Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stuff I did last week.

I have been pretty asleep at the wheel where CLEANUP is concerned, but today I came out with my big guns blazing and cleaned the shit out of the kitchen. Like, I removed everything, scrubbed all the surfaces, and then rearranged it all. It took pretty much the entire day, with a few breaks, and it also included cleaning and sorting plastic bags, which I hate doing. Then right at the end as I was cleaning under the sink, I discovered that something, somewhere is leaking a small amount, enough to make everything under the sink gross if left unchecked. So then I had to clean more. But I pretty much made up for all the days I didn't clean something extra.

On my breaks from cleaning I read the advice column at the Rumpus, which is called Dear Sugar. There was an interview with the currently-anonymous columnist somewhere online this week and I got intrigued and read one of her recommended posts, and then I cried. Not every post is like that, but most of them are. The writing is beautiful and the advice is righteous. And there's a whole backlog of them to read through! What a treat.

Today it was 104 with a heat index of 120. When I got up this morning the windows were already fogged up on the outside, from the humidity. I decided right then that I would not leave the house. I went outside once to look around and broke out in a sweat just standing there. It's supposed to be pretty hideous all week, so I better resign myself to sweating it out because I have bike rides to take and runs to do.

Yesterday I drove across the Minnesota River to give myself the "treat" of running on a dirt trail for a change. I had been noodling around down there on my bike last week and found a sort of clandestine trail entrance to a state park, and filed it away for later because I do love a secret trail. What my dumb ass failed to consider is that there had been torrential thunderstorms the night before I set off running, and that the river valley might not be the smartest place to hit the dirt trails under the circumstances. It was not the smartest place. It was pretty dumb, actually. Giant swaths of the trail were completely washed out, trees were down, there were mini-lakes next to the river, and I got dive-bombed by a bat in a tunnel. That fucker was swooping back and forth like a video game trap that you have to avoid and I totally ducked and sprinted, feeling like Mario. Anyway, I had to bag it after 5 minutes and go up onto the paved bike trail across the highway, but it was beautiful and no one was really out and there was a gorgeous blazing red-orange sun to my right. I may have stared at it a little too much.

A remarkable thing is that my left calf had been all spazzed out since my last run, despite much rest and stretching, and even with the tightness and ouchiness I managed to get my half hour in anyway. It's remarkable because I am sooooo not one to persist through pain--I'm talking garden variety pain and not yo you're about to break your foot pain. I took it super-easy at first and finally felt warmed up and okay after a mile, and I settled into a rhythm that I tried really hard not to notice. I find as soon as I notice that I'm comfortable running, the feeling evaporates. Anyway, these are the tiny things that I cling to, the things that give me hope that I will one day knock out 5 miles with no problem. I do need new running shoes though. The FiveFingers are about to bust through, and I'm thinking about moving over to something less gorilla-ish.

It was a good week. Lots of biking, lots of time with various friends, lots of time with my friends' fresh delicious baby, with some good food and beer along the way. Thursday I took a sick day and (I think) headed off a cold at the pass. So far, so good, anyway. Friday night I got to see a professional dance company perform a piece my sister Molly choreographed, and that was an awesome highlight because she is so, so good and previously only students had performed her work. Not that they are MERE students, but you know what I mean. I watched the series finale of Friday Night Lights and, predictably, I cried. Now maybe I can get rid of dumb Hulu Plus.

In the coming week, I would like to eat more green vegetables. I sure as hell am not going to cook anything.


  1. I'm sure you know that you can run all the way from Lake St to Franklin Ave on trails, with one scramble-y part by the railroad bridge.

    Saucony is my running shoe of choice.

  2. Wendell, yes! and sometime soon I will do it. When I have new shoes. Leaning toward the Merrell barefoot ones, but of course I need to try them on first. Maybe tonight!!

  3. Thanks for the pointer towards Dear Sugar. There sure is some righteous advice going on there. Wow. Really enjoying reading these articles, thank-you.

    And, you WILL one day knock out 5 miles with no problem. I know it. Right on!

  4. PS Ben's got a pair of the Merrell barefoot shoes (and a pair of the 5 fingers and the Nike frees) and he thinks the Merrells are aweosme-est because unlike the 5 fingers if you run over a root or a piece of gravel it doesn't hobble you. I actually want to try a pair myself.

  5. I just discovered Dear Sugar this very afternoon, via The Hairpin. And I figured you might've cleaned your kitchen hard because of that other Hairpin article. Another friend of mine was inspired by it. If only someone would write some inspirational piece about organizing one's office.

    My Brooks Green Silence (barefoot) shoes are good'ns.

  6. I tried on like 10 pairs of shoes at REI last night and no joy. The NB barefoot ones were MAYBE okay but they didn't have my size. The new 5fingers (or however they spell/write it) designed for running were actually best for me. But they're like neon alien pincers.

  7. Doesn't our friend Jane play in Neon Alien Pincers?

  8. I was thinking about the NB ones too...they're supposed to be the best for road running...let me know if you try them out. I tried the Merrell ones and didn't love them - thank god for REI - took those babies right back.

    Also, when I started the barefoot running I had such incredibly severe calf pain I thought I was going to die. Took about 3 weeks to heal. That may be due to the fact that I ran over 3 miles the first time. Idiot.

  9. Thanks for the Dear Sugar recommendation!

    And lord, I hope it cools off for you all soon.