Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

Forgetting is good for the soul, and the long run too

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21 mile route - November 6, 2010

I’ve had a great month of training, with very solid long runs, of 19, 18.5, 21 last week and finally, 21 this week. I’m due for an easy week and will be heading off to New York state next weekend for an overnight getaway with my only sister, and one of four, sisters in-law. Both run, and due to the demands of parenthood, have treadmills. My sister has 4 kids age, 8, 6, 4 & 2 and my sister-in-law is mother to an 12, 9 & 6 year old. In addition to running, my sister, who is an excellent hockey player, plays a couple of times a week.

Queen Street, still sleeping

Early in the run I made a pit stop at Starbuck’s and recognizing the barista, formerly at our neighbourhood location, chatted briefly about running. I asked if I could take his photo for my blog however he said there are protocols in place regarding photos of staff. I quickly scribbled down my blog address for him.

Then east on Queen street, north on Spadina and over to R’s, where B & D were also waiting. We ran over to J’s and then an uphill trek up Russell Hill Road, and through Forest Hill to the beltline.

I felt the need to take charge of our route, as it is very hard to stay focused without a route to visualize.  Because of this, a few minor insults were bandied about, the way guys will do but everyone soldiered on, in spite of the more-challenging-than-usual-route. I have four younger brothers and I’m sure there’s a kind of familiarity and comfort in being the only female in our running group. A little sister, for which I prayed constantly, only arrived when I was 11 years old, and my role was more like that of a second mother.

I parted company from B and R at St. George and Dupont and ran south to the Lakeshore.  Once I hit the lakeshore I got a bit distracted with with the sights and picture taking on this chilly but fresh and sunny day.

Art on the run, outdoor photo exhibit, Harbourfront

I weave through the outdoor photo gallery on York Quay, the subjects are always Canadian content and enviroment and landscape related.   Then east to the Music Garden where a large team of teens were involved in dismantling the rigging for two tall ships.  Three miles to go, seems less so, when it is a well-worn route.

4 miles to go, time for a photo

Getting ready for winter?

On the home stretch I muse on mental strategies for marathoners.  While running a marathon it is helpful mentally, to practise a kind of forgetfulness and forget how far you have run, and try and relax as though you are out for a short run.  A useful life skill as well, the ability to willfully forget is closely tied to the ability to forgive and start anew.  So I imagine this as one  of my easy morning runs, and the end of my 21 miler does not feel quite as taxing.  As I run through the apple orchard near Ossington-Old Orchard School, Renee Fleming is on my IPod singing Leonard Cohen’s  Hallelujah.   I’m almost home, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

To hear Renee sing CLICK HERE

There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen

Lake Ontario moment, November 6, 2010 10:30 a.m.

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