Monday, September 26, 2016

Training log - Week ending 9/25/16

This week was 44 miles of running, 34 "miles" of pool-running and 1000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

I kept things very easy for the first few days post-half marathon - I'm tapering anyway, and so the priority this week was recovery from that race.  Much of my "easy mileage" was done in the pool, resulting in a lower land mileage total, though my "total total" matched the mileage target for the week.

By Friday, my legs still felt a bit tired, and so I set out for the scheduled 2x3200 with some trepidation.  Only to run my fastest times for that workout in several years.   Sunday's run was another confidence boost - I was targeting 7:10 pace for the last 6 miles, but had to keep an eagle eye on my Garmin to keep the pace slow (and even then, I still ran a bit too fast).

So essentially, I've had umpteen great runs over the past two weeks, and one no-good/very-bad/try-to-forget run.  It's a shame that the one outlier was my tune-up race.  But maybe we'll just chalk that one up as "bad rehearsal/good show."

In other news, we had two new additions this week.

That's Topaz on the left (dark) and Quartz on the right.

As I noted last week, Brian and I had been preparing for the arrival of a blind kitten, but she passed away last Saturday.  Since we had the opening, I started looking for another special needs cat that needed a home. 

(people ask me why I adopt special needs. Easy - they all need homes, and since I've got the resources and knowledge to take on a special needs cat, why not.)

As part of my search, I stopped by our local cat clinic, where I saw the posting now displayed on the right.  Two kittens, survivors of a major hoarding bust from this past summer.  By my math, these two were a week old when they were rescued.  Of a total of 27 kittens rescued from disease and neglect, only 6 survived, including these two.  Sadly, their eyes could only be partially saved.

Since these were nearly-blind kittens in need of a home, and I had a home prepared for (but lacking) a blind kitten, it made sense to apply.  Two visually impaired kittens=one totally blind one, right?  And then things moved very fast and they came home with me the next morning.

The last few days have been an adjustment, and an emotional roller coaster.  I went from the low of losing one kitten to the tentative joy of adopting others.  I write "tentative" because the adoption was much more emotionally challenging than I had expected. 

When you bring a new pet home, you expect it to be a happy, wonderful time.  But about 2 hours after you get home, the weight of the responsibility that you've committed to (and the self-doubt) set in.  Even as your friends on Facebook congratulate you.

For the first 48 hours, I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. Our current cat, Isabella has a long history of getting along well with any car or dog she encountered, and so I had assumed that she'd either be neutral, affectionate, or possibly slightly aggressive to the kittens.  I wasn't expecting fear.  Or depression. 

(as it turns out, adult cats are sometimes terrified of young kittens, under the assumption that an overprotective mother is hiding nearby, unseen.)

Combine Izzy's surprising reaction with my internal questioning of whether there were others better qualified to adopt these guys, and a side helping of guilt over not adopting other special needs cats(repeat after me: you cannot save them all), and it was rough.  I'd wake at 2 am, awash in the certainty that I was the ruiner of multiple cat lives.

(2 am brain is its own beast).

But I hadn't ruined any lives (though Isabella still might debate that), and we're working our way towards being one happy family.   The newly named Topaz and Quartz are slowly feeling their way around the house, one room at a time, chasing noisy toys as they go.   And though Izzy's still adjusting, we're making progress each day, and she's considerably happier now.   The key to Izzy has been making a point of spending a lot of time with her each day, so that she doesn't feel like she's been upstaged.

Topaz and Quartz are unquestionably a lot of work right now - I need to feed them 3-4 times a day, plus medications.  But that will all ease in the next few weeks, as they mature.  They're not a lot of work because they're blind; they're a lot of work because they're kittens.   And one thing that's become very clear to me over the last few days: two kittens are much LESS work than one.  A kitten needs a lot of social interaction and activity and play time - more than we can possibly provide while also working (and trying not to neglect Izzy).  Two kittens can entertain each other for hours, freeing me up to do other things.  Like checking marathon weather forecasts.

As for the visual impairment, it's surprising how little it limits them.  Quartz has one relatively well functioning eye, and is essentially no different, functionally, from a normal cat.  Topaz lost most of her sight in both eyes, but can see light and shadow, plus some movement.  Despite that, she runs around like any other kitten - the only distinction is that she occasionally pauses and bobs her head as she maps out her surroundings by combining her limited sight with sound, smell, and air flow.

With that, some pictures.

Topaz at about 5-6 weeks. 
Our friend Ellen fostered her and Quartz after they were rescued.
Photo courtesy of
Quartz at about 5-6 weeks.
Picture courtesy of
Fans of kittens (and anyone with a heart) should follow Ellen's Instagram.
Topaz now.
Quartz now.  Her right eye is the bad one.

Cat blogging finis.  Running blogging should return next week.


Monday: 6 "miles" pool-running; massage at night.

Tuesday: 12 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: 1.5 miles easy (9:35) to yoga, then yoga.  Later did 6.5 miles easy (8:39).  4 "miles" pool-running and foam rolling in the afternoon.

Thursday: 8 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core in the morning.  2 "miles" pool-running and foam rolling at night

Friday: 10 miles, including a 2x3200 on the track in 12:38 (6:26/6:11) and 12:30 (6:17/6:13); followed by injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 10 miles easy (8:36), plus upper body weights. 2 "miles" pool-running and foam rolling in the afternoon.

Sunday: 16 miles, split as progression of first 9 miles at 9:14; next 2 at 7:4; last 6 at 7:03.  Followed with 500 yards of recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. That's really wonderful how you are caring for these cats. They are lucky to have you. :-)