Monday, April 24, 2006

Sunny Daze

It's amazing what a little bit of sunshine does to people who have been cooped up for months during the rainy dreary months of winter. It seems people came out of the woodwork this weekend to spend time outdoors.
I did something on Saturday that I've always wanted to do - orienteering - with my 10-yr-old daughter. We did the U-District Street Scramble - what a blast. I have a couple of more tradtitional orienteering events on the calendar, but an urban-style one was a lot of fun. The map you're given is more of a traditional topo map, with city streets on them, but no names listed for most of them. We actually got in 4 and a half miles just rambling through the city streets looking for all of the checkpoints in 90 minutes. Now that I saw how fun it was, I have this huge competitive itch to do it some more.

On Sunday I went for a run from home in the afternoon, planning to run at a leisurely pace because it was warm out. I forgot how much more warmed up your muscles are late in the afternoon. I ran a lot speedier pace than I had intended. What was really funny was how many cars I got to beat. I ran a route along a beach nearby, that attracts lots of toursity types from around the city on sunny days. So, the traffic was crawling. I ran out and back and actually beat the traffic considerably. The route I run has a bike/wheeled things path, a separate path for walkers and runners, and even an additional well-worn little dirt lane. On an average weekday, there are others about, but you almost feel like you have all of the space to yourself. There were so many people out on Sunday - walking, biking, strolling, rolling - you name it, that it was like entering a multi-event road race. That probably helped contribute to my speed. I think I treated it like an event and had fun weaving in and out of the crowd at a blistering pace.

My route today overlapped my beach route from yesterday, but without all of the cars and people, and I actually got to run on the sand today while the tide was low.

I am a huge believer of the interconnectedness of things in the universe. I feel like I got a little message today - some atom of energy bumped another and another until they all hit me in the head. I've been thinking for a long time about charging my ipod - knowing that it's overdue, and assuming it's gonna die in the middle of a hard run when I really want it. But the light still blinked green today. Then I decided to grab my camera to take a few sunny shots of the day before my run. I checked the batteries and seeing that they were low, I brought an extra set. I always grab my phone (to take in the car, not on my run) - batteries were fine. And I grabbed my garmin. I didn't measure the course I was gonna run - thinking my toy would take care of that for me. I actually took off my timex, so trusting of my garmin. And I am usually so addicted to all of my tech gear that I wear my watch and my garmin. (My husband is an IT Director so I really can't help it with all of the techno toys.) I drove down and parked where I like to start from and took some photos of the baby geese that were sunning themselves (it's not just the humans around here, it seems everyone likes the sun). It's kinda weird that the geese were here - I know that they are nesting at the next park over this year where it's really quiet and there aren't many people around. It was interesting that the seagulls, the pigeons and the geese were all hanging out together in harmony. When my camera batteries wore out, I changed them and headed out for my run. About 3 minutes into my run I stopped when I saw a huge bird. It was sorta like the geese had been planted for me to stop and take notice of birds. This one was an eagle that lives in a nearby nest way up high. You see her flying every now and then, or in her nest, but not this close. I thought about going back to get my camera, but figured she'd be gone by then. It was amazing to watch her. She must've been about 50 meters out - not that close, but standing on top of a piling out in the water, eating what looked like a crab or some type of fish that she kept picking at. It was funny when waves would come in and rock the piling to and fro - she just stood there and rode them out, and then continued eating. When I was ready to continue on, I went to hit the start button on my garmin, and lo and behold, dead battery. Why, when I was so intent on checking my camera batteries and my ipod, did I neglect to think about charging my garmin? And now, without stopwatch, I had to condsider going back to get a watch, or continuing on. I was so in awe of the bird and life itself, I decided it was some message to myself to slow down and just enjoy the run. I hate not having a watch. I wasn't going to run hard, but I just like to know. I had already swapped my intended 10 mile for a 5 and a half to the end of the beach, simply because my legs needed some more recovery. I think I was just meant to run without a watch and to stop and enjoy nature along the way. What will tomorrow bring . . .

1 comment:

Anne said...

I recently had a strange encounter with some pissed off ducks and geese at a nearby lake. I was so startled when I was finally able to make my getaway that I failed to start my watch. Then, like you, I decided to just run for sheer fun rather than for time and, again like you, it all turned out swell. I think those damn ducks are on to something.