Days 3, 4, 5 and 6 of my 30 Days of Running went by without a hitch. Even though half of my workouts have been less than 3 miles, it’s exhausting running every day. My body’s used to her two rest days a week, and has been reminding me of it every morning when I wake up and make her plod out a few miles, most of them at around a forgiving 10-minute per mile pace. I was encouraged by Thursday’s run, over my Queensboro Bridge and back, which I ran at a nice 9:26 pace. Today, Day 6, was special. It was the first time I’ve run in Pennsylvania since Valentine’s Day! Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t been here since February. If I do the math (cost to maintain my Poconos house divided by number of days spent enjoying the place) I’ll go batty at the expense of it, so I’m just not going to do the math! Needless to say, it’s about time I’m back, enjoying this peaceful, leafy haven. There’s nothing like waking up at this house on a Saturday morning, percolating a pot of strong coffee, and going to sit in a rocking chair on my deck. I put my feet up on the railing, contemplate the trees and the sky, with Matilda resting her chin on my knee. I rock a little in my chair, warm my hands on the mug, pull my flannel shirt around me and let the weak morning sun hit my face. I am a city girl, comfortable with fast talking and faster walking, happy in high heels and full make-up. There’s no getting around that. But I love my three wooded acres, I love the way I can wear the same clothes for two days straight, I love how the biggest expectation on me is that dinner hits the table sometime between 5 and 9 PM.
I took the rare opportunity today to procrastinate, another one of the simple pleasures of the Poconos house. I was forced out of bed by an achy back around 9 AM, brewed my coffee and sat in the rocker tweeting up a storm. Unfettered tweeting is another rare pleasure, and I milked it until Husband woke at 9:45. Then I went grocery shopping, listening to country music on the way there. I love driving the curvy, hilly tree-lined roads between my house and Ahart’s. I put the windows down, blast the heat on my toes, and let pop country music flow over me. After shopping, I bullied Husband out of the kitchen as I unpacked the groceries, then sat in an armchair and read 100 pages of a novel for work. Whooeeeboy, that really wiped me out so I took a nap after that. The bed was unmade–Husband was spectacularly doing laundry, plunging every washable piece of fabric into the machine–so I laid down right on the bare mattress, rested my head upon an uncased pillow, pulled the down comforter over my head and slipped into one of those naps that weighs 1000 pounds. I was dead to the world, there was no moving me. You must understand, people: for me, this sort of day is like laying on a Caribbean beach, or having a passel of barefoot manservants circling me. It. Never. Happens. I awoke from my nap, which effectively erased three hours of my life (nuclear holocaust? really? sucks for you.), and prepared my cute 8 lb chicken with stuffing. I am not averse to bragging, when I know I am good at something, so I will say: my roast chicken, in that homespun way, ROCKS. Once il mio piccolo pollo was tucked safely into il forno at 350 degrees, it was time for me to get reacquainted with my neighborhood’s hills.
With my iPod in, I danced my way up the path from our house to the street. I knew Husband was watching me for his own amusement so I gave some extra twists and shakes. The Jackson 5 were getting me warmed up. Aren’t the cymbals in “ABC” so great? Every time I hear that song I just want to be the person hitting the cymbals. They are sharp, but also splashy, all at the right moments. I never did understand this lyric, though. Why can’t Michael make up his mind? Siddown girl, I think I love you! No! Get up girl! Show me what you can do! Shake it shake it baby!
Hello Pocono Lake! Hello hills, why don’t you feel hillier to me? I am happy that I am able to run and feel so strong this soon after my marathon, that’s a first for me. I am paying close attention, though, as arrogance and ambition could lead to injury if I’m not careful.
It’s all behind you now, shoulda quit but you didn’t know how. — Galactic
I believe it’s better to inflict than to attempt relief. — The Delgados
I ran, tracing the maple-leaf pattern of my course through the neighborhood. It felt good to be back, staking my claim on the streets of Riverside Estates. Our neighbor’s dog barked and chased me down the block when I hit Wappinger Way. This is the same dog that terrorizes Matilda, so I gave it the finger. That was fun.
Is the weight of your own life too much for you? If all is a game, you forgot to play, you did. — Nada Surf
A wind blew, just strong enough to dry my perspiration as it hit my skin. It kept me refreshed, it huffed me to alertness. I noticed that the sky, pushing into the space between the trees and the horizon which rolled with our baby mountains, was undecided. It seemed at first like a tarnished sliver platter, reflecting light but ready to storm. Then, perhaps coerced by a better suggestion from the wind, it turned blue, giving entrance to meek but good-matured puffy white clouds. It was 7 PM and the sun was shining in cooperation with the rest of her celestial team. I’d run over 4 miles, my little chicken was roasting, and I had another 24 hours of unscheduled bliss ahead of me. Now, there’s a streak I’d like to keep going.
Songs I ran to: “ABC” by The Jackson 5, “Advice for the Young at Heart” by Tears for Fears, “Ages of You” by R.E.M., “Ain’t Got You” by Paul Westerberg and then nicely continuing with the same vocalist, “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements, “All Behind You Now” by Galactic, “All in the Groove” by Blues Traveler, “All Is a Game” by Nada Surf, “All Lifestyles” by The Beastie Boys, “All Over My Head” by Matthew Sweet, “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley, “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers, “All You Need Is Hate” by The Delgados (also on my Happy Songs about Terrible Things playlist) and “Alphabet Street” by Prince