Had a rough night emotionally. I think the stress lately has just gotten to me. After I’d made dinner and given the baby a bath and put her to bed, I checked on Wayne who was taking a nap since he wasn’t feeling well. We started talking in our room and I was finally able to just let my emotions show from everything that’s been going on and had a good cry while he held me.  His first words when I was all done “You really need a run!” Does that man know me or what? 

So, off I took. I was supposed to do a 3 miler at an 11:50 pace. It was 9 pm when I started and it was just about sundown. I was craving some country air and some wind in my hair. The temp was wonderful compared to how hot it’s been lately (that’s one bonus of sneaking in night runs here and there.) I headed off towards the nearby roads that are surrounded on both sides by fields (but that also have a fair amount of traffic so I didn’t feel very worried about being out late.) Note to all readers – do as I say and not as I do. Night running in the country is not something I recommend – but I admit to doing it at times – and the truth of the matter is — running in the country when the temperature is just right (such as at sundown) is in fact some of the most glorious, fresh-aired fun I’ve ever had.

Anyways…I took off and had to keep slowing myself down. I ended up just going with what felt comfortable since I knew I was letting off some steam with this run. I ended up doing 4.29 miles in 46:23 (that included the warmup and cooldown) so my overall pace for this run was 10:49 – so it ended up being more of a tempo run in the end – but it’s what I needed.

I did have a couple of interesting things happen. I had the usual assortment of dogs chasing me, thankfully none of them biters. Then, just after the sun set, I could see the “bob bob” up ahead of another runner in the distance coming towards me. Clearly this runner hasn’t read my latest journal entries where I remind everyone to run facing traffic – since this one was on my side of the road running at me.  Just as we hit the same intersection, I realized it was a gal – about 10 years younger than me, with a long brown ponytail! She could have passed for my younger sister- well other than the fact that my actual sister doesn’t look much like me. She waved just as one more dog ran right up to me and starting barking menacingly at me! I was distracted by the fluffy tyrant and when I looked up, she’d taken off in a flash in the same direction I was heading. I crossed to her side (the NON evil dog side- aka – on the same side as traffic – shame shame everybody knows my name!!!!), and started jogging behind her a few paces. After a minute, I felt silly doing that since she was so close and figured I might as well jog up and say “Hi’. Well…… apparently, on a dark country road if another runner zips up right beside you when you didn’t expect it (it turned out she was listening to her Ipod), you will scare the bejeebers out of the other runner!!!!!  Who knew?!!! I did, say “Hi” and she screamed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then started laughing when she realized I was not a hatchet carrying murder — just another runner gal. I apologized and said “Sorry. I just wanted to say, “Hi.” and in my embarassment, I found a new level of speed and zipped off for home (which was less than 1/4 a mile away at that point.)

Just when I thought I’d had enough adventures for the evening, I walked the last 1/4 mile to cooldown and came to my driveway which did not have the porch light on. I could make out in the dark a smallish round mound right on the walkway to my door! Ewwwwww – I thought! Some neighborhood doggie pooped in my driveway!!!! I had noticed just in time too. I’d almost stepped on the mound. But… as I leaned a bit closer to have a look — I realized it wasn’t poop afterall! It was a toad!!!!!!

I unlocked the door, turned on the porch light and called the kids outside for a look! They were “oohing and ahhhing” that Mommy brought them a toad home on tonight’s run (hey, I practically did!!) — and I got brave and gave it a little pet (thinking to myself , “Please dont’ let me get a wart!!”  I know! It’s an old wives tale. But that’s what went through my head. Once I’d tried it, the kids wanted to have a go too. They leaned forward (can you even imagine what it was like to see all those hands reaching for you at once?!”) and he hopped into my flowerbed. He didn’t get far though. Wayne was standing there and leaned over and picked the poor Prince Charming up. He let out the cutest little sound — and PEED all over Wayne’s hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The kids all giggled at that one, but Wayne was so excited. He’d read that toads were wonderful for eating misquitoes in garden beds — so through the house the whole crew went through the back door to take the toad to our backyard garden! And, that my friends – is where he is right now!! I hope he’s feasting on a whole ton of buggies in my backyard! 

Anneliese is cracking me up right now as I type this. She’s planted a pencil straight up in a basket of color crayons and is blowing on it with all her might as though it were her birthday candle she’s blowing out.  I’m going to take a shower and then I promised the kids to read a chapter or two of the second Harry Potter book. We got through 5 chapters earlier today, so they are eager to get to me read through the whole thing by week’s end — and I’ll try to make sure that happens.  I do love summer vacations!

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