I nearly missed my run yesterday. I could blame my friend for whom I waited two hours in the rare sunshine of an Irish June. Or my son who has Big Exams in two days time and is studying like Facebook is sure to come up. In all eight subjects.
Or I could even blame Araneus who crushed me with his disappointing response to my suggestion that his wife blogs pics for all of us of his reclining on his bright red shag carpet. A strategically draped red boa would be an absolute given, of course. Or even a famished Rottweiller, since he`s rather keen on dogs.
But no, the rude Australian did the blogging equivalent of laughing right in my face.
And yet none of these things affected my running form yesterday. No, it was the fact that, for the umpteenth time, I`d lost my car keys.
I wouldn`t mind, but I actually found my car keys yesterday. The second set. The ones that I`d stowed away that very day last March when I`d upgraded to my swish new red(what else would you expect?) model. As its carefully waxed body gleamed in the sunlight, I made myself a promise to it. I would mind that second set of keys like my getting to work depended upon it. Because, one morning, it surely would.
I was very certain about where I`d placed them. All ready for that moment when I`d find the keyring Sis gave me for my birthday. Keyring? Well, there were other things too. The overnight five star hotel stay, f`rinstance, the batik painting of a woodland, the wine glass with Supermum written on it. The fact that she also gave me a keyring was just added confirmation that she knows me all too well.
It was Facebook Fiend Son who inadvertently helped me unite keyring and second set of keys. Taking a break from his studies, he discovered that his new laptop wire had become frayed. Instead of asking why, he immediately sent me on a hunt for duct tape. This reveals real Chook thinking:cover the damn thing up and get on with it. Needless to say, I`ve oodles of duct tape.
I rooted through my tape drawer to find the perfect colour for the frayed chord. And as I rooted, there it lay. My car key. All covered up by spools of duct tape. As safe as could be.
I hugged son. Bestowed general absolution on his Facebook addiction and all other fatal flaws. Ran to find the birthday keyring and attached it, at last, to the new key. Stowed it carefully ON TOP OF MY WARDROBE.(Sorry, but that shout is for me.)
Arrived home from late in the evening from my blazing sun wait around. Grumbling of course. And blaming myself too for waiting so long for my pal. There is nothing guaranteed to set me grumbling and clucking like waiting. I am possessed of certain little flaws but lack of punctuality isn`t among them. Therefore, I have five minutes tolerance of the unpunctual. Five minutes grace and then I`m pacing the ground, scratching the earth with my toe and bickering more than any hen you`ve ever heard in any henhouse.
But I am a forgiving little hen too. She arrived breathless and flustered, as the too late always too. Her apologies and her presence softened all the grumbles in my gizzard and, in the warmth of the evening, we caught up and shared all our feminine woes, as females are wont to do. Chat over, I headed for home. Zipped down the motorway with one thing on my mind. Long slow run. Would I make it?
I`d dinner to make, and a cake to ice. I`d clothes to take in from the clothes line and a kitchen to clean. I would get it all done and then run the eight miles. Even if it killed me.
Raced into the Chook House and set to. And somewhere in the midst of those chores I set down my carkeys. The first set. The ones with the keys to work and the keys to the chook house on them.
I wasn`t until I was mid way through a second slice of the cake, I realised that I wasn`t enjoying it. It wasn`t sweet enough. But I`d eat it anyway. And, hang on, where are my car keys?
See how I can do dissociative thinking at times? I`m weird that way too.
A massive hunt ensued. Needless to say, my offspring scarpered. They had been through this traumatic process far too often in the past. I was in it alone.
There was no way-NO WAY- I was taking the second set of keys from its new hiding place ON TOP OF THE WARDROBE.(Again, that shout out`s for me.)Eight o clock in the evening, and it`s still bright in our patch of the Northern Hemisphere. It`s the only advantage to our bring splat up near the Arctic Circle. Why, in another couple of weeks I`ll be able to watch daylight being sucked into the midnight sky. There was plenty of time to run eight miles. Even at my plodding pace.
No keys! No keys!
By half past eight I had upended the Chook House, realised it needed serious cleaning, that I needed professional help, that my children were a selfish, ungrateful lot and that rude Australian is a synonym.
It was actually Facebook Fiend who came to the rescue.
“Mum, will you make me a honey and lemon drink, please?” Good grief, couldn`t he see how busy I was? The fact that it wasn`t midwinter and he didn`t have a cold, or even that he was on yet another study break, didn`t bother me. I was on a mission. Couldn`t he see that?
“Here.” With that one golden word he handed me my car keys. They had fallen off the press where I had thrown them and caught between the press and the wall, only a sharp eyed spring chick would have found them. For the second time in the day, I hugged him. Yes, I`d reached way beyond a teen`s mumhug acceptance capacity. But I was overjoyed. And he would get over it. For I was on my way. LSR would be in the bag before nightfall.
And so, it came to pass, that I was plodding along in my luminous vest and leggings last night. Footsore, with an aching back and with bingo wings that didn`t help me fly (Yes, I tried it.) I looked every inch an ancient hen. Sunlight was being sucked rapidly from the sky, the dusk chorus finishing with a few flurried twitters, as I, keys in hand, made for my car.
Some Long Slow Runs are easier than others. Yesterday`s wasn`t one of them. All Long Slow Runs help build stamina and spirit for one of the longest runs. Yesterday`s was surely that run.
One day, I`ll be out there again, plodding along in my second marathon. I`ll think of yesterday and how tough it was to even get out onto the road. Of how errant children, unpunctual pals, lost car keys and rude Australians didn`t stop me. I`ll think about late evenings, and fading light and a chook house full of chores were just merely excuses. And I`ll think about where my first set of keys are. And my second set ON TOP OF THE WARDROBE.
And I`ll know this red hen will not be beaten.