Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Reflections on a Running Route

 I'm so moved by all the kind words so many of you have left, congratulating me on reaching my goal of running a marathon -- thank you so much! As you know, I generally try to answer each comment individually, but I'm not sure I'll manage that this week, and I hope you understand. Besides a certain amount of fatigue (!), I'm trying not only to catch up on the work front, but also to get ready for a month's travel in little more than three weeks.
 I'm still digesting Sunday's experience -- running on my own, for such a long time and distance, with so many other runners. The pure elation I felt at a complete stranger's applause and encouragement. The mixture of joy and pain and self-knowledge.
 Watching my good friend wipe away a tear as she hugged me at the finish line, and realizing that I had inspired it. Hearing from my daughters, son, son-in-law afterward that they'd teared up as well -- not only at watching me run by, but also at the collective and the individual efforts they witnessed.

And getting home, eating a big meal, and giving in to the exhaustion, stiffness, pain, but also the crazy babbling endorphin-adrenaline high that I've only experienced after long runs (previously only half-marathons) and labour (and yes, that is qualitatively different in significant ways, but there is an undeniable similarity as well).
 Then yesterday, the day after the marathon, was a euphoric day. Can you imagine being massaged, professionally, masterfully, but also with the special love of a daughter who bubbles over with pride at her mother's fitness? The warmth of the massage table (I love everything about a massage table, somehow, love fitting my head into that padded circle, love the surrender the masseuse and I talk my body into, bit by bit). The mellow lavender-scented coconut oil working its luxury into my skin.

Then lunch with my sister, again at Le Crocodile, except this time instead of opting for half a dozen oysters, I gave in and had the foie gras I've craved each visit and resisted. . . .

And then later in the afternoon, we visited our little redheaded girl, wandered with her mom up to Merchant's on Commercial Drive for oysters (so I got my cake and ate it too, or something. . . ), charcuterie, an amazing dish of roasted cauliflower in a kimchi-seasoned sauce, so good. . .
We've been looking for an oyster bar to love, and it's so great discovering new places through your adult kids!
 I crashed by 8:30, though, and then woke this morning at 4:30, was out of bed before 5.
And decided to walk one of my favourite running routes, not ready to make my legs run again yet, but restless for some movement.
 Luckily, no one disturbed the skunk who waddled surprisingly quickly down the hilly lawn, across the asphalt path, and down the beach to, what, forage? for garbage? or seafood? Whichever, I'm glad no one was passing with an excitable canine. . . .

As for me, I enjoyed slowing down to a walking pace and watching all the activity -- runners, walkers, rowers, even two wet-suited swimmers splashing their freestyle and butterfly strokes across the bay.

Then back up the hill to pack up in time to catch a morning ferry home. Where we are now, enjoying the sunshine in the garden, making a list or two. . . .

Thank you all, once again, for your kindness. I suspect I'm not done with meditating on this experience, but meanwhile, I have a slew of garden photos that will be coming your way. I'm trying to filter the babble, but seriously, people, these endorphins are hard to control! I beg your indulgence. . . .


  1. What a lovely post, filled as it is with joy and reflection. It seems such a glorious day, the day after your marathon, which I never doubted you would complete, a day of celebration and enjoyment, a bit congratulatory too, no? But why not celebrate accomplishments? The early morning walk sounds perfect, as does time in your own garden. Congratulations again, on all of it though. Really the marathon is just a part of it, and not surprising, given all your other accomplishments, evidence of which surrounds you daily.

  2. Congratulations again mater!
    Lovely lush green route...it must have felt good that the weather was not too hot and sunny.

  3. You have succeeded at doing something at 60 that you have never done before!!! Brava!!! It was just 2 years ago that I had my graduation in the amphitheatre of the Sorbonne at 60. If we continue to do new things, our 60's can be a decade of great personal satisfaction. Your photos of the route beckon to me. It looks as if the Children's Festival and Bard are starting.Your massage must have felt like heaven! Take care!

  4. Sincere congratulations!!! What an amazing accomplishment. I'm so happy you were able to fulfill this dream and goal. Bravo!!

  5. A well deserved meal, massage, pampering all the way round. Good for you!

  6. Endorphins so honestly come by are to be savored! Enjoyed! Celebrated! I hadn't even thought about what all the time alone, no screen, no books, no people, would add to the experience.

    Congratulations again!


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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