where there are whiskers

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

This evening's run: 5.17 miles around downtown Chickenland.

Every run begins with a body scan. Does anything hurt? How's that right arch doing? Are my shoulders tensing up? Was the pre-run pizza slice a bad choice? (I'm telling you, proper nutrition is one of my biggest hurdles. Also challenging: My hydration belt, which continually rides up and is the bane of my existence, yet I desperately need it or someone will be scraping me off the sidewalk.)

And after the body scan, Breathe. And begin to settle into a pattern, a rhythm.

Which, for me, means counting: The seconds between steps, the timer on the crosswalk, the minutes on my watch.

And cats. I cannot run without counting cats. This has become a ritual (or perhaps another manifestation of my slight OCD -- you decide).

Tonight there were five cats, most of them calicos. And I was thrilled to see my favorite, the one who suns herself on Keokuk Street. She makes me break the rules, momentarily stop the counting. I will pause my watch so I can scratch her belly. She reminds me of my own cat, my little girl who hides in the warm laundry.

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