Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First Day of Summer

To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. - Oglala Sioux proverb

We framed this photo in a much larger version with the quote and gave it to a teacher as a gift today. It's a picture of the whole clan hiking on the camping trip. It made him cry - and he's not the cryin' type, really. Pretty cool for it to mean so much that it brought that emotion. Mushy, I know. But really cool. Today was the last day of school. Another year gone by. When I was in 8th grade I gave a speech at graduation. My ending sentence was, "and so, it's just a memory . . . some memories last forever . . ." It's so true. My kids asked why I wouldn't pay for school yearbooks - my reasoning (althought I didn't phrase it like this to them) is that they're too young, and it really won't mean a lot to them when they look back on it. I figure the high-school yearbooks will be more valuable and worth the money spent. And yet, these young years are what shape them as people in some ways. They learn how to be a person in society, how to get along with others, what they like and don't like, how to problem-solve and that they can fight any cause they feel is worthy. Perhaps I'm hoping photographs of this era will suffice for memories. By the time they're older it'll probably be some sort of memory chip implanted in their index finger.

Today really is the first day of summer - the solstice. I love the change of seasons. There are so many parallels to the seasons of life and change in the world. And really, I love summer. Around here, summer is the only really warm season, so it's when everyone camps, hikes, picnics, barbecues, runs, bikes, goes to outdoor concerts, festivals, farmer's markets. It's almost as if these things are nonexistent during the other three seasons, except for the die-hards. So now I feel like we have 2 and a half months until school starts again to cram in as much as possible. It goes by fast. And sometimes I feel like summer should be lazy with sleeping in and time to piddle away in the garden and at the beach. Such a quandary . . .

It was great to 'just run' today. I feel like I've been so busy plotting courses, measuring distances, planning my water stops, checking my splits, etc. Today I parked at my favorite spot and ran at the beach. I plugged into my ipod, but kept it on low so I could hear life around me. It was one of those days that I just wandered on, lost in my run, and somehow ended up back at the finish. (and treated myself to a bubble tea). When I stopped, my legs were still pretty sore from my long run Monday - lead legs I like to say. I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. Friday and Saturday 'cause I needed it after all the hiking, and Sunday 'cause it was Father's Day. So I did a long run on a Monday. Weird. Don't try it. Everything was off. I planned it to be 22 with my map software, and indeed according to my GPS download it was 21.95. Of course, I had to wait for the download because the GPS decided to blip off for 2+ miles somewhere around mile 7, so I had to estimate the rest of my run in progress. The whole run started off bad when I went to park at Greenlake. You can park there for free for 4 hours, as opposed to the metered street parking. Cool, I thought, since I needed to stop at one of the nearby running stores to purchase some gel. Except I ran into the cranky lady in the parking lot who I felt the need to have a confrontation with - the politics of fighting over a parking space. I decided it wasn't worth my time, paid for a meter while I ran in to by Gu, then parked at a different lot halfway around the lake. So, right off, this screwed up my mapping. And the lady in the running store tried really hard to find my some safety pins for my gels, but to no avail. I crammed as many as I could into my pockets, and used some other binder clip she loaned me for another - which politely slipped down my shorts with the gel at mile 5. Halfway out I turned off my ipod and shoved it in my gel pocket. I don't usually bring my ipod on my long runs, and for some reason felt the need. The whole run was just stale and slow. I was running 10 minute pace. And sure, that's not bad, but I usually run about 9:20 pace for my long runs, so when I ended up being out for 4 hours, which included 3 unscheduled walk breaks - something else I usually don't do - I was pretty dang sore and cranky. I guess I finished it. I got in the training. I didn't have any major issues. I didn't pass out when I got home - that trusty chocolate soy milk is still doing the trick. I'm just bummed that it was just so slow and boring. I even had a hard time figuring out where I wanted to go, and usually I get so excited about that. I guess if I really look hard and analyze the whole thing . . . there was this little old man I passed somewhere out there - must've been in his late 80's - with funky huge glasses on. He was all hunched over and truckin' along as slow as could be. When I approached, he smiled with a big grin, and made running motions with his arms. Take what you want out of it. No words were exchanged. Just two people out in the world - connecting in some way. People make the world go round.

10 comments:

IHateToast said...

first day of summer my lily white ass! it's cold here! but just you wait. i'll be complaining about the heat in january. immigrating like this messes you up.

i'm sorry your run was boring. your post on it wasn't. is it okay to say your pain was my gain? ...in a good way? i like to know that i'm not the only one bothered by a boring run. i couldn't do a marathon that loops. ... unless it loops in the most amazing environment.

...gu in your undies. classic. do you find that now with blogging, a bad run can be made positive because of the blogging potential?

Josh Morphew said...

Ahoy Iron "Charity" Flint,

22 miles is a pretty serious long run. Good work staying focused and getting it done despite the inconveniences... that's life after all. On those long runs were you feel like you need some inspiration I like to try to run with a friend. Keeps the motivation up and passes the time quicker.

You can also try running for time rather than distance. Just pick a direction and run for an hour and a half... then, turn around and come back. Forget about pace and distance. Just keep moving. Arrr!

Best,
"Bloody" Jack Vane

Just12Finish said...

Liked your story about the old man. Always nice to connect with people you meet out while running, even if it's for a brief moment. I feel it's what keeps us civilized.

JustRun said...

I love summer, too. It's the only season that I'm not cold and I hate to be cold.
I like to try to get something from every from my run, too. Even if it's a frustrating run. Good for you for finishing anyway.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy solstice, way to keep truckin'

Anne said...

What's a bubble tea?

Jessica Deline said...

I love you ending of your post about the old man. Those simple little connections can really be what life is about sometimes...

iliketoast said...

i see the picture and wonder how many of the kids will hang on to that memory for the rest of their lives ... i know i have a few of those memories ..... that is a special time you have brought to them

Robb said...

Great shot and wonderful thoughts Ginger. Your passing in to summer is pretty much the way we do it here too. I love summer.

Sarah Elaine said...

I really enjoyed the humanity and serenity of this post. I feel more... centered now.