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September 26: Peace this Thursday

September 26, 2013

Monster dog Walden ran with me and a new friend last night, careening between us for nearly six miles and making mad-dash attempts to greet every runner, bicyclist, skunk and dog we encountered on the lakefront trail. “Will he be able to keep up?” asked the friend when she met us at our house. I laughed. In the end, it was me who couldn’t keep up. As the miles blurred by with conversation (and the intense concentration it took to not trip over the dog), I was vaguely conscious of how foreign our speed felt. Not frightened or intimidated, but aware.

With serious, breathless effort, I mentioned that Walden had already run once with my husband that day. “They go about three miles, but I think the pace is a little slower than this.”

“Slower than this?!” she asked, incredulously.

Oh my gosh. I thought. What has happened to me?

I woke up today remembering how much time I spent wishing for a running partner about a year ago. (And indeed, in the paralysis that I often allow to accompany major life transitions, lots more wishing was done than actually talking to people.) But here we are, a year later, with a kitchen drawer full of the crumpled race bibs my husband and I collected over the summer, and the patchwork-quilt beginnings of a church family, a band family, a family-family.

There have been mornings lately when I feel anything but rested, with so many surreal dreams and uncomfortable sleeping positions keeping me up for hours at a time. I don’t run then, but lay in bed, blearily watching my husband as he puts on his shorts and t-shirt and grabs a handful of kibble-bribes for Walden. As they leave, I feel almost homesick for the long training runs we did together in July. It’s nice to run with him, just like it was nice to move and laugh and talk with my tough running partner last night.

Of course, in the slow miles I’ve been putting in on the dark mornings alone, and now sometimes in the pool, I imagine in my heart that this is actually the closest, and the quietest, time I will share with someone else in my life. While I remain profoundly, pathetically envious of my spouse’s ability to drink beer, sleep through the night, avoid succumbing to tears over things like dishes in the sink, and on and on, I also feel a twinge of remorse to know he is forever external to the intimacy of these (however slow) stretches of movement. I also- very selfishly- worry about whether we’ll be able to find time in the future to run again, just the two of us.

So here’s to the mysteries of the day, and here’s to winter, which is always nice to anticipate:


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  1. It’s easier to type than experience but I’ll write it anyway: Don’t sweat the pace. There are days and weeks when just putting the freaking shoes on and moving count as victory. Walden’s happy. Ergo, it’s all good.*

    * I only took one philosophy course in college so this may not be accurate.

  2. I think anything with “ergo” makes it accurate. And even if it didn’t have “ergo,” it would probably still be right. Thanks for the very kind words-

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