I knew it the moment I saw it sitting on my desk. That’s not where I left it, I thought. I’d just gotten home from riding the kids to school, so I knew it wasn’t their shenanigans. I didn’t examine the running watch too closely, simply put it back on to charge, and silently thanked my husband.
The same husband who later at lunch told me with an unspoken “you big dummy” in his voice that the puppy had (again) got hold of my Garmin. She’d been quiet for a few minutes – never a good sign, he said. He’d found her contentedly chewing on my watch in the playroom, and had saved it from sure demise.
I was grateful, of course. But I wasn’t surprised. I knew that smelly black Garmin, caked in salty sweat, would be damn near irresistible to the puppy, so I’d shoved it under a bookshelf to charge. She’d nosed it out. Apparently a few times.
The last three weeks have taught me that any item left on the floor will be chewed, and, if not quickly confiscated, completely destroyed. On the weekend, I bought Leila (that’s the puppy’s name) a new toy to chew – it was a rope thingy with two rubber balls attached. One ball is gone already. Gone. There are dog-sized holes on the back lawn. And each night, she takes one of the sofas for her very own.
But she’s a great dog, and I’m not complaining. That wagging tail when I come in the front door? No one has ever greeted me with such fervor. When she settles down to go to sleep she kind of sighs, and wiggles her head side to side like a child. She’s got several blankets with paw-print designs that she carries around the house to curl up on. And she is learning how to walk by my side on a loose lead, which seems somewhat miraculous. When I say, “Sit”, she sits! It has been years since anyone responded to me with such immediate compliance. And she does it whilst wagging her tail.
Running, you ask? It has been progressing, but somehow with less obsession of late. The puppy and the piano, the kids, life in general – all of it seems to be shifting back to the center, and running is taking a nice steady side track. It’s a good thing. I feel calmer and more myself than I have in a couple of years. In pursuit of really long distance, I had let a lot of the balance slip from my life. I was a bit like Forrest Gump I think, running because I needed to. Now, thankfully, I don’t need to in such a huge way anymore.
At Mount Dandenong on Friday last week, I managed my first 15k run in four months. I did bits of the Roller Coaster Run course, with a few detours to shorten it to the right length. The fact that I know the trails so well delights me, that I can run where I like alone, navigate, dance the trails, and take care of so many elements of myself at once, well, that is pretty perfect. I’m secretly targeting the real Roller Coaster Run in three weeks time, depending on how well I run the longer distance. Today I dropped back to the 21k instead of 43k option, which seems quite far enough now. I’d pretty much given up on doing the race at all, but now I’ve got a bit more hope.
The Buffalo Stampede Marathon I’d planned for April I’ve had to declare impossible. The North Face 50k in May remains to be seen.
It is great that, while important, these races are not everything.
The love that surrounds me? That is everything, and I’m feeling pretty blessed at the moment.
And now I’d better go and see what Leila has eaten while I’ve been busy writing…