Archive for December, 2009

December 28, 2009

Akumal Run

Running in Akumal

I tried to run. I did. I made it about five minutes. I couldn’t go longer because of the humid air and the fact that I forgot to pack my sports bra. Also, I was running with college athlete, nephew Chris and my Middle School cross country competitor, son Hayden.

The two of them flew ahead towards Half Moon. And there was Catherine behind me barefoot, running, tagging along. I want her to be physical. I remembered some South African Olympian who ran barefoot so I didn’t exclude her based on no shoes.

Of course, I kept turning around to check on her. Just as Hayden in front of me, kept turning around to check on me.

I had an epiphany then. Maybe I somehow – unconsciously – encourage my kids to tag along because I want them to hold me back. It’s possible that I use my kids as an excuse for not running faster, farther, reaching some potential.

And if I do that, it’s okay. I am surely not alone. And maybe that’s it too. I like being not alone. And I let my responsibility (over-responsibility?) to others hold me back.

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December 24, 2009

Ran This Morning

Hopped over snow and ice in Riverside Park. Sun’s so bright when it’s cold.

Very little wildlife to remark on. Canadian geese, all hunched into themselves.

The cold air burns your lungs after 10 minutes.

But I listened to Pandora with Britney Spears – that keeps you running. She’s good music to run to. “You wanna piece o’ me?”

December 8, 2009

Where Is that Harbor Seal?

On Saturday, I ran to the end of the 70th Street pier in Riverside Park. As I passed the kayak launch site, empty now, I wished that I could see that harbor seal again. The one with the one droopy whisker and the big black eyes.

About a year ago, Max, the doorman, told me a seal was hanging out at the boat basin. At dusk, I took the kids to see it. Our photo didn’t turn out, but there it was at the boat basin. The next week it was at the kayak launch site. It was yawning and stretching. Just lookin’ around.

We dialed 3-1-1. The animal rescue or marine biology people (or whomever 3-1-1 connected us to) said they would not come rescue it, because – from what we described, it was healthy.

After all, it was a harbor seal in a harbor. No matter that the harbor was the Hudson River.

On my weekend run this time, the only wildlife I saw were squirrels, ducks, and, I’m not sure they count – dogs. I didn’t even see one of the red-tailed hawks near the 80th street playground. They’re so vast you’d think they could swoop down and, with their talons, grab a toddler.

The best part of running in New York City is the wildlife. And when you run again, you remember.

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December 7, 2009

Adirondacks Revisited

I ran with Hayden on the newly-paved Camp Dudley Road past the school house. We ran down towards the Stable Inn.

The field of wildflowers was all gone.

The best part of the run was the several dozen woodpeckers – small, fluffy, industrious – in a flock on the spindley trees of Lake Shore Road. One dive-bombed us, letting us know, “This is our world! Beat it! Aren’t you city folk? Get on back to your city!”

We did. Or at least walked back up to our house. We walked up the Old Dug Road.

Our toes got wet. After all, when you run through a field where wildflowers once grew and woodpeckers now rule, you are going to have to pay. It is a small price in discomort but there is a big pay off too.

The pay off is in knowing that there are places in this world that are not ruled by humans, there are places where woodpeckers rule.