You know when you start fantasizing about running again that you are truly coming back. I realize that there are times recently -- say, when a certain "running song" comes on the radio -- that I will picture myself running in that blissful zone. I can picture the repetitive strides, just clipping the miles away. I can remember what it's like to zen, which was something I had come to know, depend on, and ultimately, take for granted. For so many months, nearly the entire year, I simply could not imagine what it felt like to really run. I just couldn't do it. Sure, I tried, but it made me feel sick, an unsettling visceral emptiness. Now, I once again find my mind drifting toward those pleasant thoughts and feelings of running. I can see my feet glide over the road, feel my emotions soar, experience what I know it is like to run and run and run, seemingly forever. I can even see in my mind my upcoming races despite my tentative entries.
It is sooo good to be back to running, physically, mentally and spiritually. It is my religion. I was lost and am now again found.
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!