Sunday, March 18, 2012

... there's such a lot of world to see...

Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waitin’ ’round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me

Frank Sinatra, Moon River, (for Dixie)

Dixie, my mother, circa 1923, Vancouver, Canada

Today was an extraordinary day, a day of joy and bliss. I was scheduled to clean the winter's dog droppings in the back yard, but I managed to ditch that task.. it just didn't seem right to waste a day with menial tasks when the world awaited... there's such a lot of world to see... and the droppings can wait just fine.  It's not like they're going anywhere! 

I ran 14 miles this morning at a quick pace with my new kicks.  My new kicks are just like my old kicks, and the ones before that and that and that... Asics something. I entertained the idea of moving to a minimalist shoe but was scared off with the 4mm heel strike plate of the ones offered.  The run was fast, especially near the end. I was home by  11 for a quick shower and a lie down before I met Scott for an 18 mile ride to Headingly.  The wind was from the south west with gusts up to 60 k. The wind blew on our left shoulder (about 4 o'clock if that analogy makes sense) and pushed us fast. The return trip was a little trickier because the wind was off our right chest (about 10 o'clock) causing us to slow considerably.  The lactic acid started to pool in my legs, but the trees to the right brought shelter from the wind and it eased up.  

Upon entering the city I saw a sign that said "Senior Centre looking for new members, age 55".  I almost crashed!  55? A senior?  I yelled to Scott "Can you believe that sign?"  He replied "I hope they have a triathlon group!".  Now THAT was funny.  I started to giggle and sway on the bike and I almost lost control on a pothole.  I think I'm going to call them on Monday to inquire about the seniors' marathon group, seniors' triathlon group, seniors' hang gliding group, seniors' ultra-runners group.... shake things up a bit!

Here's a couple of posers of the intrepid riders...

It felt good to stretch the legs on the bike. It uses different muscle groups than running so the effort wasn't too bad.  I've ridden a couple of century days and THAT's hard.

So friends, our bodies become stronger, our minds become sharper and focussed, our muscles ache that good ache, our hearts pumps and our skin glistens. 

I often think of Dixie. I know she would be proud.  There's such a lot of world to see... she would like that image, she would smile that mother smile, you know the one, the smile that shows unconditional love and and undying affection. Yes, smile at the ones you love.

You damaged runners, you get better, we need you on the trails. 

It is a stunning day to be alive.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Perfect Runner


CBC, The Nature of Things, Thursday, March 15 @ 8PM and again on March 22 @ 8PM and 10PM.
Go here for more information about this documentary.
Go here for The Nature of Things web page.

It's a good day to be a persistent runner.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

The first booter of the season goes to Mike!

Ain't it funny how we forgot who we were through the years
Put your fist through the wall cryin' television tears
Maybe I had something nobody saw
Blame it on the wall

Ryan Adams, Walls, 48 Hours (unreleased album, but I have a copy)

We had a nice little 17 mile run today through south peg.  The conditions were extremely icy for the first 10 miles and then, as the sun warmed things up the ice turned to puddles... enormous puddles!  Dodging the puddles was almost impossible near the end.  Several of us just plodded right down the middle giving up all pretence of staying dry.  The first booter was awarded to me at mile 6.8.  Three runners were downed by the ice, one serious, one sorta serious, and one pretty funny (or so I heard ;>). So nice of that woman in the blue honda to stop and drive M home after that nasty spill landing her firmly on the tail bone, ouch!  The kindness of strangers in heartening. Gotta blog that one day.  

The perceived effort felt like a 20 miler. The conditions were that bad, but our group is strong and we're making connections, telling stories, talking, laughing, listening... like distance runners are prone to do.  It's a fine group, we're gelling, we're becoming a community of runners.  They will be there for me on race day as I will be there for them.  That's what we do, we're there for each others and it is joyful along the way.

I managed a couple of other runs this week, an 11 miler on Thursday and a 7 miler on Saturday. Here's a few images of Saturday's run.

The sweet melt along Disney Way.

Olmand's Creek footbridge, my favourite bridge in the peg. There's something about this bridge that i find haunting, ghosts live here, nice ghosts, family ghosts, sweet hearts hand-in-hand ghost, kids with tobogans ghost... I like this bridge.
Assiniboine River from the footbridge, looking east.
And for all you injured out there I think of you... I really do and I know how it sucks, and I know how you ache to run, and I know how defeated you feel, and I know that embracing the suck will take you only so far. What can I do to lighten your load?

I have a new idea.  Forget physio, massage doesn't work, pool running is for sissies, vitamin A is bad for you, swimming shrivles your skin, the doctors don't know sh*t. What you need is new body parts, 50% off at this joint in east Transcona.  I have an order in right now for a new right calf, a gently used right knee, and and a brand new version 3.22 right big toe.  Give me a call if you need a few parts.  50% off too, wow, I love a deal... don't you?  

You injured runners, take care, you'll be running one day soon, blame it on the wall.

It's a good day to be alive.. don't forget your sunscreen.