforted”

My favorite line: “And yet, in this time of crisis, with little concrete information available, I need Cuomo’s measured bullying, his love of circumventing the federal government, his sparring with increasingly incompetent city leadership.

And then Cuomo called her about her story:

Cuomo call her: https://jezebel.com/my-best-recollection-of-the-call-i-just-had-with-andrew-1842416129

Another link from Dowd’s story is an article written by Ben Smith, Andrew Cuomo Is the Control Freak We Need Right Now is excellent, too. I’ve read it at least three times and clicked (and read) on all the links to other stories.

Hmmm. Cuomo doesn’t seem all the endearing after reading Smith’s article. He writes, “Mr. Cuomo has governed New York for more than nine years without inspiring much love. He wins elections by grinding opponents into dust before they can make it to the ballot box. He governs by transaction, not inspiration, as a dispenser of favors and destroyer of insurgents’ dreams, the purest master of the machine since Lyndon Johnson in his prime.”

Smith explained why we love Cuomo so much now: “Mr. Cuomo holds news conferences filled with facts and (accurate) numbers almost every day. He explains systems and challenges and decision-making with a command that Mr. Trump lacks. He even models social distancing by having speakers stay six feet apart from one another.

Today’s conference that started at noon was a good one. Cuomo stated the facts, inspired New Yorkers and quoted Roosevelt. Then there were questions and that is when I could see the politician, the man the Maureen Dowd talked about in her story as he answered questions.

However, when his powerpoint is displayed on my TV and he speaks I just feel better. 

I think he’s very interesting and I want to learn more about him. He makes me love New York and New Yorker’s because they are a tough bunch. I definitely think he should run for president.