Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

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I think

I think that maybe we are all a bit like a Trojan horse, parked in place in our individual lives with a bunch of stuff inside which is just waiting for the dark in order to jump out and attack.

I think that sometimes you simply cannot make lemonade out of lemons no matter how much you’d like.  Because sometimes, regardless of how you’ve planned, you just flat run out of enough sugar.

I think that sometimes we have to allow, for ourselves or for others, that there’s a lot inside that Trojan horse with no safe way to get it out because there hasn’t been enough time yet.  Or the lemonade is seriously short of sugar right now because there hasn’t been time, energy, money, or means to get to the store.

I think that I need to allow myself and others to deal with and accept our individual Trojan horses and lemons.

I think what I can do is to try every day to replace something sour and/or dark with something sweeter or lighter.

I also think – for myself and for others – that there are times and seasons in life it is not possible.

So what?

Whenever you have the chance, kick out something dark.
Fill what you can with sugar.
Don’t judge anyone else’s lemonade.
And if your horse and lemonade aren’t being too much trouble right now, find someone else who could use some help emptying, filling, and sweetening.

Well, that sucked. YAY!!!

I did six miles this afternoon and it sucked 🙂  I can’t hold a pace under 9:45 without an oxygen mask dropping from the overhead, I’m maxing my HR and my heart looked pretty much like this:

bugs bunnyOnly it wasn’t because I saw a sexy bunny.

This means that, one, I really am back to running because I’m no longer jogging along comfy just for the sake of being on the pavement.  Two, I’m running.  You can’t complain about a run if you can’t run.  Thus I had the very sweet luxury of running along thinking *&^% this SUCKS.  I SUCK.  This run SUCKS, and as I thought it I found myself smiling with the joy of a sucking run.

Again proving runners are #crazynutjobs.  But – we’re happy crazy nut jobs so you gotta love us, right?

This week has sort of sucked.  First, I guess because Jen and I had talked about him, and then I wrote about it, Tuesday night I dreamed of my brother.  I never dreamed of him when he died. I wanted to, I’d have taken any chance to see him even if just in a dream, but it never happened.   This dream was incredibly real.  Nothing special, Bret I were talking, about mom and anything else you’d talk to your brother about if you were in the kitchen one afternoon, and I remember nothing other than that.  Then I woke up, which surprised me because I thought I was awake talking to my brother, and I realized it wasn’t real.  It was SO real, and then it just wasn’t, it didn’t exist, and I started crying.  I couldn’t quit and poor Hubs was lying there patting me on the shoulder.  “Is it Murphy?  Are you upset about Murphy?” but I just kept snorting all over, my pillow wet with tears.  It was, quite frankly, rather stupid.  Here I am, again, with my body doing something I have no control over.  I mean, I tried.  I bit the pillow, I clenched my jaw, I stuffed my face in the pillow – nothing.  Just kept crying, except when I stuffed my face in the pillow because then when I sniffed I kinda choked because of course there was a pillow stuffed into my face.  I guess actually you could say it was successful, in that I did quit crying while I choked.  Anyway, I finally drifted off to sleep still crying and then the next morning I looked like I’d run into a wall.

Du Maurier

When I woke I realized I was going to have to call the Vet about Murph T. Dog because he’d been limping around since Monday afternoon and now he wouldn’t eat or drink, and he kept yelping when he moved wrong.  Mostly he just wouldn’t move at all and I had to lift him into the Explorer and back out of the Explorer and he does weigh about 36 pounds hanging there in my arms, miserable.  Then he pooped on the Vet’s front door step.  “My dog just pooped on your door step,” I announced, carrying the limp bag of dog cement into the office, “do you have some paper towels I can use?”   They were very nice and refused to let me try to pick up poop while holding the aforementioned 36 pounds of useless dog and one of the techs cleaned up my dog’s poop for me.  I’m sure this is not the first time she’s had to do that but I still felt bad.

He has a couple vertebra that have been a problem in the past and sure enough, he hurt it somehow, so they filled him with shots and I carted home two pill bottles about the size of a jelly jar.  He moped around in pain and finally hid under the bed, having eaten one little doggie biscuit and two very large, peanut butter wrapped pills.

