Did any Northern Hemispherians catch the lunar eclipse on Saturday night? Gareth and I went down to the beach to watch it. It happened to be our wedding anniversary (two years!), so on paper that just about sounds like the most romantic thing ever. But it was freezing cold we had to stay inside the car and ended up with severe neck cramps from tilting and turning in our seats to try and get a good look at the bloody moon. And then a big cloud came along and hid the whole show.
What we did see was beautiful and incredibly humbling. Normally the moon looks so undefined and distant, but during the eclipse it looked properly three dimensional, like a giant golf ball that you could reach out and grab. I’ve always loved having a good gawk at the moon; it gives you great perspective. For all our busy lives and crazy dramas and struggles, we’re all just wee specks in the universe. Isn’t that comforting?
. . .
Yesterday I wanted to throw my bike into the canal. I just had a really shit ride. I’ve been so full-on with my exercise this week and methinks I’d got a bit over-enthusiastic. My first interval session was intense and totally fried my legs. Then I’ve been doing some killer weights. I felt like a change so I did Cathe’s Slow and Heavy, where you do a 2-down-6-up rep count with the heaviest weights you can manage. The Legs & Shoulders was particularly gruelling, I was shakin’ like a shitting dog, to use a favourite phrase of Gareth’s.
By Wednesday my legs were knackered but I was scheduled for another round of intervals. I knew I wouldn’t make it so thought I’d do a quick easy bike ride to let my legs recover, just the wee 7 mile (11.3 km) loop on the cycle track. Gareth came out with me, but took off into the distance for the 10 mile (16km) route that he does during the week, just a quick blast of a workout when he hasn’t time for longer rides.
So. It sucked! There was an innocent-looking breeze but it felt like riding through molasses. Normally I can coast for long stretches but I was pedalling hard the whole time. At the halfway point I had to stop for a drink and a sook.
I was sooo slow on the way home. There were people WALKING faster than I was riding. And I had to stop twice more because my quads felt so bloody weak. I was even yelling at my legs at some point, "Why. Won’t. You. MOVE!?".
And the final insult was when I limped over the finish line, Gareth casually wheeled past me having finished his route, the longer one with all the hills and stuff. ARRGH.
I calmed down with a cup of tea, for there will always be days like that. Something can feel ridiculously easy one day but feel like the Tour de freakin France the next. Especially when you’re shiny new to this cycling palaver. So I will carry on and rest my weary legs today.
. . .
I really miss that dog. It’s ridiculous to miss something you only knew for a few hours, but I do. Actually, it’s more the idea of the critter that I miss.
I used to have a dog back in Australia, and I was a terrible parent. I should have rescued an aging, immobile lump from the shelter to match my own fitness level, but I fell for a hyperactive mutt that I called Harry. I’d take him for a walk and he’d pull on the lead, gasping and gagging, and I’d think, "That little bastard, why won’t he heel?".
Now I can admit that of course strained at the leash – he was bored out of his tiny little skull! He wanted to run! He wanted to sniff things! But I couldn’t shuffle for more than a few blocks without needing to find a park bench to recover. I still feel so guilty for being such an unfit mother. He deserved someone who could carve up the pavement and walk for miles.
I remember one time Harry escaped and ran into the church graveyard across the street. This was in 2000, when I was at my very lardiest. I chased him as fast as I could, which was extremely un-fast I can tell you now. By the time I got there he was pinging between the headstones, nose to the ground. I did not have the physical ability to run after him, so I called his name. But he ignored me. Instead he sauntered over to a headstone, where a family of mourners were placing flowers, and PEED ALL OVER IT. I didn’t know which was worse; the shame of him pissing on the grave or my complete inability to do anything about it.
I found a new home for Harry not long before we moved to Scotland and even though I was much fitter by then, I was so glad to see his new Mum was very fit and active. I still wish I could call up that hound and apologise for those couple of years when I was so rubbish for him. I just know if I had a dog now, I could do so much better! I could do things right! I’d love to have a four-legged excuse to go outside. We could walk for hours and throw sticks and I could crash tackle it before it had to the chance to lift a leg in an inappropriate place. Someday, someday.