Friday, May 25, 2012
Running along my good old familiar route today, I passed by my daughter's old elementary school. You can see the playground from the road, looking across some small wetland. Some kids were out at recess. Immediately an image popped into my mind of my daughter as a first grader, waving to me from behind the school playground fence. I haven't thought about that in years...that when she was a first grader, I used to time my runs so I would run by when she was at recess. Sometimes it would be just her, sometimes her and her friends. Got me thinking about the hundreds of times I have run on that particular stretch of road. Alone, with other runners, doing warm-ups, long runs, mile repeats or cool downs. One time I ran into a mama goose and her goslings on the composite boardwalk that runs along the wetland. She was not happy to see me, and I was more afraid of her than when I come across someone's wandering dog (at least with a dog, you can tell it in your most authoritative voice to "go home!"). I did get past the goose with no damage to anyone. I've run on this road in rain, snow, sleet, hail, blazing sunshine and gray cloud cover. Lately I use it because its a nice flat stretch for mile road repeats. There is a park at the end of the road with a seasonal drinking fountain and year round bathrooms. I remember long ago, coming back on this road after my first 18 mile run. That was back in the day when I was very loosely following a training plan (I don't remember where I got it) and knew I needed some salt. I had a pocket full of nuts and dried fruit for fuel during the run. Now I'll bring along some PowerGel or Gu, but looking back the fruit and nuts did a pretty good job. Although have evolved and continuing to evolve as a runner, my core relationship to the sport has changed very little. I am in love with running...from the joy to the exquisite pain and everything in between. I'm glad my favorite route has been there for me all these years. Here's to hundreds of more miles and just as many memories.