Sunday, January 9, 2011

Glimpsing the Sublime

How divine,
The liberty, for frail, for mortal, man
To roam at large among unpeopled glens
And mountainous retirements . . .regions consecrate
To oldest time! 
[Wordsworth, Works 5.125]

The 20˚ air held my German Shorthaired Pointer’s exhaled breath in billowy white plumes as we were a couple miles into a 17 mile long run.  As we turned to the southeast, the sun was peeking over the crest of a hill and its rays were caught by the frost on the golden brown grass, which had not yet been trampled under heavy winter snows.  It was as if frost had collected on my lens as each strand of straw stood illuminated in the morning sun, all silver and gold, etching crystals into my vision.  Time stood still in the morning chill as I experienced a moment of sublimity that would make Wordsworth proud.  Of course, the dog was just happy to be running.
I had an excellent long run yesterday.  Fletcher ran 2.6 miles and Finn ran 17.3 to bring me a tenth of a mile or so short of 20 for the day.  The weekly totals are: Teamcam—65.5; Finn—49.6; Fletcher—15.9.  Week 4 (14 weeks to go) of the Pete Pfitzinger 18/70 plan contains no speedwork, just a lot of medium long runs and long runs, so the dogs were in for every mile.  We all seem to be holding up quite nicely.
It was a glorious run yesterday as the only people out on the paths were dog walkers, and there were not a lot of them on a cold Saturday morning.  After the sublime scene depicted above, Finn and I made our way to a greenbelt that parallels Clear Creek.  The sun was shining, illuminating the snow and frost as the creek steamed.  It was one of those runs that make me happy to shun the treadmill and get out there.
I understand that some people live in places where the weather is just too bad to run in all of the time and that the treadmill offers convenience for those short on time, but I would not trade the feeling of covering ground and seeing my surroundings for anything.  I am blessed to live in Colorado, but that is not to say that I only run in beautiful surroundings.  Yesterday’s course went through some bleak industrial areas, but even those were picturesque in the blues, grays, and whites of a January morning.  We saw both a fox and a coyote on different parts of the run.  There were several views that were just breathtaking.  And we finished several hours of running feeling wonderfully tired and with the feeling that we had gotten somewhere.  Where to?  Well through the fourth week of training for my second Boston Marathon and into an ice bath—brrrrrr!
I hope that your running gets you to where you want to be, and that, for even just a moment, you feel at one with the world in which you run. 

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