Friday, August 12, 2011

You know there's an Italy, right?

I have been running this summer, fighting the brutal heat of July while I go on 3-5 mile runs three times a week at noon with my co-worker running buddy L, the two of us egging each other on. It seems that every other run one or the other of us has to break our run down to a one-mile recuperation walk somewhere in the last half, but as our conditioning improves, those interludes are getting fewer. One day the air temperature reportedly "felt like" it was 117. The office dreadmill runners regard the two of us as crazy to be running outside but hey, we're only doing 10-minute miles, and we always bring water. I also "go long," run 6 miles, every Saturday.

Last week I ran 23 miles. I have shed half of the excess weight that I put on in my year and a half of inactivity while I nursed my ankle injury. Or should I say that I have only shed half of the excess weight I put on while inactive all that time?

Last month I took my summer vacation, flying to Minnesota to see my sister and attend the memorial service for my uncle who died in the spring. From there I drove across the Dakotas to Montana and back, visiting a number of Indian Wars (Sioux War) battlefields, drove around the Badlands and walked around the Devils Tower in Wyoming. The Sioux kicked the Americans' ass twice, at the Fetterman massacre in 1866 in Wyoming and the Custer massacre in 1876 in Montana. Not a single trooper with the engaged U.S. detachments survived either of those battles. (Right: Custer, two of his brothers, a nephew and about forty of his remaining men died on this hillside while trying to reach the Little Big Horn River marked by the green strip of cottonwood trees in the background so that they could assault an Indian encampment on the other bank that contained ten times as many well armed fighters as they had in their entire initial assaulting force.)

When I got back, a friend who had been following my trip thanks to my FB posts and who knows that I have never been outside of North America said it sounded like a great trip, especially since I was a history major in college and I read military accounts for relaxation. Then he asked if I had ever, uh, like, considered going to Europe or Asia or Africa? It's a big world out there he added, just in case I missed the point.

No comments: