Free at Last

Week 40/52 recap

5.3 EZ – 6.7 EZ – 8.2 EZ 1:24:06

When I run and cross train on a long bike ride, it can free my mind to think of anything or nothing at all. Here is an example of the free association of thoughts that flowed on a recent run.

Free at last. Takin’ my time but I don’t know where. Free to take any route or any pace I like today.

No dog poop, no dog poop, no dog poop, clear! I never know what I am going to run into on these blind curves.

Ha, that lady has her matching gray schnauzers in little rain coats today. I am glad I am not made of spun sugar, I can run in the rain. Ooo! I wonder if we will go to Knoebel’s after the race and I can get some cotton candy! I haven’t had any for a couple of years.

Warming up just as it is starting to rain harder. *cough-a-cough* I always clear my throat on a run with that same rhythm, odd. *cough-a-cough* Then it gets me thinking that song from Aladdin, *cough-a-cough* wah wah, *cough-a-cough* wah wah, You ain’t never had a friend like me. Awwwww, Robin Williams just died. I don’t want to think about that unless I dedicate this run to his spirit. He really was an avid biker though so I will save that for my next bike ride.

I remember an indoor track workout that I dedicated to Pete Seeger earlier this year. I pounded out those laps thinking If I had a Hammer. If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, all over this la-and. I hammer out danger, I’d hammer out a warning, I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters. That is a really good tempo for running.

A wheel bug as a Fed Ex delivery. Not funny.

A wheel bug as a Fed Ex delivery. Not funny.

I am feeling pretty good today and the rain let up again. I am lucky, no sound of thunder yet and I am over a third into my run. That thought will keep me moving. That and wheel bugs, oh holy terror. If I had wheel bugs chasing me I would run like mad. I don’t know how that one got on me. I got it from Poe Valley or just our yard and I am glad it didn’t sting me when I knocked it out of my hair in the bedroom.

Rain keeps the small annoying bugs away even when I run more slowly they aren’t bothering me out here today. No bikers commuting today either. That was a great bike ride out to Poe on Friday and the little swim I took in the lake was lovely.

Too bad I fogged up my purple watch – what HAPPENED to that watch!? I set it out in the sun Saturday and it seemed to have un-fogged. Then Sunday it fogged again and I put it out exactly the same way, on that small table in the yard. Monday I woke to realize that I never brought it in nor checked on it. THEN I remembered it hadn’t been on the little table in the yard when I moved it to set up a spot for my parents to sit on Sunday afternoon! After raking then mowing the lawn it still didn’t turn up and that drives me crazy.

There’s that guy and his huge standard-bred poodle, off lead as usual.
“Coco, Coco, COCO, come boy. No! COCO COME!”
I have no words for him this time, not even a good morning. I wish he would learn that his dog just doesn’t listen and I have no time to pet his dog. He was wearing a raincoat but the dog wasn’t. Hm, what does that mean? No idea.

Man, I am in a groove today. I could really kick harder but am going to keep it easy as per my training. I will save my itchy legs for the race on Sunday. Not that I am running as fast as I used to but I am feeling pretty good, miles are actually clipping away and I am not stressing about anything. Turn around point and downhill.

I wore these sunglasses to keep the rain out of my eyes but they are fogging up. I wonder if my Mom still has that anti-fog stuff for glasses. I should have used it on the inside of my purple watch, grrrrr. I guess I will just put them up on the brim of my ball cap.

There’s that guy and Coco, coming back.
“Coco come.”
“Have a good one,” I say. If I had a nickel for every time someone had to call their dog for chasing me I could use it for therapy to cure me of me fear of dogs. HA! Coco, Bo, Deanna and all the nameless dogs whose owners tell me, “She won’t bother you.” If the dog has already forced me off the paved way, it has bothered me.

Reminds me of a woman I knew who claimed her dog got agitated and barked a lot when runners would go by because, “She can’t understand why the they won’t stop and play with her.” or was it, “say hello to her.” So, it’s the runner’s fault her dog was agitated, not hers for neglecting to teach the dog. I suppose if a skunk, porcupine, snake or bear didn’t stop and be nice to her dog it would be their fault too. I don’t know why I would think this woman would consider teaching her dog not to chase or bark at runners. She is the same woman who has had her deceased pet cat in her freezer for over a decade because she can’t bare to part with him. She also has had the cat’s DNA collected and saved in some other fashion with the hopes of cloning her soul-mate.

Gosh, last thing I knew her boyfriend also had his pet ferret in his freezer! HELLO PEOPLE WITH PETS IN YOUR FREEZERS – IT IS SUMMER NOW! Set aside a time before the end of August and bury your pet’s remains and free up freezer space! Make it a special time to commemorate what a great pet they were and bury their remains; they won’t be needing that body anymore and neither will you.

I am gonna blast up this hill today! There is that cute mailbox with those dog portraits painted on it – “Mookie” and “Artie”. It has been painted that way for maybe 20 years and I haven’t seen either of the dogs in well over 5 years so they have probably passed on by now. I wonder if they would want me to paint a halo (or lil devil horns) on them the way I added them to my painting of Mooch? I bet they don’t have those dogs in their freezer.

Washing Pepper, probably his last summer with us.

Washing Pepper, probably his last summer with us.

You know, even in the dead of winter, we have always found a way to bury our pets. When I was 18 or 19, our dog Pepper died. He had been with our family since I was 6 and was very dear to us. It was a very glum day in late winter and Dad took an ax to the perma-frost layer in our back yard to dig his grave. I can remember hearing the pounding of the tool hitting the frozen ground, almost feeling it shake the floor as I sat in the house and cried. It was like a slow drum beat, a dirge for Pepper.

Pepper’s death hit us all hard. As hard as I just ran that hill, yeah and almost home. I didn’t realize the memory of it stayed even with my Dad. That was until this past winter when he was battling with so much, going from hospital to rehab, rehab to hospital, not returning to his own home for months. In the midst of it, when he was feeling pretty much at his lowest, he quietly said, “I wonder what Pepper is thinking.”

Not sure what he was getting at, I turned it back Dad by asking, “What do you think Pepper is thinking?” Then he said to me the words I remember him saying as he tossed Pepper’s leash into the grave before covering our dog’s body with the cold earth, “Free at last.”


4 thoughts on “Free at Last

  1. Love the stream of consciousness running thoughts. You’ve given me the extra needed motivation to get off this stool and charge on with my run in the morning rain. See you in NY.

  2. We had to put a hamster that we were pet-sitting in our freezer (awaiting its owner’s return). The Mister thought it was a waffle. Good thing he asked first.

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