Monday, August 16, 2010

Building the Ark

29 straight days of precipitation and counting. It's code orange (isn't it always?) at Southpaw Kennel and we have shifted to survival mode. I've put aside all of the projects I've been working on so diligently all summer and started building an ark. Leo's all for it but LuLu is demanding her own private statesman cabin with at least 3 portholes, so it might take some extra time. Seriously. There is a collective weary resignation amongst the crew, another Not-Quite-Summer is finished. And it continues to rain...."I don't think that it's the end, but I know we can't keep going...." So 11 more days and the prerequisite biblical 40 days and 40 nights will be achieved. Well, one good thing about the rain- berries. Everywhere and all kinds. DSquared and I went over to Jeff's, a running friend. He is the owner of The Garden of Which We Are All Envious. He and his wife couldn't pick all the raspberries, strawberries or currants they were growing so asked for some help. Um. Of course. I am the champion Hambach Farm blackberry picker, right Mom? An 8 mile (or was it 10?) run, an hour and two gallons later.... And here we have Jeff, the master gardener of all things.....
And of course, no rest for those who overextend themselves on the weekend- we're off to Anchorage the next morning (after a 6AM are-you-up? call) for Humpy's Marathon and Half marathon. Dave decided to tackle the marathon, two weeks after Res Pass, DeeDee was running the half and Jeff, Yvonne and I were bandits. Yvonne ran the whole thing while I wimped out and only ran the last 2-3 miles with them. Dee ran a great race, finishing her 2nd half of the summer in under 2:20, despite a painful foot. High five, Willow Running Club. Dave on the other hand, turned in a lackluster performance, finishing 4th in the marathon overall, first in his age group and running a personal record of 2:52 (just kidding, we don't want your head to get too big). Pretty soon he's gonna be too cool and we won't be able to hang out with him anymore. Either that or we just won't be able to catch him. Oh wait, that's already happened. I told him before the race that his Res Pass finish was all well and good but it was going to be this one that really showed his conditioning and mental toughness. Well ladies and gentlemen, there's your answer. He is now famous enough to catch the eye of Beth Bragg from the Anchorage Daily News:
Dave, An executive decision has been made by the pit crew about your attire. From henceforth on, anytime you run a PR, you retire the clothes you wore for that race. Including this one :-)
Oh, and he found out on Sunday that he is race director for the McCarthy Half-marathon. Yvonne, you're still hearing about it. Not gonna let it die, that jinx you put on his head.
So, the real reason we went into town for the race was for Moose's Tooth beer and pizza. The raspberry wheat, the popeye and the brewhouse special. That and Yvonne gets restless if she doesn't go on a roadtrip every 2-3 weeks.
Yv and I post-stomach stuffing, with Willow. I think I keep getting taller and she keeping getting shorter:
I came home on Sunday to my own ripe raspberries:
- After sweeping the Reds for first place, the cards fell 2 out of 3 to the CUBS! Buck up boys and start putting the hammer down.
- It is possible for someone as small as Yvonne to put away a large pizza in one sitting. - Eating breakfast before you run a marathon guarantees a PR.
- Ray LaMontagne has a new album coming out soon, can't wait.
- Lastly a tip- don't lend out your Xtra toughs during a rainy summer.
And to feed Yvonne's need for the road- we are heading to McCarthy for the Kennicott half-marathon. Afterall, we're tight with the race director....
Maybe reading about the sun will bring it 'round, from Tony Hoagland's Spring Lemonade:
"There's a wheel turning in the center of the earth
and over it, our feet are always running, running,
trying to keep pace.
Then there's the period of quietude and rue,
when you want to crawl up inside yourself,
when you prefer ugliness to hope.
Last night the sunset was so pink and swollen
the sky looked like it had gotten an infection.
We were sitting on the lawn and sipping lemonade.
Inflamed clouds were throbbing in the fevered light.
Shannon murmured Somebody better call a doctor.
Kath said, Somebody get some aspirin.
But nobody moved.
And the smell of lilacs and manure blew out of the fields
with such complexity and sweetness, we closed our eyes.
It had nothing to do with being good, or smart,or choosing right.
It had to do with being lucky-
something none of us had ever imagined. "
And that's what we are. Lucky enough to feel the rain on our faces. Everyday.

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