I’m starting to think about MdS as a restful vacation with a bit running thrown in. I’m not underestimating the desert...
Couldn’t make this upLiza
I was almost too embarrassed to post this, but then I figured somebody out there might need a story that would help convince them they weren’t the most incompetent person out there.
I had a big mileage weekend, which required some “strategery” with Eliot out of town. My mother in-law and the shih tzus came down to help out and that, along with some substantial contributions to one young babysitter’s college fund, almost got me to 81 miles this week.
I had 40 miles on the schedule Sunday and I was about a mile from the car and marking 81 on my training log when I realized the car key wasn’t in my handheld bottle’s pocket anymore. It was 12:30pm and at least 85 degrees — and I was a little tired. Dark thoughts were had. I turned around and headed back the way I’d come scanning the dirt and rocks for the key. The last 30 minutes of the run were supposed to have been a progression and I’d been running along at a good clip. “This is what happens when you run fast!” I replayed the last mile of the run. I was running hard when my phone gave its text notification. A bird tweet — kind of sweet whistle — sounds when a text comes in. Usually I find this cute. I ignored the tweeting as I barrelled along the trail, hot and out of breath. A second tweeting sounded re-alerting me to the text. I ignored it. Two more chirps. “OK!!!!” Maybe it was Asa’s sitter. I stopped and pulled my phone out (of my cool guy UltrAspire waist belt) and started walking slowly as I unlocked the screen. I was pretty spent and a bit worried about passing out. This was the text:
I shoved the phone back in my waist pack and worked my way back up to speed trying to ignore my brain’s “SLOW DOWN for gosh sakes!” messages. Two more tweetings. I swore. And ignored. Two more. Then two more. “Somebody better be trapped under something…”
These were all meant for Asa from his sweet grandmother. I thought uncharitable thoughts about small dogs as my legs began to cramp. I took the top off my water bottle and drained it and tried to finish the last two miles to the car in good form.
Half a mile later I noticed the missing key. Smacked down by the God of Small Dogs.
I ran two miles back the way I’d came and spent a lot of time where I’d had ugly thoughts about shih tzus. No key. One wild boar. But no key. I was supposed to be home in 30 minutes to relieve the sitter, so I called my friend Olivia. No answer. But then a text came in as I tried to think of another rescuer.
“Hey can I call u in a bit?”
I thought about how to reply. “Just wanted to see if you might be able to rescue me.” (I was going for casual, but urgent.)
We arranged to meet at the park entrance since Olivia didn’t have a park pass. (A fateful decision.) I headed out to the road bypassing the parking lot (and another mile or more of running) and told my story to the aged volunteers at the gate house. They told me the key would probably turn up eventually — how they’d found an iPhone once in the back to the park that had been lost for months. It wasn’t particularly comforting — mostly because I wasn’t sure where Eliot’s set of keys were. He was still climbing out in Red Rocks outside of Vegas and the cell coverage wasn’t good. I probably wouldn’t hear from him until he made it to the airport late that night. I called his phone and left 81 messages anyway. Olivia dropped me off at home and I paid the babysitter her first year’s tuition and then waited to see what would happen next.
Eliot called a few hours later and said his keys were actually in the back of the car in his book bag. Better than on his person. I texted my friend Amanda.
“You home by any chance?” (Casual.) She drove Asa and me the 25 minutes out to the park. We convinced the volunteers to let us in without paying and headed to the parking lot where the locksmith was waiting.
I’m almost too tired to go on. The next bit happened quickly. It turned out the car was unlocked. Odd. I signed the locksmith’s paperwork and fished Eliot’s keys out of his bag. Then I noticed my key on the backseat. (Feeling good about yourself yet?)
I guess when I’d come back to the car to refuel before my last loop, I’d been a bit out of it and never put the back in the handheld’s pocket.
Moral? The vengeance of the God of Small Dogs is like the barking of small dogs — wildly annoying, but ultimately harmless. (I am not knocking small dogs. They are AWESOME. Love them to pieces.)
In the end I only ran 76 miles. I couldn’t bring myself to run the last five on the downhill treadmill after I put Asa to bed. I wrote training plans and thought nice thoughts about my friends instead.