June 21, 2016

Summer Solstice Runs

It is officially summer!

Yesterday, I was a little torn. I wanted to get my Smashrun badge for doing TWO solstice runs--one at sunrise, and one at sunset--but when I created the Summer Running Checklist, I specified the solstice run to be at 6:34 pm EST. That meant in order to meet the requirements for Smashrun AND the Summer Running Checklist, I'd have to run at sunrise (5:57 am), at summer solstice (6:34 pm); and sunset (9:12 pm). My kids had baseball games at 5:30, so I chose to skip the 6:34 run and just do the sunrise and sunset runs.

I had my alarm set for 5:30, and I really didn't want to get up that early after having such a busy weekend! If the summer solstice wasn't just once a year, I definitely would have chosen to sleep in. But I forced myself out of bed and got dressed to run.

It was SO humid outside! I had assumed that since it was so early in the day, it wouldn't be too warm. I was totally wrong.

During my first mile, I was actually thinking about how awesome this year has been for running, because I haven't had a problem with the birds. Usually, the black birds are on full attack mode in the spring, but this year, I hadn't been dive-bombed at all! I even took a picture as I was running...

Hey, I didn't say it was a *great* pic--as I was still half-asleep, from what you can see ;)

Probably 30 seconds after I took that picture, I heard some black birds going nuts. I looked up just as one of them dive-bombed me. I started waving my arms above my head, and two birds were taking turns diving so close to me that I could feel their wings flapping. My heart rate skyrocketed, even though I wasn't necessarily running fast. I was constantly trying to stare at them, because I read that if they see your eyes, they'll leave you alone (well, that's not true, trust me). I felt like I couldn't breathe, and I wanted to stop running SO badly.

I knew if I stopped, I wouldn't get credit for my solstice run at sunrise, so I had to keep going. Also, I wanted to get the fuck away from those birds, because they were FOLLOWING ME. Finally, I got away from them, and then I just slowed to the slowest jog I could manage, still feeling like I was going to die. I desperately wanted to quit just then.

There was no way in hell I was going to go back home that way (which was my original plan--a lollipop route), so I did an alternative route that put me back at home at mile 2.25. I was fine with that. I finished my sunrise run!

The kids had baseball games that evening, and considering the drama from the situation with Eli's coach, I went to his game instead of Noah's. The game went SO well! I don't know what the athletic director said to Eli's coach, but the coach was quiet the entire game and the assistant coach did whatever talking needed to be said. I noticed that the athletic director himself showed up to the game and sat on the bleachers watching, which made me feel much better.

The kids had a blast! They swung at all kind of pitches, and several of them got good hits (which they wouldn't have gotten if the coach had been involved--he'd have told them not to swing). They actually won with a score of something like 17-2! It was a good game though--they weren't walking in all the runs, but actually hitting them.

I'd brought Joey with me to the game, and there was a little boy (one of the player's brother's) who was very interested in playing with Joey. He was petting him the entire game, and I found interesting when he said to me, "That's my dad [pointing at the first base coach]. He's nice. That coach [pointing at the head coach of Eli's team] is pretty mean!" Haha, totally true.

Whatever the athletic director said to the coach made a huge difference, and the game went so smoothly. It was fun to watch, and I'm sure it was fun for the kids to play. They seemed more enthusiastic, that's for sure.

Noah and Eli each had one mile on their running schedules last night, so I asked them if they'd want to go for a sunset run with me. Sunset was at 9:11 pm, so we headed out at 9:00 for a one-mile run. It was super humid, and my second run of the day, so I just wanted to run easy. It was nice, and the boys did great!

I made sure to keep running past 9:11, so that I would get full credit. When I uploaded to Smashrun, I got my badge!

Additionally, last night was a full moon--which is very rare to occur on the same day as the summer solstice! Now I have the Longest Day badge as well as the Shortest Day badge on Smashrun. Even though I didn't run at 6:34 pm, to mark the change from spring to summer, I am still counting it toward my Summer Running Checklist.

I just heard from All About Animals Rescue and we were approved to foster Olivia! We are going to pick her up tomorrow. She's such a sweet kitty--I am super excited to bring her home. Let's just hope that the other cats like her. If they do, and all goes well, then we can adopt her. (If we do, I'll be very tempted to change her name to Monica (or Ursula)! How can we not keep with the Friends theme? Haha, we'll have to find out if she's been "Olivia" for her entire life (8 years) or just for the time she's been homeless.)


  1. So glad Eli's game went better. Lots of respect to the athletic director for coming. That showed he was more than just talk. Hope it continues to get better for the rest of the season.

    Great job on the 2 runs. Those birds sound crazy!

    1. Thanks Kathy! Yes, I was very happy to see the athletic director following through :)

  2. I live in Georgia and am not familiar with the bird issue? What makes them do that? I have run for years and have never been bothered by anything more than heat and humidity or bees! Interesting!

    1. This time of year, the birds have babies in their nests--so if you get anywhere near them, the parents get very angry and will try to peck at your head. The black birds are mean, and pretty relentless! It's scary, because there really isn't anything you can do about it when you're running.

  3. AnonymousJune 22, 2016

    I set my alarm to get the smash run badges but I have been in suck a funk I skipped the morning and even my race Monday night to go to yoga. Those badges are addicting. I can't wait to get some things off the checklist too :)

  4. So happy to hear about the game...just reading about your experience last week made me really angry!!

    That's so cool that you ran at sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year! I ran at sunrise and didn't even realize that I could have run again later and earned a new badge, lol!

  5. I'm so excited you get to foster the kitty!! And I'm glad Eli's game went much smoother. So good that you talked to the athletic director! No kid should have to experience that when they're playing sports or in a club of any kind

  6. Yay to the coach being put on the right path!!!!! And even bigger yay to the kids having fun!!!!!

  7. LOVE the message on your Summer Solstice badge. (This day might not rank up there with the day you lost your virginity--HAHA!) Also loved your blog, "I wanted to get the fuck away from the birds." Hilarious. I can always count on you to make me smile.

    Glad to hear you're going to re-name Olivia. I vote for Monica, but perhaps you should wait and see if she is obsessively neat like her namesake, or flaky like Ursula.

    I have been wanting to comment on your son's coaching situation. We ran into an opposing coach like that, back in the day my youngest was playing softball, but it was the "other" coach. It's so frustrating when all the coaches care about is winning, instead of the kids learning the skills to play ball. The other coach just wanted all his kids to walk, and what is that teaching those kids, other than learning to skirt the system, by if not exactly cheating, pretty close to it? Kids who are pitching are young, just learning, and not very good, so of course it's easy to get a walk. Anyway, I was so frustrated watching that game, as evidenced by the fact that out of the hundreds of ballgames I attended over the years (with 3 boys, there were lots), I still remember THAT particular game. In fact when we drive by the area where the field is located, I still remember it, and it was over 25 years ago! I also hate confrontations, but it sure sounds like your phone call did the trick. You're a good Mom to care enough to make that phone call and to stand up for your kid against a coach, who is obviously clueless. WELL DONE KATIE!!!

  8. That's so exciting you'll be fostering! Those birds can be pretty crazy and aggressive.

  9. I just lol at you dropping the f-bomb in relation to the birds! I would have peed my pants and called someone to come pick me up!!! ~Marjie


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