What won't help that image is the sight of my trudging and wheezing beside her, and so I squeeze in a run here and there and cross my fingers that a once a week run is enough considering my base.
Which of course it won't be, but I being the enternal optimist have not considered I can't continue to put one foot in front of the other for the required 13 miles. All I need is enough glucose.
But I digress.
Tess and I were running along a double track with tall grass on either side when out of the corner of my eye I saw her jump into the grass next to me. Not unusual for her as she is a crazy self-motivated individual that wants to make sure she gets as good a work out as I am, which means she often does extra mileage weaving figure eights on and off the trail in front of me.
Except this time I *thought* there was something odd and black in the grass, superimposed against her whiteness and I thought....could that be? But everything was happening so FAST and like a popcorn kernal Tess was back on the trail.
Sporting a new accessory.
A yellow patch on her chest.
Now at this point I thought there was a good likehood she had just gotten sprayed point blank by a skunk.
But here's the funny thing. When you are that close it doesn't smell like roadkill skunk.
Tess had crazy eyes and kept trying to dash off into the wild blue yonder, or at least down the cliff side into the river, and I was trying to make her stay close because at our previous run the week before I had seen a coyote the size of my German Shepherd in this area and I didn't want her to get *eaten, but when she was close to me I couldn't stop puking. My eyes didn't burn. My throat didn't burn....I couldn't even smell "badness", just a strong smell that instantly had me retching.
*A friend later pointed out that a coyote wouldn't eat a freshly skunked dog. Even a cute white one.
It was a very long 10 min to get to the point at the river where there was a beach she could swim.
And a very long 15 min to get back to the house.
At which point I cracked open the door and asked my husband for help and an opinion. Because it didn't smell like skunk to me still. But it sure as hell smelled like skunk to him and he immediately implemented de-skunking protocol.
Tess, completely bonkers by this point was beyond ego-depleted and had no self control left that she was aware of and made a bolt for the neighbors lawn.
Now, when I had some sort of abnormally high motivation for writing this post (I blame it on the coffee, aka Magic Juice) I was going to illustrate this post with cartoons. But since that so isn't happening I ask my Dear Reader to imagine rainbows. Coming out of cat butts. Because according to Tess, that is what cat shit is.
However when I observed the dog gulping something off the lawn, cat shit rainbows is not what I had in mind. Some sort of foreign body was.
So I grabbed the dog, rooted around in the back of her throat and pulled out....a hand covered with cat shit.
Let's reiterate. I had a skunka-fied dog. Who now had cat shit breath. And my hand was now covered in cat shit. And I was still dry heaving from the (ongoing) skunk experience.
So can you blame me if I completely lost it? Kid friendly neighborhood complete with seemingly formerly sane adult screeching obscenities at the top of her voice while a rather small white dog tried to make herself as small as possible under the assault of cold water hose and not-so-gentle restraint.
At one point I had the hose directed at her mouth, "rinsing it out" before I realized that would probably not be effective, came to my senses and redirected my efforts to eliminate skunk and decided cat rainbows were the least of my worries.
It was not my best moment.
Lest I give you the impression that all my runs have sucked....I did manage to do another run about a week later, which was probably one of my best runs since the beginning of the year. It was a long run, about 2 hours, that I decided I wouldn't carry food and water with me. For a change of pace I decided to make sure I ran by a Starbucks at a crticial point and buy an iced tea. Something special! Something different! Something to keep me going! I decided $5 was a reasonable amount of money to bring.
Except....I rounded a corner ~1/4 mile from the Starbucks and saw it.
A STRAWBERRY stand.
With fresh, delicious strawberries.
I couldn't help myself. I had an out of body experience and watched myself plunk down the cash for strawberries and spent the next 2 minutes slowly jogging and stuffing strawberries into my mouth as their delicious red, plump juciness exploded in my mouth.
Being a reasonable *individual I offered Tess a precious strawberry, which she spit out into the dirt. Fine then. More for me.
*my sanity and sense of fairness and equability had returned by this point
About the time I had recovered from my strawberry high, Starbucks came into view.
Umm....this is the cash I have. How much ice tea will this buy me?
It was this glorious run that keeps my hope alive that somehow I will get through my half marathon on Saturday.
You see, it was fruit that saved me on on that Saturday run almost 2 weeks ago....and fruit that has prevented me from running since.
Fresh cut, delcious pineapple. So delicious that I had it for dinner. It was the sole thing I had for dinner on Tuesday over a week ago.
That night my throat swelled to the point where I couldn't *swallow, which painfully started to resolve in the next day or two, about the time some sort of secondary bacterial bronchitis moved from all the inflammation and irritation.
*I did my customary "should I go to the hospital check". Which consists of my concerned husband asking if I should go to urgent care/ER, my response always being no, and then waiting to see if he makes me go **anyways. I apparently looked OK because he sighed and didn't make me go. Which meant I was perfectly OK.
**Seriously this actually works. Exhibit A is that time that he made me go in anyways and I had a broken arm. Or that time when he made me go in and I had a kidney infection.
***BTW I found out that not everyone gets oral ulcers when they eat pineapple? Much to my surprise. Apparently this is not part of the normal pineapple eating experience and it should have signaled that perhaps pineapple in moderation was best, not copious amounts of pineapple for dinner. Also, apparently having a latex allergy (check) and pollen allergies (check) puts you at risk for pineapple allergies.
This puts me in a precarious position. I have legs that haven't run in 2 weeks, that are going to be seriously protesting at the unfairness of a hilly 13.1 miles. But I have lungs that may be able to handle running on Saturday if I don't unduly stress them out before the race. Which means no running. Maybe a little 2 mile jog tomorrow, the day before the race with some strides.
Runs and fruit go hand in hand, but not like I learned in medicine.