It was one week ago tonight that my dog died.
Strangely, it seems both longer than that, and as if it were last night.
But I am slowly moving on.
I can go long stretches of time without feeling the strong, sad emotions of a few days ago.
But when they come now, they come so suddenly that they surprise me.
Like today while I was shopping for groceries.
I guess I got too close to the pet supply aisle.
I actually did not go into that area and I did not consciously look there.
But I guess I subconsciously saw some pet stuff peripherally from where I was and that set me off.
The emotion came suddenly and I fought to suppress it just as quickly.
Then it was over, leaving me with just another reminder that that big white dog meant more to me than I realized.
There is still a lot to learn about myself, it seems.
I tried to go to bed earlier last night so I would be rested for my four-mile run this morning.
It was still after ten before I switched off the light.
I slept pretty good most of the night but had to get up about four-something to piddle.
Because it was so close to my regular getty-up time I had a bit of a battle getting back to sleep.
And as usually happens in this situation, I was just getting good and snuggly asleep when my alarm gently poked in my ear drum.
Now, too sleepy to want to get up, I turned off the alarm and resumed sleeping with my mental clock set for ten more minutes.
And sure enough, that is what my head did.
I rolled out of the Royal Bed and began my pre-run ministrations.
The run went well the first three miles.
I felt reasonably strong, though my breathing went into level 3 before I was one mile into the party. (level 3 is one in-and-out breathing cycle every three steps)
But I was more or less comfortable and bopped along without a problem.
But after walking up most of Mountainwood Drive, my left knee began whining loudly as I began running again.
The reason for this is unclear.
I had not done any fancy footwork, stepped in any holes, landed badly with that foot, etc.
But the ligament under the front of my left kneecap was NOT happy.
And it told me about it every single step I took.
Loudly. (read: painfully)
So much so that Runner, Coach and Running Central were in intense discussion about whether to stop running and walk a while.
The pain felt similar to someone poking the end of a small piece of wood into the bone behind my lower left knee ligament.
The consensus was to keep going and see if things could be sorted out.
So I continued on along Tollgate Road trying subtle changes in the way I put down my left foot to see if I could make the pain go away.
Nothing seemed to help, but after half a mile or so, I realized that the sharp pain had gone away.
It was replaced with a dull, muted mumble of mild discomfort.
This was easy enough to bare that the conference was cancelled.
I finished the run feeling delightfully tired and jacked up on my endorphins.
All in all, another good run.
There were several other runners out this morning.
The big Cotton Row race is in two weeks.
I am running in the 5K this year with the wife of a friend from church who is a new runner.
This will be her first race.
This will be my 135th race or something like that.
I don't know.
It doesn't matter, really.