Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vancouver snow and Running over 50

Magnolia buds against a background of snow

These poor croci seem both bedraggled and affronted . . .

And here's an example of why Vancouver's pretense at being a palm-growing locale is somewhat ridiculous. Somewhat?

 I'm trying out Blogger's new-and-improved editor, which is supposed to be easier for uploading photos -- not sure I'm a convert yet, but it's probably my failing rather than Blogger's.  Thought you folks East of the Vancouver area might like to know that Lotusland gets winter as well. I know it's a rather paltry contribution to snow lore, but we did shiver and we had to boot up. . .

Still, enough of the ground was clear yesterday morning that I enjoyed a fabulous run around the Sea Wall at Stanley Park. This was a gravy run for me, not because the weather was great or my time was speedy, but simply because  two weeks after my half marathon, after two weeks of being fairly ill, then slowly recuperating, I ran easily and steadily for 12 or 13 kilometres. What I really grooved on for this run was how obvious it became that the longer-distance running foundation I've laid down over the last year and a half is a solid foundation. That is, it doesn't disappear with a bout of flu; a rest of two weeks doesn't erase it; it's there like money saved in the bank, loonie by loonie, week by week (for my non-Canadian readers, "loonie" is slang for a dollar, based on the loon whose image fronts the dollar coin).

Pater once described to me an evening run with a friend when both were 19 or 20. He remembers being  conscious of a seemingly limitless ability to run, talking about past adventures, present concerns and amusements, future plans, surveying their surroundings as they moved easily through them, kilometre by kilometre. I thought of that run yesterday, grasped a tiny edge of what my then-so-young husband had felt, and I tell you, it was a new kind of runner's high for me, paradoxically sobering in a way, because I'm running away from youth as surely and easily as I ran that seawall yeterday. But still, I felt it, for that moment, for that run, and I felt it because of good luck, yes, but also because of work I'd laid down, step, literally, by step.

Hard to express momentary exultation, I find, without appearing smug. I know my running ability at the moment is shadowed by the possibility of loss, I know I owe much of it to luck. And I'm going to rush, now, to knock on wood . . . . But yesterday, by myself on the seawall, dodging those patches of ice, it felt good. And I wanted to share that as part of the complex package that is life "at a certain age."  

Another French lesson today, then I'm back to the island. Next post, I'll be doing some thinking about shopping and packing . . .

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