Eight miles in the Seward moonlight, and I won a beanie (!!)

Wow, what a busy weekend.

Friday, my horrid diesel stove broke and leaked diesel fuel all over the living room. I came home to the most awful smell, like the grittiest, most disgusting gas station in the world. Yeah, that kind of smell.

I frantically called Wally the Repairman, who rushed out with his son and carted the ailing stove out on the deck. Then the stove pipe fell off and almost bonked him in the head. According to Wally, the stove wasn’t in the best of conditions. Actually, he called it unsafe, so in a way it’s good that it broke.

Rest in peace, horrid stove:

What is not a good thing is the smell, which I cannot get out of the carpet, no matter how many times I steamclean with the nifty red Rug Doctor machine I rented from Safeway. I washed the smelly area 18 times (no lie!) and went through three bottles of heavy duty “eliminates all odors” rug cleaner.

The only thing left to do was go for a run. Unfortunately, by that time it was around 10 p.m., so I hit the gym (it’s opened all night with a pass key) and ran 12 miles on the treadmill.

You know how sometimes you feel like crap the first couple of miles but then everything evens out and you hit that great running zone?

Well, that never happened. I ran and ran and ran, and the treadmill whizzed and whizzed beneath me, and I never got over my sluggish feeling.

But my time was decent and my stride was strong, so I kept plugging along. I had uploaded new songs on my iPod: Prince and the Grateful Dead (’cause I’m grateful that I’m not), Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads and one of my favorite running songs, “Jackson” by Johnny Cash but sung by Joaquin Phoenix (sorry, Johnny).

Saturday one of my friends, D, came down from Anchorage and we took the dogs out for a walk in the evening. It was cold and clear, the moon out, and we walked down to the Two Lakes Trail and through the woods to the lakes, the dogs running ahead so that when they turned their eyes green glowed in our headlamps. “Demon Dog,” I call my dog whenever this happens because she looks like one of those possessed dogs in a horror flick.

Today I woke up feeling congested, steamcleaned the carpet some more, blah, blah, blah, and finally made it out to the trails around 3:45 p.m., right after sunset.

This is who I saw around the third mile, Cedar Bourgeois. (Photo was taken by ANI photographer Roy Corral and last year’s Mount Marathon Race.)

Cedar is the racer on the right, with the hippie-chick running top. Around Alaska running circles, she’s something of a legend, winning the women’s Mt. Marathon Race seven times. (That’s Olympic skier Kikkan Randall next to her in the headband.)

Her time up and down the mountain is faster than my time reaching the top of the mountain, lol!

I had the most marvelous run. It was dim on the way out, and after chatting with Cedar, I had the trail to myself. It was quiet, nothing but the sound of my shoes hitting the snow, and the dog running ahead, and my mind wandered in that wonderful way that it does when I’m running. On the return section it was dark, so I turned my headlamp on, and the moon was alongside my left until it faded behind clouds, and it was so dreamy and peaceful. I thought of the book I’m reading by Lisa See, about a young Chinese girl who has her feet bound. Her toes were arched all the way back until they broke and attached themselves to the bottom of the foot. Then the arch broke and split. Back then, the ideal lenght of a woman’s foot was three inches. Can you imagine that?

I got this pic off the Internet. You can see the toes permanently folded under:

Running in the dark I suddenly wondered if perhaps the reason that I loved running so much was because I was reincarnated from a Chinese woman with bound feet, and now in this life I needed to feel free, needed to feel my legs move, my feet firmly hitting the ground.

Then I wondered if all of the women who run and love it were reincarnated from the almost billion of women who had suffered through foot binding. I know it sounds crazy right now but running through the woods in the dark, it all made perfect sense.

After I got back home and ate my perfect post-run meal (organic mac and cheese smothered with fresh veggies), I found out that I won a beanie from Punk Rock Tri Guy , who has to be the funniest running blogger out there.

Thanks Punk Guy! I shall do your beanie proud.

Running: 12 miles Friday, 8 miles Sunday

Reading:  “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See

Favorite poetry line: This is from Richard Siken’s “Scheherazade,” one of my favorite poems: “Tell me how this, and love too, will ruin us.”

4 thoughts on “Eight miles in the Seward moonlight, and I won a beanie (!!)

  1. Anne

    I love your running commentary on this and that 🙂 Glad that stove broke before something worse happened…maybe now you'll have to change the carpet too! That photo of the feet is freaky…ugh. I don't know if it's because I used to be a Chinese woman with bound feet, but love having wiggle room in my running shoes 🙂

    Have a good week…hope that smell comes out.


  2. Ah Ah Alaska

    Me too! I must have wiggle room in my running shoes, and all of my shoes for that matter. I wear sandals practically all year round. And yeah, I wear 'em with socks (don't snicker, okay?). Up here in Alaska, we call that high fashion.


  3. ajh

    I have read other books about this same subject but never seen such a graphic picture of it. It certainly shows it well! I”m reading a book I can't quite get into. I'm not stopping it but wish it would grab me more.


  4. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner

    Congrats on the cool win!

    I love running in the moonlight. It is so peaceful.

    That photo, eek. My Army Son was just telling me about different customs he is learning to prepare to be overseas. Growing up in a small rural American town, he is getting a eye opening education!


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