Sunday, March 30, 2008

Running outfit? Optional

I am getting creative in my running ways or possibly creeping ever so slightly out of touch with what's proper. Coupled with less time and an increasing freak out intensity over a race in about 80 days, I have come up with a plan to run anytime my feet hit the street. Need to walk the dog? We're running and Sophie's not happy, she's peeing like Olga, not stopping, point it to the side. No 2's are reserved for the backyard, no time.

The other day, I had to head over to the hospital for a check on my skin cancer removal site (boring crap) and I put on my shoes and ran over there, wasn't that far. I saw one of my clients in the same office and he said "were you just running down the street?", I said "yeah" and he looked me up and down at my outfit (not a running outfit). I have also been seen running in myUggs and pajama bottoms, jeans, chinos, etc. Uggs are really not that bad to run in, cozy and warm, socks optional. I can go a good couple of miles in them comfortably.

Yesterday,I found myself running (twice) in my pajamas, undergarments be damned.
They were the same pajamas that I wore to work (it was Saturday). All you need is shoes and (in Wyoming) a down coat. This winter I have forgone a jog bra. Anyone who knows me realizes that it's optional for me to wear one so that went out the window. I am gonna save a bundle not having to buy those torture devices anymore. It's incredibly freeing, quicker to get dressed but you can't be Pamela Anderson, then
its not fun.

And when I run in these spurts of time I have, it's like a bat out of hell. I am running, not jogging, not ultrashuffling. I am getting my money's worth and I come back to the office sweaty and out of breath, snot running. And it's the running that takes me back to being a kid, you never jogged when you were kid, at least I didn't.
Energy wasn't this finite thing like it is now. I was possibly being chased, possibly by things you didn't see or that didn't exist except in your 7 year old mind. Remember scaring the hell out of yourself walking home from a friend's house and by the time you reached the front step at mach 4, you were convinced that you just barely outran thebogeyman (which in my head at that time was Wolfman Jack, that dude scared me).

Shower you ask? No thanks. I have regressed a bit in my showering habits as well. In reality, I have never really liked showers, requires effort to stand up. I'd rather lay down so I am a bath person. After long runs, everyone wants to shower, be clean whatever. I would rather eat first.

I have just realized that I have morphed into a 12 year old boy.

I guess care a lot less about certain things than I used to and care a lot more about certain intangibles. Not going to name them, this isn't a motivational piece and everyone has their own. But I think winter can strip us down or at least remind us to stay vigilant. It can remind us of what we need to thrive or sometimes just survive by the sheer lack of it (and it's not ajog bra or a shower). When winter lasts a good six months and the sky has been dirty white for 2 weeks straight, it really comes down to surviving or resisting crazy within the isolation of it. I have always said that I wished I could have been a cave woman; I think I would have excelled at gathering.

I think that's why I like running, esp ultras. They come down to those basics - breathing, eating and moving. Not competition or expectations but merely
surviving. And I look forward to surviving all summer and fall.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I touch poo

As the title implies, my life is glamorous. As in previous rants, most people know that I work a lot this time of year. It's after 8 and I am still at work here and got here around 7-something this morning. It's not recommended, it makes you fat and unhappy and my back hurts. But I got up at 5:15 this morning and did my 4 miler, happily.

So my story, first, my preface - I have never promised anyone that my blog would be anything serious or dedicated to one topic, like running. It's not really going to detail my training program because it's nothing that someone wants to duplicate. It would go something like this - no run, drink beer, no run, eat brownies, 4 milers, 18 miler, real sore. The reality of my blog is I don't have Word at home so the Internet saves my stories for me.

Anyways, I had to run home last week to let the dog out for some runaround fun. Sophie has a new fun habit (fun for her only) in that she likes to climb the fence now that the snow line has moved her within a couple of feet of getting over it. She goes into the neighbors yard and eats deer poo over there (not the poo I am talking about). She gets in big trouble for doing this and I am sure the neighbors are thrilled with my screaming at her and her dramatic interpretation of the coat hanger scene in Mommy Dearest. She starts to howl before I get to her, all, my mom beats me.

So after I get her back over the fence, I decide that seeing the snow is starting to melt, that I should herd some turds. I am all about multi-tasking when i need to. And really it was a total landmine out there and for weeks, I would be happy with it snowed and covered the last layer of Sophie's outings. But now, we were at ground level for part of the yard and it was undeniable. So, out there in my professional garb, I scooped and shoveled, part snow, part poo. The bag filled and I started flicking them towards the compost pile, not making most of them over to it.

So with a full bag, I start to head in. I should explain my stair system during the winter. With the melting and dripping of late winter, coupled with my not being an obsessive shoveler (like my neighbor) my perfectly good 4 stairs from the outside to the house turns into a luge halfpipe, gleaming with water. Sophie literally steps out and slides down, but seeing she is 1/4 Scoobie, it's in her blood to do that.

I was headed up the stairs, in my work shoes (think banana peels), holding the bag of poo. First step, good, second still solid, third, it all goes to hell, I start going backwards, there's some windmilling of the arms and I reach out to put my hand on the ground but the bag. My hand goes solidly on the ground but only by way of poo (grocery bag, not ziploc size).

I still have to throw the bag away, what to do - wash my hands or throw the bag away. I am down on the ground thinking about this and clearly, to Sophie, this looks like an invitation to play. She gets the bag away from me and starts pulling around the yard. Mommy Dearest visits again and I get the bag away from her and throw it away before washing up.

I head back to work and have a couple of meetings carefully eyeing my clients to see if they are sniffing and then wrinkling up their nose but trying to be polite in doing it. I didn't see it, but then again, I would just blamed the dog.