Photo by Kat Sorensen 
Fireweed in Seward, Alaska.

Photo by Kat Sorensen Fireweed in Seward, Alaska.

Tangled Up in Blue: Hand Dipped

The Lost Lake Run was a long one. I ran over 15 miles, from Primrose to the Bear Creek Fire Station, with just two granola bars, a liter of water and a few hours of my own thoughts.

I left a snot rocket the size of scat somewhere on the Primrose side and about a gallon of sweat in the first 8 miles. I ate one of the granola bars as I made the final climb, past Lost Lake and to high point. Eventually, I lost my appetite and just rolled the oats and chocolate mixture around in my hand to occupy my mind with something other than strides.

And then I ran downhill with more speed than my legs had seen in the past 10 miles and more side stitches than I had anticipated. I hit the trailhead and remembered, “Damn, this race finishes at the highway.”

When I did cross the finish line, I was greeted by friends and other runners. Different members of my team, the Seward Dog Lodge Tail-Blazers, were there, too, celebrating a race well run and more than $2,000 raised for cystic fibrosis.

Then, I went home and went to sleep.

I slept the rest of Saturday away and was grateful for a sunny Sunday to recover as well.

I spent the day stretching and relaxing, until I couldn’t stand the sunshine and decided to go on a recovery run.

My calves were screaming and I had a slight blister on one toe, but I decided to lace up the shoes and run along the Seward waterfront as slow as I wanted.

I left my house with a podcast humming through my ears. I learned about the O.J. Simpson trial about 25 years too late, and ran very, very slowly.

I stopped at a corner with particularly beautiful fireweed. I spent a few minutes framing the perfect photo and I took it. Then I kept running. Very, very slowly.

I got to the hill in the center of Seward’s downtown, and decided to walk it. My knees weren’t into the downhill. Then, I stopped to chat with a friend. Before starting to run again, I decided I was in the mood for some tunes instead of a podcast and picked some easy listening to carry me home.

I ran some more and then realized that I would pass the ice cream truck. I hoped and wished that they didn’t close up shop early for the day. As I turned the last corner and into the harbor, I saw the red cart signaling that a hand-dipped ice cream was in my future.

I sprinted into line when I realized that I didn’t have my wallet on me! I do have my credit card in my phone’s digital wallet, though, so maybe I was in luck.

“Do you guys accept the phone wallet thing?” I asked the woman selling ice cream, who so delicately held my future happiness in her hands.

“Yes, we do,” she said, before laughing, “and this is like the fourth time you’ve asked this summer! I recognize you since you’re always in running gear.”

It turns out, I’m a creature of habit, even when I’m exhausted.

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