We’re officially on week two of training for the San Francisco Marathon.  It’s been remarkably easier to drag myself out of bed for the morning runs in comparison to last year, primarily due to the milder climate in Oregon.  I think the coldest temp I’ve seen here this winter was 16 and yes, there is intentionally NOT a minus sign in front of that.  The dips below 32F do happen, but not for weeks at a time.  Sure, it’s cloudy and rainy here.  Sure, there isn’t a ton of sunlight.  But I remember the days of driving to work in the dark and driving home in the dark when the temp was “MY FACE HURTS” for weeks in South Dakota. 

No, I don’t miss the 4 AM alarm in the depths of January to get my arse to Planet Fitness to grab a treadmill and pound out the miles before work.  The Bitches didn’t even seem to care when I’d leave for those runs, they knew better.  That type of cold made for quick potty breaks and walks around the ‘hood. 

The other reason it’s been easier is because my race isn’t until the last weekend of July.  Last year was the first weekend of May and now that I’ve mentioned it, shout out to the Pittsburgh Marathon.  If you run, put it on your bucket list.  It’s very well-organized with a nice route and a great expo.  Plus, the town is into sports, so they make a weekend of it.  There are all sorts of options: marathon, half marathon, and relays, plus a fun run for the kiddos.  Good times. 

Time and climate are on my side, yes they are.

But life will always find a way to throw a curve ball. 

Campy lobster was a bizarre start, but like I said, there was a detox element to the whole situation that may have given me a nice little kickstart to begin training.  You know the song…


Talk about polishing a turd, eh?  My Susie Sunshine may hide from time to time, but she’s still there. 

It isn't like there haven’t been challenges during other training seasons. 

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’ll point to Exhibit A, affectionately referred to as “Lawnmower Toe.” 

I switched to an old-school, no engine lawnmower shortly after this.  And yes, I was wearing shoes, which the doctor said was the primary reason he wasn't sewing the toe back to my foot.

I switched to an old-school, no engine lawnmower shortly after this.  And yes, I was wearing shoes, which the doctor said was the primary reason he wasn't sewing the toe back to my foot.

This little gem happened six weeks to the day before the TC Marathon in 2013.  I took the directed time off, cobbled together a last bit of training, and did the race.  While there may have been pus oozing through my shoe the last couple of miles, I did finish.  My right hip was killing me because my gait was affected in compensating for the sore left big toe.  Everything felt fine until about 16 or so.

“You’re a lot tougher than I am,” remarked the doctor in the medical tent. 

Brother, if you only knew the half of it. 

But my first official, post-food poisoning run was not to be without any drama.  Actually, I shouldn’t say it that way.  The run was a nice little three miler on a route Joey and I have taken many times over the past few months.  It’s a quick loop around our neighborhood, partially on a trail, so traffic is minimal. 

The drama was what happened not long after we finished our run, so it’s more of a classic tale of a white person having to insert herself into the narrative.  Maybe it’s inflated self-importance.  Maybe it was a little head scratcher for me since my experience has been that I moved into a really safe, almost dull part of town. 

Safe and dull are totally cool for where I slept every night with only Joey to protect me. 

We returned home from said run just a touch before 7 am last Tuesday.  I grabbed the paper, made some coffee, and put out Joey’s bowl, just like any other day.  You know the drill—hop in the shower, get ready for work.  The daily grind. 

I was so used to hearing sirens from my old place, between police activity and the nearby hospital, I really don’t notice them unless I’m driving or it’s right in front of me.  Joey got a little barky at one point, but I just figured she was defending me from whoever was walking through the parking lot.

But then when I was leaving for work, my usual route was blocked off, so I naturally wondered what was up.  And as I headed north instead of south, I noticed a news crew pulling into the parking lot by the MAX station. 

It turns out, just a few blocks south of us, in a house we’d just run by, a man had some sort of issue or breakdown (pure speculation) and was on the roof with a gun. 

Here are a couple of important facts:

1)     This house is on a busy corner.  Everything went down around 7:30 am.  People are commuting.  There are two train stops and a bus stop within walking distance.

2)    There is an elementary school across the street and a high school a couple blocks to the east. 

Kids walking to school and people commuting don’t need to have someone on a roof waiving a gun at them.

Ultimately, the man on the roof would not engage in dialogue with the police.  He was shot and died on the scene. 

The fact that he was probably building up to this when we cruised by around 6:40 am made my stomach hurt a little.  It reminded me that you never really know what’s going on in the world around you.  It reminded me that actions have consequences.  And it made it really grateful I didn’t hit snooze a couple times.