Does This Count as Cross Training?

Our training schedule had today as another 30-40 minute intermediate run. Stuff I have read about running suggests alternative activity to mix things up, physically, and emotionally. So I could say today’s decision to not run was that strategic.

We are still enjoying the slow pace at our cabin. The weather is absurdly warm, almost 70 degrees in the sun. A good day to get some outdoor chores done. First was cutting down a dead oak tree. Ther’s nothing quite like power of a working chain saw, yet the effort os much more upper body work than it looks. Then there was some splitting of the larger pieces with an axe. More gratifying work. Next came the easy job, planting a tree.

For our third year here we had continued a tradition of buying a live tree for Christmas, and setting up on our covered deck for the holidays. The trees we are buying are Austrian Black Pines, which are supposed to grow fast and be immune to the bark beetle which has decimated the native Ponderosa pines with a prolonged drought.

The last two we have planted following Christmas have grown tremendously well. So it was time to prepare a spot for tree number three. A spot was picked, a place where a Cypress tree ended up not doing too well.

So today’s exercise was pickand shovel physical labor.

Now digging a hole may not sounds like much, but the “soil” on our property is not far above bedrock of sandstone, and you cannot stick a shovel in the ground without hitting 2 or three other rocks, small pones, pebbles, medium sized footballs, and extra large giant slabs. We’ve managed to landscape our entire property with sandstone block walk way paths.

So it was no surprise when I started digging a hole for the new tree when I hit the tell tale corner of one of the larger ones. It seemed obvious this big rock would be an undesirable obstacle for roots of the new tree. It had to come out.

It was maybe an hour of chipping, prying to get the big rock loosened enough to get it out, but there was a problem– it was 2-3 feet down in the bottom of a hole, It weighed some 150-200 pounds and not very liftable.

So my wife and I decided to deploy a method that was worked well before- rock rustling. We work a 50 foot rope under and around the rock, tie it to our pick-up truck, and tow it out. With the angle, there was only about 15 feet of forward movement available, and the rop broke twice. But try number three was successful, and the wayward rock is now out of the way.

The effort took longer, and the planting is left for tomorrow.

So no miles down today, but one big ______-ing rock was moved out of the way.