Friday, November 23, 2012

Through the Eyes (and Heart) of a Runner

I've been absent.  From the blogging world that is!  Reason?  I moved.  I wish I could tell you that I moved to a beautiful tropical paradise which is, at this moment in time, high on the list of places I'd really, really like to be.  You see, where I am at this moment in time is Regina.  Saskatchewan.  Canada.  And it is cold.

Hella cold.  Like -30C cold.  For my American friends who measure temps in F's instead of C' me.  This is extremely and incredibly wintry and frosty!  However, it is also just so very beautiful.  I can say this with conviction and certainty, because as I've promised those of you who know me well, this is the winter that it happens.  I go from hating winter, to embracing and loving the frosty loveliness that is Canada in November, December and January.  And so, I've been venturing out into my new habitat bundled in layers and mittens and a toque for several runs.  True story!

So.  New city.  New job.  New temporary until I find one home.  New, new new.  And most importantly, new running routes!  Exciting!  One of the things I relish most about being a runner is the opportunity to explore the world on foot.  I feel like I get into my surroundings and truly notice whats around me when I'm on a run.  I notice things I would never notice if I was driving.  Names on streets,  Inscriptions on the sides of building.  People coming and going.  Since I'm in an entirely new environment, I find myself making even more observations than I normally would.  What follows are some observations I've made while I've been out pounding the pavement in the city that rhymes with fun.

I notice the trees.  So massive.  So beautiful at this time of year, covered in snow and Christmas lights and frost.  I love the way they canopy over the streets, protection from the elements for anyone who is crazy enough to be out in elements such as these.

I notice the flat.  Or shall I say lack of hills.  For as far as I can see, just straight and flat.  Which is awesome when I'm running intervals, but I'm wondering how this lack of hills will affect my training and fitness.  I do love running hills, after all!

I notice the beautiful, old, classically designed buildings and architecture.  I love the presence it creates.  Huge wooden doors.  Beautiful stone columns.  Newer doesn't necessarily mean better.  This is proof.

I notice that for a small city, that there are fabulous running paths here.  And that despite the snow and the cold, the sidewalks are (mainly) cleared and the pathways are (mainly) plowed so a runner can hit a full stride without much worry about slipping on the ice.  So grateful!

I notice how the downtown is so different here.  I have run early in the morning and I have run late at night.  And it is quiet.  Deserted, in fact.  Not like the seemingly endless hustle and bustle that is Calgary.  All I can hear is the sound of the crunch of my shoes on the hard packed snow and ice.  Nothing else. 

I notice how running in Regina is so much like running in Winnipeg, epecially the flat and the trees!  And this makes me smile. It reminds me that I am just that much closer to my family who I miss so much that a day doesn't go by that I don't wish I could hug them all. I notice how running in Regina is not a thing like running in Calgary. No rolling hills. No river pathway.  No familiar faces running the other way.  No friends to meet for yoga or sushi when training is done. And this makes my heart ache for the familiar. 

And even though its cold, and even though its winter, and even though its flat...there is something beautiful and special about this place.  It doesn't feel like home, yet, but I know that in time, the path around the lake, the route around the oldest neighbourhood and the trek in front of the parliament buildings will become MY route.

And I can't wait for that.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes. Nowhere is perfect (except Calgary, maybe). You just have to make it your own kind of perfect. I know this doesn't make sense. Sorry. Run!


Raf said...

:-) Great post Andrea! But we miss you! Another Tuesday night sans Andrea this evening!