Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bonus Days

Being able to run after work this week was like finding a three dollar chocolate truffle after eating your way through the trick or treat candy that filled your pillow case. It had to be savoured. Daylight savings starts tomorrow so any runs after work for the next few months will be in the dark and cold. The temperatures have been in the seventies all week but with the last hour of daylight they slipped into the sixties; what a treat to run on a November afternoon in shorts and a T-shirt.

I had run a lot last weekend so on Monday afternoon I was content to just get out and take Elliott for a stroll around the neighborhood as the trees began to cast long shadows across their golden leaves that lay underfoot. Tuesday and Wednesday were marathon teaching days with four hours of adult classes each evening after my regular workday with the alternative education congregation. I was content to have chat quick meal and a beer while catching up with Ruth and being entertained by Elliott for a few minutes before going succumbing to slumber.

Thursday, was the kind of day you want to tell everyone you know to get outside and enjoy the day so before changing into summer running clothes I poked my head into Valerie's hazmat zone where she was seated at her little desk with books propped open around her littered with bite-sized candy bar wrappers, the radio on, the laptop in front of her, and cell phone in hand. She swung around, clearly having an OMG moment and knowing she was going to surprise me said,"I've been thinking I want to run cross country next year, but that would mean starting to run so I decided that they next time you invited me I would go, but I have too much homework right, the next time." Wow, what a surprise. I enjoyed the sunny late afternoon running all the streets and cul-de-sacs of the adjoining multi-million dollar-homed neighborhood feeling so fortunate that I felt like I was slumming there.

Yesterday afternoon I was drawn directly home by the prospect of savouring the last sunny post-work run of the Indian summer for this year. I texted Valerie on the way home,"Run?" "X_X....Maybe" I texted back,"fuel hydrate". When I arrived she was already in running shorts, a T-shirt, and her like-new Asics from last year. :)

I had a couple of things to take care of first; Valerie went out for a quick mile and a quarter warm up around the neighborhood. I wanted her reacquaintance with running to be more than just plodding along on pavement so we drove around to get near the open space trails that I usually run to from the house. "We jogged and chatted side by side until we came to the single track and Valerie went ahead to set the pace. Before we reached the high point of our trail the sun had ducked behind Bear Mountain and the air felt cooler although we occasionally passed through warm pockets of air. Valerie sprinted up to the summit and I pushed as well, thinking about how she'd feel the today. We stopped for a minute enjoying the view of almost the entire county before coasting back down to the truck.

Many runners lament their children not following in their foot steps. Who knows if Valerie will join me again but yesterday's 2.3 miles was better than a three dollar truffle at the bottom of a trick or treat bag.

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