A good start!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

So What's Wrong With Forty??

Saturday was my birthday. Forty. People freak out about forty. I suppose it was my job, too, to freak out. 

I failed. 

Forty is just fine. No, I’m not getting any younger. But who is? I’ve accomplished far more with my life so far than I could have ever expected 20 years ago. And I have so many plans for the future that I know that I can attain. No impossible dreams out there for me, I guess I’m too pragmatic to do that. I take my stairs one step at a time. I always have - just depends on my mood if I choose to walk or run.

It’s been an odd week. There a lot of potential things floating around in the ether. Some very big and cool things on the horizon if all falls into place. We shall see. And some head scratchers that just leave me smiling. Change is good, at the very least entertaining. 

So about all that running. I’m 5 weeks into marathon training and doing very, very well. What I have realized is that I need a plan. I train much better to plan. I need to know what to expect out of my week and how to time every work out. Then I never miss a beat. And so far I haven’t. My shorts are getting faster and my longs are getting longer. I’m almost back to my race weight which is lovely. 

But with the weather and 900 other things I’m trying to juggle right now I’m not getting outside as much as I’d like. Been spending a lot of time at the rec center and in my basement. But that’s OK. When I do get out it feels delicious. 

So ask me about my Sunday. Just not about football. 

I went for my first official donkey run yesterday!!! Happy birthday to me, indeed!!!!

I'll admit I did get pretty the night before and go out. My life is not all sweat and asses. 

Let me catch up on all things equine. 

I’ve continued to volunteer at the shelter. It’s this bizarre happy place for me in the middle of nowhere. As I’ve mentioned prior, Evan started volunteering and really took a shine to it. Last month I brought Elizabeth on board and, wouldn’t you know, she loves it too. So Saturday morning that what we do. Up early and we go out for hot drinks and breakfast for the road. Then a long, busy morning of work with silly, shaggy beasties. 

And they work so darn hard. The other volunteers dote on the kids and they do the work of any adult there. They see the results of their efforts. They feel like they are a vital part of something bigger and they are so proud of what they do. When the day is done the whole crew goes out to lunch together and I love to watch them eat. Seriously. They are famished. Food never tastes so good as after physical labor. It makes me very happy.

Through the shelter I found my racing ranch. Ross and Kay at Two Sweets Ranch have three horses, 6 donkeys, board 4 other equine, and adore each and every one of them. They volunteer their time at Longhopes and half their herd are rescue donkeys. This was just what I was looking for. 

So I opted to start working with a little dun jack named Guinness, otherwise known as BooBoo. I understand that he has a very pretty 10 minute mile pace be it uphill or down hill which is just where I want to be for trail running. 

Of course I was nervous. This was my first run. But I really took to Ross and loved his herd so I knew that I was going to be OK. The other runners were very experienced burro racers and I am pleased to say, I physically kept up just fine. And I learned a LOT about being the burro boss, finding that fine line between pushing too hard and being too nice. 

But it was a snowy run and the bulk of the trail we had to break. That was some serious WORK for me and my shorty legs!! I’m walking funny today and it was only 5 miles. 

So how does one run a donkey?

Like driving a cart. The donkey wears a soft harness (NO bits) which is attached to a 15 foot lead (rope). All harnesses have panic clips so if your little buddy gets caught it automatically releases and keeps him safe. The runner stay behind the donkey and our kids are trained to start with a Hi-yip (I like saying Hi-yip) and a little flop of the lead. And away we go. Just like that. 

It’s some serious interval training. They usually start at a fast trot but you can settle them in with a little traction. After a spell they find their pace and you find yours. It’s very meditative. 

But in the snow there was a lot of starting and stopping. Boo liked to run in untrampled snow and I far preferred to find a trail. But we met in the middle and did just fine. When Boo was unhappy with the trail he would start to hum. I’m not joking, my donkey hums. So I would let him walk a spell until he was comfortable (push a donkey too hard and he’ll shut down on you). If the rest of the runners pulled too far ahead he would start humming again so I would push him to catch up and he would be happy again. Funny little man. 

It was a great experience on a brisk beautiful morning. I can’t wait for the next time. Life, my dears, is just plain good. 

So here’s to forty. 

And here’s to me,

And you,

And a donkey named Boo.

Hey, Boo.


  1. Nice To Kill a Mockingbird reference! :^)

    Here's to life indeed. I'm glad it's so good. And you're right--there's nuthin' wrong with forty. Happy Birthday again!

    1. It was quite impossible to contain my glee to know that I might have a Boo looking after me. And Ross (with total love) says that Boo is a little simple. Aww, just a deep thinker, I'm sure … humming along the trail.

  2. I have to say, 40 has been pretty awesome so far. I'm not complaining, and I'm almost a year into it.

    I love that you've found your place with the donkeys and love LOVE that your kids have fallen in love with them and the volunteering too. What a special thing to share together.

    1. Nor I, love to finally be the youngin' in the age group!
      Crazy and fantastic. I love our time together with our donks. And there is no question that they will remember that for the rest of their lives.

  3. Please don't tell me you're moving away!!

    I'm so glad life is happy for you. You have a heart of gold; you deserve all those smiles you have!

    1. I absolutely, positively swear that I am going nowhere. Deets will be coming on Old Mags, everything should be pretty much settled down by then.
      So glad to spend time with you Friday. Might be able to repeat the same this week if you like. Just need to be on the road by 2:30 and I'm allowed to be stanky

  4. Happy birthday and congratulations on your inaugural run!

    1. Thanks, Linda!! Frickin' Fabulous is right!!

  5. Hey! I know that donkey! It was great running with you last weekend. :)

    1. Aww, get out!!!! I'm so glad you found me! It was great meeting you Sunday and I'm looking forward to more runs!!

  6. 40 rocks! I'm about 7 yrs ahead of you and, although 50 now sounds a little too close for comfort as numbers sound, I'm finding myself feeling the best I ever have! So how can it be bad??

    Love this post....so full of fun!!!