Well, we got “our” dog back.
Last Monday we had to return Seriously, the dog we’d been petsitting for the past couple of months. It wasn’t easy; she had really squirmed her way inside our hearts.
But we picked her up again yesterday, for another glorious three weeks. It’s so, so nice to have her back. Having a dog makes a house feel more like a home. I know that’s a cliché, but the thing about clichés is that they’re cliches because, well, they’re basically true.
We have to return her a few days early because we’ve decided to fly down (like geese, flying South!) to Tucson ahead of schedule. We just got sick of the snow (i.e., I just got sick of the snow; MM likes to ski).
This probably sounds as if my life is super exciting. Trust me: It isn’t. I’ve been struggling terribly since I haven’t been able to run. And even though I’m taking swim lessons and my swimming is improving (last week I held my own sharing a lane with three guys. The testosterone was flying, trust me on that), it’s not the same as running. While swimming gives me a nice little jolt and a bit of an I’m-on-a-tropical-vacation vibe, it doesn’t uplift me as running does. I don’t feel completed and whole. Without running, I don’t feel quite myself.
Last week I started running again, slow, slow, slow, and only on the treadmill so that I could stop if my knee began to hurt. I ran 2.5 miles on Monday, 4.5 miles Friday and 5.5 miles Sunday. My pace was about 9:40-10 minute mile with no incline. I’ve discovered that running on the treadmill with no incline hills to break up the monotony is a small hell. There was nothing on the gym TV on Sunday, either, and my iPod battery was low, so I simply slogged it out on my own.
Still, I was running. Running! And it felt good. And my mega-two-and-three-hour bike work outs have kept me in fairly decent shape.
The good news is that during this break from running after my freak injury, I began lifting weights more seriously (that’s a pun on my dog, hee, hee, since she’s the cause of the fall that caused the accident) and I can now do 15 “real” push-ups in a row. This is a huge deal because prior to this I couldn’t do one real push-up; I had to do the girls’ variety, with my knees bent. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but there you go.
I also concentrated on my writing more, too, and submitted everything from poetry to nonfiction to a hybrid mixture of poetry, short story and memoir that is either really, really bad or really, really brilliant, depending upon my mood, confidence level and if I’ve properly exercised for the day.
Which is to say that I survived a month of non-running. It wasn’t easy and I still feel disjointed, as if I’m missing a part of myself, but it was fairly productive and I made the best of it, blah, blah, blah.
We did get out on one of the single-digit temp days and snap a bunch of photos of Denali (and don’t you dare call her Mt. McKinley, okay?) and winter trees, and even though my hands were cold, stuffed as they were in their thick, pink mittens, and even though my face was very, very numb, since I had forgotten my scarf; even though my thighs were bright red by the time we got home, it was still worth it. Beauty can do that, make you long for things you might not want to long for simply because of that one moment of turning and seeing a mountain cast in blue-silver light, or hear the song of the tide hitting the beach.
My new running blog crush: I have a bloggy crush on this gal from It’s Always Sunny Running.Too many of the running blogs I follow are always happy! Lives are perfect! Runs are effortless! Kelly, who is also a journalist and incredible writer, isn’t afraid to show her real self. I can’t begin to tell you how refreshing this is. You go, Kelly.
Have a great week, everyone.