Monday, January 23, 2012

Three Little Runs

There's gotta be a song left to sing
'cause everybody can't have thought of everything
One little song that ain't been sung
One little rag that ain't been wrung out completely yet
Just got a little left

Gillian Welch, One Little Song, Soul Journey

These three little runs are for those that ache. You ran beside me for these three little runs.  You were in my mind.  You were in the lyrics. You became the tempo.  Thank you for being such delightful company. You helped me dance spritely along the trail.  

One Little Run... 
On Friday I ran a 6 mile tempo run to the Forks. It's an urban run up the Crescent, through the Village, over the Queen Elizabeth and return along the river trail to the Gates and Wolseley.  I run this route at least once a week, always clockwise.  Today I broke free and ran it counter clockwise.  Turned out to be a good idea.  I didn't plan it that way, my mind led me in that direction.  It put a whole new perspective to this route which over the years has become pretty predictable.  So there's SMR's tip of the week... if your regular route is becoming predictable, run it reverse.

As I entered the River Trail from Main Street, homebound, I stop in my tracks. Before me lies a huge setting sun, silhouetting the Osborne Street Bridge.  My eyes tear up with what lies before me, a gift really, for those who take the time to see. I am overwhelmed in the moment, it is intensely beautiful.  On the river trail, close to sun down, I stop running and I watch a lone cyclist approach me from about 400 meters. He moves fast, with a huge ball of blinding sun behind him. He is a silhouette. Black against gold. He wears a mask. He is a warrior from another age. Plumes of smoke evaporate from his back. He glows in the sun. He shines in the snow. I stand in awe... in the the middle of the trail... at sundown as he passes me with a nod. I feel the rush and it is wonderful. A shiver runs through my spine. 

I run home just in time for supper, hot and with love.  

Two Little Runs...
On Saturday I run 10 miles, solo.  I run a slow dance with tunes.  Really fine tunes with tempo and lyrics.  The cadence of the tempo works well for this old bod. Wolseley, down Disney to the footbridge, sip of water at the pavilion -ahh, the life-force tastes so good- large loop of the park, homebound via the Crescent, the orange footbridge, Wolseley. I know this route well. It feels like home, comfortable like an old pair of Levis.  I like the vibe of these neighbourhoods. The eclecticism of the Disney Trail, the painted fire hydrants, the the moms and dads of Assiniboine, the dog-walkers along the back trails, the old mansions of Park Boulevard East. I pass my childhood home at 1434 Wellington Crescent and the old black and white 8 mm films click and clatter through my brain.  I smile at the memories and I keep running, strong with heart pumping. I feel connected to my past and it is good, and it is comfortable. 

I run home and fix myself a steamed hot chocolate and sit by the fire, face glowing. 

Three Little Runs...
On Sunday I run 10.5 fast miles, Grant, Forks return through Palmerston Avenue.  I run with old friends and new friends and we laugh... Loriee, Bernie, Gwen, Eric, Scott, Scotty, David, John, Clem, and the other guy.  Clem (green hat) from Texas, David (black hat behind orange jacket) training for Boston... both hard core. Clem talks of his 2:20 marathon in his 20's, David gracefully focussing on Boston.  I run with them return from the Forks.  They push me and pull me to the end and I thanked them for the experience. I died on the bridge and insisted they keep running... instead they slow to match my pace, no words exchanged, simply a runners etiquette in play. They are fast and fast is not my style, but I love it when it comes my way.  I like these two gentleman and I hope to run with them again soon.  Bill says we race the way we train.  With that thought in mind, I think I need to train more with Clem and David. John (orange top) is a fine man and an excellent runner, a smart runner with a love of life.  

I run home to an Americano, fresh ground, and a bowl of steaming homemade soup. I warm my body from the inside out.

My friend Melissa says she doesn't ask herself will I run today ... instead she asks when will I run today. I like that... when will I run today? When will you?

Three little runs for those that ache.  It's a good day to be alive... all sweaty and flush.