Thursday morning he came downstairs almost sort of perky and Chunk was not upset when she saw him so I figured that was a good thing since she gets rather insulted when people don’t feel well, like it’s a bother to her somehow.  “Oh, I’m sorry I’m vomiting out most of my insides, Chunk, I know you find it offensive,” I feel compelled to apologize.  Oddly, despite her complete irritation and disdain for all things sick or injured she is strangely fascinated, roaming about smacking inanimate objects and the offender, yet she refuses to leave their side.   “Smack!  Quit it!,” she seems to be saying and it makes me think she was a neurosurgeon in her past life as my experience with neurosurgeons evidenced about the same level of compassion, not that I’m bitter or angry, just stating facts.

Unfortunately Thursday afternoon he stood up, yelped quite loudly and refused to move, just stood there, head hanging, heart pounding.  Well crap, I thought, maybe he’s ruptured a disc or something.  It was too late to call the vet so I carried him upstairs, he scooted under the bed and never came back out.  In fact he appeared ready to stay under the bed the rest of his life so this morning I had to get the mattress and box springs off the bed and carry him downstairs.  Despite not eating much in the past 48 hours I can attest that he has not lost any weight, and we repeated Wednesday morning only omitting the pooping on the door step, which made me happy.

They knocked him out with a muscle relaxer, Xrayed his back and gave him some different steroids and gave me another big bottle of pills.  Since Murphy was splayed out in a kennel like a freshman at 4am during rush week I left him there and will get him later this afternoon.  The Vet prefers – and we concur – to try to treat this medically.  Surgery is an option but I really hope that is not going to happen.  I expect if you could ask Murphy he’d agree.

So – my week kinda sucked but it’s a luxury to have a sucky week with a tough run and a sick dog because I know a whole bunch of people with way worse things going on, marriages and cancer and death so I think what you should do is ruefully shake your head at this week’s travails and go kiss your loved ones and also kiss your dogs and cats despite the fact you will get hair in your nose and sneeze.

The End.


peter gathje

These are the shoes of a homeless man.  These are the shoes he walked in daily.  These are the only shoes he owned.
I own a countless pair of shoes, usually wearing more than one pair of shoes daily.
I run, I come home, I put on other shoes.  If my feet are tired I’ll change shoes.

I’m up since 3am and Brain 1 and Brain 2 refuse to compromise and play well together.  I’m going to visit my mom and I’m sure that’s part of the fireworks in the head, lots of adrenalin and “did I remember…” “Oh, shoot, don’t forget…”

It’s Lent.  As we’ve discussed, I have my issues with organized religion but consider myself deeply spiritual despite the occasional (be honest, frequent) F bombs and Dammits.

This week I had the honor of meeting Dr. Peter Gathje, a man who walks in Christ’s sandals.  He co-administers  or directs (sorry, don’t know the correct title) Manna House of Memphis, which I’ve been following since several summers ago when there was an article in the Commercial Appeal.  It was an extremely hot summer.  The article was about the homeless that Manna House serves and their need for shoes, preferably athletic – when you think about it, giving a homeless man a pair of worn out leather dress shoes is not all that helpful if he’s going to be walking miles around downtown daily – and tech shirts, since it was so hellishly hot.

Since I sometimes hang around with runners, I posted that I would collect shoes at one of the RRS 5 milers.  Runners, being the incredibly awesome people they are, left dozens of shoes by my car which I toted to Manna House, dropped them off and left.  I have continued to gather stuff when I can and have toted more stuff down to Manna House, little tiny drops in a huge bucket.

I’ve mostly come to peace with my issues, but it’s Lent, which I’ve always loved, so the wrestling match in my brains heats up.  God, as he does, won’t let go and has shaken things up – again.  Two “chance” encounters at stores I seldom visit and a box of shoes and t-shirts, these are the conversations God and I have had this week.

I know this is vague and likely rambling but thank you, angels, for being where you were supposed to be when you were.  The tangled ball of yarn continues to unwind and you were His agents.  I’m looking forward to learning where the journey will go.  And if this path goes no further I still thank you, Dr. Gathje, and F, and S, for being there at this crossroad.

Happy New Year. Because stating that is not at all pedantic.

Actually, if you think about it, it’s not really a new ‘year’ or anything else.  Time is man-made, it’s something we’ve created to anchor ourselves.  Probably a few majillion years ago whenever the first women roamed the earth they had the “bright sunshine warm” time and the “grey cold” time and the “oh sh*t a baby is coming out of me” time.  And when that happened it wasn’t like she could tell the medicine woman that her contractions were three minutes apart – she didn’t have minutes.  She also didn’t have epidurals so you know that sucked.

