Running with dogs, version 5,061.0

I was finally able to run again today. Nothing spectacular, just a nice jaunt around one of the lakes with the pup. Running with Ripley is such a different beast than running with Guinness (who is actually now retired), but I’d like to share what I’ve learned from the two:

  • Puke, lick your chops, and keep going.
  • Fake like you see or smell something fascinating off the path as an excuse to stop running.
  • Sometimes the best part of the run happens when you pull off to the side and hit the grass.
  • When people, other dogs, and children approach in a way that makes you uncomfortable, a simple verbal warning should suffice. If not, turn it up a notch and let ‘er rip.
  • Sometimes you’re going to have to poop in less than desirable conditions.
  • Go in the water when you can.
  • The right kind of breathing/panting lessens stress and heat. So can a good, squeaky yawn.
  • When it’s too hot you shouldn’t run. Period.
  • Walking isn’t as fun, but it gets the job done.
  • Delight in being off leash.
  • Trail running? Yes.
  • Some things were meant to be sniffed, others rolled in.
  • Play a lot when running and play hard.
  • You don’t have to get in the car right away and drive home when you’re done. Sit in the grass and appreciate what you’ve just done. Breathe.
  • Occasionally turning your head and  making eye contact with your running partner makes you both feel better.
  • When you’re running trail, always turn and make sure the rest of the pack is still with you.
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Ever have one of those days?

The one where you wake up and think you will start running again after time off due to cough, diminished lung capacity, back pain, knee pain, and vacation? Then you see that there’s a wind advisory and you decide to run anyway, because what the fuck, you’re hardcore and  have run in worse conditions, right? So you run, and you find that your wheezing has turned into a really loud whistling sound that is concerning even to you, who is willing to put up with bullshit aches and pains and weird sounds because you are so fucking tired of your body falling apart and this aging shit is for the birds, isn’t it? Why didn’t anyone tell you about THE PAIN???? You’ve  been an athlete forever, right? So, with the whistling  wheezing craziness coming from your chest, you keep on running and realize that, as usual, you’re dressed perfectly only for one direction and  the direction you are going now makes you feel slightly cold, so  you keep running to stay warm, and the puppy decides to pull a  Guinness and is now near the back of the leash and you realize that you have the biggest asshole dogs on the planet, because they are HERDERS for fuck’s sake, and herders are supposed to run for days, but yours don’t because they are  defective and you think that maybe it’s time to trade them up for newer and better models that are not such assholes, and why the fuck don’t they have fucking jobs anyway the spoiled bastards. On your way home you realize that partly cloudy in the forecast means full cloud coverage because the weather people think that shit’s funny and they are also assholes, just like your non-running running dogs and fuck them because they don’t have depression, obviously, that is GREATLY affected by gray days and obviously they don’t give a shit about people who do, because WHY LIE otherwise? So, you obsessively take large amounts of vitamin D and research how much is too much because you really really really need to know so that you can attempt to stave off this bout of depression because depression lies and you are pretty sure you know that but the hopelessness comes anyway, and after 2 days of the SAME FUCKING HEADACHE, you still have the thoughts in the back of your head that say that death is not the worst thing in the world, after all, because you have lived one hell of a life so far, and not ever having that fucking headache that you can pinpoint with one finger because that’s how sharp and localized it is would be fucking awesome. No more headaches, ever. No, they’re not migraines, because nothing that you do is “normal” and you get cluster headaches “that are typically male” and why the fuck not? Then later that same day you find out that the one student you rearranged your goddamn fucking schedule for and inconvenienced other students for decided she “can’t take lessons this session, after all”, after you’ve already figured out the minimum cost and counted on her piece of shit money and  her stupid self-centered ass to come to your house and not actually listen to you when you are teaching then make your repeat everything 2-3 times, and now she’s not coming and you have to ask your other students for more money, and you  feel like the WORLD’S BIGGEST ASSHOLE, and hey, of course, because that only makes the depression worse, right? and you realize after about the 500th time that you’ve checked the weather forecast that it’s not going to be sunny tomorrow either, that you are actually depressed AGAIN, and you decide to put off the cleanse you are “supposed to” be doing right now and want pizza for dinner AGAIN, then feel fat and happy, yet unhealthy  at the same time, and think about the headache that is only kind of gone for now, because you KNOW it’ll be back soon (miss you!) and boy oh boy do I hate clouds and living here and asshole students. Then you think about how staying home and doing nothing should actually be an option for depressed people, and that you are really really good at it and should get paid for it because the thought of moving breathing getting out of bed exercising eating talking driving thinking doing  anything except drinking coffee and doing crossword puzzles is TOO DAMN MUCH.

Yep. I’ve had one of those days, too.

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Things I know about winter running:

1. You are always dressed perfectly in one direction and overdressed in the other.

2. Waterproof trail runners.

3. The wind will always change direction to be at my face.

4. It will only be icy when I forget to put on my grippers.

5. I will only be sunny if I forget to put on my sunglasses.

6. I sweat just as much in negative degrees as I do at 90°F.

7. No one shovels before 6:00 p.m.

8. My dogs’ excitement levels grow in proportion to the amount of snow and my irritation level.

9. I am getting old and tired.

10. Staying in and reading is a viable option.


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Holding on

I’m going back to Santiago in a year, so I’m holding on until then.

I’m taking a vacation around Easter. Holding on until March 19.

Still a little heart-sore about Lily. Holding on until I feel better.

I’m holding on to my hopes about running. I will be able to breathe once we get my asthma medication right, and I finish this round of knee shots.

I’m making The Fuzz hold on to their horses while I finish this post. It’s FUD time, y’all!

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If you like Mississippi Delta blues, there’s a biography of Leadbelly on Smithsonian tonight. I’m geeking out. This is my favorite of his so far:

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The Lily-shaped hole in my heart

This post is so contrary to my last one that it actually made me laugh: today we had to euthanize Lily. She was only 10 years old, and this was a bit of a surprise. I had a bad feeling when I finally got around to spending some time with her today, then I spent the next few hours mentally telling her goodbye, and saying goodbye for real at about 2:30 this afternoon.

A  few of my favorite photos of The Lil:


IMG_1320 trouble                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will miss her so much. I left a piece of my heart at the vet’s office today.

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The cats that won’t shut up.

I guess I’ll write about this, because I can’t concentrate on anything else. I’m sitting here, listening to Haggis’ every other minute meow, letting us know that it’s EAT:30!!!! Don’t forget! I should EAT NOW!

He’s not as bad as Lily, the food addict, who we’ve needed to fatten up and gets extra food. I no longer enjoy spending time with her, as I can’t hear myself think over the meowing and begging.

Where did we go wrong?

I long for a  cat-free world.

I have to close now, I can feel them watching me.

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