Thursday, November 19, 2009

Safari

Well, I am still running. I realize that it has only been like 3 weeks, but that is still an accomplishment for me. Usually by this point I have already gotten bored or frustrated and given up, or at the very least have started rationalizing my way out of running on 5 of the 7 days in a week. It isn't habitual yet. I still usually stall my run by like a half hour or so and I really have to make myself do it, but they are happening. I think, for me, this is all the power of structure. AND to add to the accomplishment we have finally hit the point where Nick is spending entire days at work so I have to make myself go run solo. Which, I know for some people, sounds like a total drag. I have friends who run and gossip at the same time and that is not how I work. I throw my ear buds in and then completely zone out and if you try talk to me, well, lord help you cause my wrath with reign down on you like fire. Nick learned that the hard way:
"Hey, Erika, how you doing? You feeling ok? Is this a good pace?"
"Shut the hell up and leave me alone."
Thankfully Nick doesn't take things personally and he has a great learning curve. I also got new running shoes. Here they are: They are so deliciously gaudy. I love it. I mean really what is better than running shoes that are primarily a shade of pink that totally assaults your eyes, right? They actually make a difference too. I really thought that this whole emphasis on the right shoe was just you know, Nike propaganda or whatever, but I really noticed a difference with the new kicks vs. my old worn out sneaks that were to wide for the nubs at the end of my legs most people call feet.

I have been running a circuit around our apartment complex which is actually built on a nature conservation area. There's a bald eagle that lives here so, boom, nature conservation, no more building. I actually have this secret fantasy that they were planning several more buildings and the powers that be were out surveying when suddenly this majestic eagle just flies in and lands in a tree and just hangs out there like a squatter in an old building and everyone just looks at each other and then the complex owner screams, "Damnit!" and throws his blueprints on the ground in a rage.

So, yeah, there is way more wildlife I have to deal with while running than I ever experienced near our place in West Seattle or downtown San Diego. The other day I noticed a dead squirrel in the road. Just dead, not hit by a car but like he had a little squirrel heart attack. So then every time I passed that part of our complex I had to focus on controlling my breathing and not puking or going into one of those little girly squirm-seizures I get as a result of seeing something gross all the while chanting in my head, "Don't look at the squirrel, don't look at the squirrel." There are also two small ponds with fountains on the property, both have signs warning that alligators MAY live here. It took me like two weeks to get over that and not slow down completely eyeballing the pond every time I passed half expecting some giant 10 foot gator to make it's way stealthily out of the 20ft pond to attack me on my jog. However, my biggest concern presented itself early this week.

As I was making my circuit I came upon the eastern portion of the complex and lo and behold I spot this mythical eagle that lives on the grounds. It is up in the air, soaring, looking all patriotic and like something out of a video designed for a civics class. Then I realize that this thing is circling. Now I don't know much about birds of prey but what I do know is that falcons are smaller than eagles and you still have to be trained to keep them and wear protective gear cause they could maim if not kill you. My logic was that this eagle is much bigger than a falcon so it could probably do me some serious harm. And, let's be honest, I am in the middle of my jog, an activity at which I do not excel. So I am still jogging, although I have slowed my pace, and I have my eyes on this bird the entire time. What does one do? I am already winded and this thing has friggin' wings so I certainly couldn't out run it. If it came at my I wouldn't have the first clue as to how one defends oneself from a bird of prey and then on top of that it is an endangered species so if I killed it, even out of self defense, how much trouble would I be in? I aired this concern to Nick when he got home and he laughed and promised me that I was to big for the bird to attack. I don't trust it though. Hitchcock could have been on to something.


Today the eagle wasn't out. There were no wildlife sightings until I saw a little lizard climb our mailbox. However, something else happened to me while running. I was running my last set and Vampire Weekend's song
"A-Punk" shuffled up on my playlist. For those of you who may not be aware this particular song by this most awesome band is on guitar hero 5 which Nick and I have been playing excessively. So here I am jogging and I hear the beginning riff of this song and like Pavlov's dog suddenly my left hand is on the fretboard and my right hand is on strings with my thumb plucking the rhythm. So sad.

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