The time is rushing by.
Each morning I wake up and feed all the pets and myself as fast as I can. The sooner we can run together, Bugsy and I. An hour after our stomach's settle we drive to the trail. Me in my purple running shoes. Bugsy wearing his lupine green cow harness. I stretch and he pees on things. Bugsy has worked out at what marker on the trail we start to jog and he does me a favor and poops BEFORE we get to that spot on the trail. I bag his poo and toss it to the side of the trail where I will pick it up on our return trip. When we hit the marker we start to run. My ankles wobble with the first few strides. Bugsy struggles to ignore the smells rushing by us.By the time we pass the patch of purple flowers brightening the trail on the right of us, we are sailing smooth. We have doubled our distance since we started. We walk before, mid and after we run and we are making marked improvements. For a dog born to run Bugsy is incredibly patient with me. He runs just at my speed, which he could easily double, or triple. I am really enjoying myself each run, and if the days events don't give us time to hit the trail, I miss it. Could I be the same person who hadn't run half a mile in her life a few weeks ago? Still, the 5k is a marker yet to be hit, and I may do some walking (Lucky for me it's a walk/run so I wont feel bad about it if I do walk some) in the race, but I'm working towards not. On a hike today I found a flyer for another 5k and looking into running that one as well.
Not rain, nor thunder, heat nor wind has kept us from our run yet. There is something about running in the rain against the wind that makes me feel like maybe there is a little super hero inside me. Should I find myself weeks or months from now uninspired I hope someone might remind me to read this blog as reminder, because I am loving our morning jogs!
A jog with Bugsy. A walk with Captain-this is when the world starts to slow down. Captain slowly wondering down the road with me, sniffing every blade of grass, peeing on every mail box post. Both of us with the wind in our hair. Me searching the ditches for snakes, him searching for who knows what. Then, a hike with Comet.
Oh! A hike with Comet! I have been avoiding the trails for months. First for back pain reasons (which have mostly subsided hooray!!! ) then to save on gas. I'm living frugally, and while I don't skimp on buying organic milk for me, or the raw meat for the dogs food, some things have had to be cut from the budget. Gas is so expensive and a regular jaunt to the woods adds up. But, after reading an article in Backpacker Magazine (be still my wild heart, I will return you to the woods very soon!!!) about scientific evidence that hiking and camping, especially for 3 day trips, can actually make you smarter as well as calmer, I knew I had to break out. Comet and I hit the trail on this sunny day late morning when still no one else was in the park. I'm not sure who was more excited to be in the woods again, both Comet and I were ecstatic. Unlike Bugsy and I, who now-a-days easily find each others rhythm, Comet and I were continually raining on each others parade. Him launching himself forward in big happy romping leaps, getting ahead of me and choking himself. Me, decidedly slower then him despite my best efforts, continually stopping and waiting for him to remember that in fact I'm in the woods with him and my hand is indeed holding his leash. Despite this struggle, our happiness continued. Only a third through the hike I realized this, my dear enthusiastic Comet, must be my dryland mushing dog! Comet, so long as he is attached to me, stays to the trail, but yearns to move, move, move! By the time we climbed our third hill, I am dreaming about our future hikes together and any stress still on my shoulders slides away into the chirping forest. I can feel how much stronger my legs are since the last time I hiked here. The 5k training is paying off. Comet is much faster than me, but I am climbing the hills with greater ease than I remember. Once we reach the bench above the meadow I take a break to drink in the view. I sit on the bench and call Comet up to the bench with me. He sits up right looking out over the meadow with me. I see him fixate on this or that area, but can never see what he....smells? The clouds are fluffy puffs of white, the trees are green and I am in love with nature. I want to sing a song but can't think of any happy enough to turn our pleasure into sound so I stay quiet. As we hike down the hill I make a mental note to remove the rabies tag and dog park tag from Comets collar and to find a better way to store my car keys. With all this jingle jangling its doubtful we will run into any wildlife today.. I can just imagine the sun bathing snakes sliding away from us and our jangling. Just writing this makes me want to run back to the forest. But here, back at home, I've plucked at least half a dozen ticks off of Comet and a few off myself too. The regular ticks you often see, the bigger ones, and the tiny deer ticks too. I should probably wear a hat next time. Right now, I don't even care. Ticks be damned, I am adding hiking (and the gas$ to get me there) to my list of priorities and camping plans are forming in my mind.
Today is a great day.