Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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Run, Reflect, Rejoice

MLK

My son, his girlfriend and my husband at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. MLK

We just got back from Washington D.C. where I enjoyed four memorable runs. Shown above is one of many Martin Luther King Jr. quotes chiseled into the wall surrounding the memorial statue. I was reminded of other memorable words worth reflecting on this New Year’s eve.

085A poem by Rumi, dedicated to my husband.

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

LynnWashingtonRun

Morning run, Friday, December 28, 2012

“When you race, you liberate your soul from the limits of your body. You push your body beyond its limit. In every race, you relive the innocence of childhood and the hope of youth, only to see them dashed in the pain of adulthood and the weakness of old age.”  Kamal Jabbour

Wishing you and your loved ones, a peaceful, joyful and healthy New Year!

Lynn


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Gone running . . . 2 weeks@114K

Nearly two weeks since my last post.  Could it have anything to do with my training for NYC and working twice the number of hours designated to my job, which I love in spite of its busyness.  Perhaps.

Just another early morning run to the lake

I ran 114K or 70 miles each of the last two weeks but my life was not just about work and running, although blogging is taking a big hit. Here are some highlights of the past two weeks.

Cool crisp day by the falls

I was in Niagara Falls for a couple of days although I did put in full days of work, the view from my temporary office was great and I ate well.

Consumed in Niagara Falls

I ran 22 miles/34K on Saturday and my husband did a fantastic job of feeding me over the weekend.

What I ate after running 34K

  • We celebrated my husband’s birthday at our local Scottish pub the Caledonian.
  • I treated a new friend from Venezuala to a latte and left the cafe without paying.

My view from my office in Niagara Falls

  • I got my bike fixed up and it is now rides really well. I was not impressed with the tune-up done at Bike Couture but very impressed with the tune-up after the tune-up at Set Me Free on College at Grace street.
  • Our marriage sharing group reconvened after the summer break.
  • I ran into a new friend when she was in the middle of her longest run ever and we got to run together for a few miles.
  • I had breakfast with my former coach Zeba Crook who now teaches at Carelton.
  • I count my blessings while I make steady progress through Romeo Dallaire’s “Shake Hands with the Devil”.

The brother of one of my Saturday run pals died last week, giving us all pause to consider the fullness of our lives and the gifts sent our way.

Here is a  snippet from a favourite William Blake poem which I read at a friend’s “Celebration of Life” many years ago.

I thought Love lived in the hot sunshine,
But O, he lives in the moony light!
I thought to find Love in the heat of day,
But sweet Love is the comforter of night.

Seek Love in the pity of others’ woe,
In the gentle relief of another’s care,
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!

Thank you for reading . . .


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April Rain Song

Come what may, let us enjoy our runs in April.

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Langston Hughes


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Laps on St. Pat’s

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

To celebrate the part-Irishness of my husband and son, I did wear green today.  I find that people who don’t know me are a bit surprised to discover that my son is part Irish.  As a tribute to this Irishness, I seek out shamrock shaped dishes and collect shamrock tea cups although not Beleek tea cups as they cost far more than I want to pay.  We visited the Beleek factory when we visited Ireland and came away empty handed as the Canadian dollar did not buy much.

I joined the U of T workout today and attendance was about one-third of last week.  Could it be the lure of a good old Irish pub and a tankard of Guiness? Well none for me today, or tomorrow but I will republish a favourite photo taken at the Guiness factory.

As for the run I was pleased to do 10 X 200 metres in 42-46 seconds per lap. We did some amazingly hard stair exercises of hopping from step to step on the same leg! Give that a try and see what you think. It didn’t help that the stairs were concrete.  I’m gonna get faster but it will take time.

It has been a troubling week for the world so instead of the “may the wind be at your back” poem I’ll conclude with this provocative Yeats offering.

The Second Coming
by W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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The Long Way Home

Due to the promise of 6C in the afternoon I decided to skip my usual morning run, and run home from work.  I am now in the enviable position of living one mile from where I work and just loving the quality of life that comes with it.  But, it does mean that this run involved a 6 mile detour.  The direction of the detour was dictated by the wind from the southeast. 

Life on a Lake Ontario Ice Floe

Steps from work, is a path that is part of my route from home so it was south to the lake and then a right turn west with a bit of a tailwind. While not as warm as I had hoped, it felt great to end the workday running along the lake and then through High Park and home for a total of 7 miles. 

This winter reminds me of living in Ottawa where one inevitably lost memory of what spring is like by the end of it.  In spite of this taste of spring, I’m finding it hard to imagine running in shorts and a singlet.

Excerpt from . . . To Spring   Willam Blake

Come o’er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumèd garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee.


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100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

Hear what Joan Benoit Samuelson, two years my junior, has to say about growing up as a runner, as Title IX introduced in 1972 opened up a “myriad” of opportunities for women in the U.S. Joan Benoit is the winner of the first Olympic marathon for women held in Los Angeles in 1984.

Wanting to be able to
by: Piet Hein

“Impossibilities” are good
not to attach that label to;
since, correctly understood,
if we wanted to, we would
be able to.


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Another Week of Winter Running

The wickedly cold Edmonton temperature during our visit last Sunday of -26C has been displaced by +5C.  What is going on?  And here in Toronto, the capital of not-so-cold-but-damp-cold it is -17C.  Wrong place at the wrong time.

Total mileage this week was 50 miles, with four indoor and three outdoor runs.  Five or six years ago during a particularly cold January, I ran 31 days with only three outdoor runs.  So it could be worse.  Thinking of worse I’m reminded of the power failure two winters ago.  Funnily enough, our gas furnace was so old (since replaced) that it was able to continue to produce heat and with gas stove and oven, the hardship was not severe.  I’m also remembering that a few years ago, I ran the Robbie Burns 8K in Burlington in a time of 34:58 in -20C temperatures on packed ice and snow.  Needless to say, I felt that were conditions better, I might have run faster.

The Communal Mule

We have stayed close to home these past chilly days.  Once again, we considered a movie outing and once again, we chose to hunker down on the homestead our only outing, to shop with a coffee break enroute.  We tried a new coffee bar The Communal Mule on Dundas west and enjoyed as my husband calls it, “Being tourists in the land of youth.” as inevitably we seem to be the oldest people about in our travels to nouveau espresso bars.  I had an excellent shortbread with white chocolate chip cookie and my husband enjoyed his latte.

As for me, I’ve become a bit stuck on Stumptown coffee.  Give me Stumptown coffee, Stumptown I say!  I’m a believer.  There is only one place in Toronto (2 in Canada total) where Stumptown coffee is available, LIT Espresso Bar. We have only been to the College street locations.

Stumptown Coffee at LIT Espresso Bar

Quiet days mean more time to read and I finished The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble. The “elegiac” writing and pace of the first 250 pages led to a disappointing finale, complete with a surprise ending, where everything came together, not with elegance but more like a season-ending episode of Desperate Housewives.  My very humble opinion for what it is worth, although still recommended as a pretty good read.

The final pages of The Sea Lady contain these words from Scotland’s favourite son, whose birthday is celebrated on January 25th.  And — to my husband, I’ll dedicate these lines from Robbie Burns and repeat that NO, the final quote of yesterdays post was in no way related to your plan to watch six hours of football this weekend.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:

I will love thee still, my Dear,

While the sand o’ life shall run.