However, here we are, anchored in space and time with many gadgets that tell us just how much time we didn’t use wisely, and how much time we spent looking at some really cute boots on sale at Zappos, and how much time we spent trying to decide whether to buy the boots at Zappos even though we don’t need them because we only have two feet and we can only wear one pair of boots at a time and we already have three pair of boots.  Which, by the way, “pair”, while being two, is singular.  (also, hubs, if you ever happen to read my blog, I did.  not.  buy any boots)

This is what I thought was a really great idea a month ago:  put a bunch of lights on the bushes outside.  I was driven to do this because the awesome retired man across the street – seriously – is in annual competition for the local Griswold Award.  He’s got the most incredibly fantastic random assortment of Christmas yard art you’ve ever seen.  There are light up ducks and singing Mr. & Mrs. Santa, and light globes made of clear plastic cups glued in a circle with a light shoved through the bottom of each cup.  He has a light up countdown calendar to Christmas on the wall next to the front door.  There are inflatables that he inflates and deflates every evening, snowflake shaped lights in the grass, icicle lights hanging randomly from the trees.  I cannot believe I am lucky enough to live across the street from this.  It’s SO COOL.  Whenever the B’ster comes over we go across the street and he runs around looking at everything.  One night we put the leash on Murph and took him, too.  We walked across the street, looked at lights and went back home.  Murphy looked at us. What the hell?  That was a walk?  Are you idiots?

Apparently, yes, because yesterday in the steely grey afternoon at a damp 31 degrees I was outside unstringing the stupid lights while my fingertips (in gloves) turned white, laboriously wrapping them awkwardly around wooden thingies the hubs made to laboriously wrap lights around.  Meanwhile Mr. Awesome was across the street undecorating his house.  I did not want to ask if he won the award because the first year we lived here he came in second and seemed rather disgusted about it.  No need rubbing salt in the wound if that happened again.  This is what he had:  A little round rolling up thingie.  He stuck the end of a string of lights in it.  Then he wound the handle and the lights wound their own selves up.  What the hell am I doing, wrapping the damn things around a piece of wood?

Also, is it ever not going to be 31 degrees and grey outside?  July is going to be pretty weird.

GUESS WHAT?  I ran 5-1/2 miles New Years Day!  Afterward there was a potluck and Tom brought the best chili.  It’s Weight Watchers, too.  Here’s the recipe:

Brown 2 lbs of hamburger, ground turkey or a mixture of hamburger/sausage along with one package of Taco seasoning

Put it in a crockpot with one can of each:

Whole Kernel Corn

Pinto Beans

Black Beans

Refried Beans

Diced Tomatoes

Rotel Tomatoes

Stir in one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix

YUM!  (You should know that if you eat the chili by scooping each bite up with a large Frito, the Weight Watcher’s thing is largely negated.)

Anyway, getting back to our laboring foremother who did not worry about decorating bushes with lights, which are something she wouldn’t know about, with not having any electricity and stuff, and who was probably wearing some boots she’d made out of leather she’d tanned after chewing up a bunch of herbs or something and spitting them on the hide of the auroch and rubbing them in for about 10 hours (although she had no time so was it really ten hours?  or … not?) to soften the hide and then sewing them together with some ivory sewing needles an enterprising male (perhaps the progenitor of the “oh sh*t the baby is coming”?  I think maybe so.) had hewn (cool word, hewn.  “How are all ya’ll hewin’?” they say in the South.  Which means, “is everyone healthy?  and, if not, can you spare the surgical details?”)  (Dammit.  I’m … lying …)

ANYWAY back to our foremother who is laboring to bring forth the child which could possibly be your many-times-removed grandparent all because some enterprising male managed to make a sewing needle out of a cactus sticker, wooing her with promises of auroch hides to spit upon:  a New Year probably meant about as much as a crockpot.  “Right, then, I’ll just stick this auroch leg in the crockpot and we’ll have us some nice dinner tonight, right after I pop out this little baby thing that I have no idea where it came from because that was 9 months ago and we don’t have months and don’t know what sperm are.” (sperm, while being many, is singular)

“And, also, Happy New Year” she pronounced.

The Bobment. Happy Bobday!!

Yesterday was Daylight Stupid Time, in which some unnamed They people dork around with my hour twice a year, first taking it away in the spring and then acting like they are such great Good Guys by returning it, apparently unharmed, in the fall.   Every year the They people repeat this, touting the goodness of theft, arbitrarily removing and replacing my hour.

THEY ARE LYING:  there always remains 24 hours in the day!!!!

If anonymous They people can do such a thing, I, too, can create a movement:

The Bobment.

Everyone hates poor Monday.  Vilified, decried, despised.

I hearby declare Monday’s name is changed to Bob.

Now you can awaken after a pleasant weekend and, instead of dreading Monday, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee with Bob.

Happy Bob Day!

Coffee and Zombies, Yet Still You Scoff.

Yesterday rubber band legs, this morning I can’t walk and I think everything from the top of my hips to the top of my knees has solidified into cement – cement which can feel pain.  Cement which I believe may have become sentient and seems to be making its own decisions, and I’m rather concerned.  For instance I just went to get more coffee and the cement which used to be muscles, tissues and bones decided it didn’t care about coffee or not and will be damned if we are going to pick up our knees and set our foot on the next stair.  So there we stood at an impasse, me gazing forlornly at the kitchen floor, only 6 steps above me, the kitchen with my most awesome Cuisinart Grind ‘n Brew, the Shrine of coffee heavenliness, the holder of all that is best about the world of 4:30am, the heady smell of caffeine wafting down toward me, out of reach…never again to know the goodness of that nirvana…*sob*

“MOVE YOU DAMN LEGS, I SAY:  MOVE!” I entreat my legs.  I exhort them to remember me, the one who has always fed them, massaged them (ok, fine, whenever I remember the foam roller.  Once a month is good, seriously, guys, I’m trying here), the one who, in high school, resorted to wearing men’s button-fly Levis because nothing else came in a 32” inseam and you two looked like idiots in those high-water jeans I found at Sears.  Consider all I’ve done for you, and you can’t get up the stairs for A FREEKING CUP OF COFFEE OH MY GAWD I NEED COFFEE.

This concerns me on a couple levels.  For one thing I could eventually starve to death down here because all we have is a bedroom/office, a bathroom, and a den.  None of these rooms contain anything edible unless I finally get so hungry that the vanilla lotion in the bathroom, in my hunger-crazed mind, begins to resemble a vanilla shake.  In a plastic bottle with a squirt top.  Hey, they could be putting vanilla shakes in bottles with squirt tops – you don’t know.

Secondly, and I don’t think either of you actually realize this, but I’ve long had a carefully hidden fear of zombie attack.  This possibility is real and the world doesn’t pay any attention to it.  Why do you think I run so much?  So I can wear this t-shirt (below) which informs you “if zombies attack, I’m tripping you” and I can stay ahead of the rest of you zombie fodder.  But now:  I’m stuck downstairs, weakening moment by moment, nothing to eat, no coffee to keep me from dozing off and the next thing I know, I could be under Zombie attack and helpless to save myself with my useless damn legs on strike.

And still you scoff.  There are no zombies you two say, snorting your coffee out your noses while you laugh at me (serves you right I hope your nose burns all day long and that is a horrid waste of good coffee, by the way).  Now I offer you this helpful chart (below) so when the zombies DO attack – and they will – you might have a chance of survival unless I’m near you in which case I will certainly outrun you and leave you for zombie fodder.  (DAMN LEGS, AGAIN I SAY:  MOVE!!)

16. RE: Zombie Behavior

Let’s enter the brain of a ZED.

1) Is there prey around that I can see?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go to 3

2) Go toward the prey, is something in the way?

yes…..go to 4

no ……keep going

3) Is there prey that I can hear?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go to 5

4) Can I go over or around it?

yes…..keep going

no…….go to 6

5) Is there prey I can smell?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go wander

6) If I pound on it for a considerable amount of time, is it weakening?

yes…..keep going

no…….go to 1

And it cycles through this list at a persistent pace.

But, no.  With all this proof still you scoff.  I know.  I can hear you with my super sensitive Zombie hearing.  OK then, check this out:

Yes.  The GOVERNMENT is aware of the Zombies and you aren’t.  Who are you going to trust?  Yourself?  Or the Government?


Got you now, huh?!

I immediately purchased the following items which I secured in a secure place in the house so I would be safe when the Zombies come even though neither of you believe me, nor do you actually care, so when the Zombies do figure out the answer  to #6 (above) and the answer is yes and the answer is you it won’t be me and as long as I have the coffee pot, the book and the emergency kit I will be fine and you will be Zombie fodder.

Additionally I will have food to eat:

And Cat will have toys to play with:

While you two run down the street screaming for help which will never come:

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.  If the TN Dept. of Transportation can figure out there are Zombies (and they can’t even figure out if there is an accident or road closing when a semi is upside down in the middle of the freeway) then you are in serious trouble and it is not my fault..

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