Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The last long run


The title of this post might be misleading for any number of reasons. Today’s run/walk was probably not the last long run I’ll ever do, and frankly there wasn’t all that much running involved.

But I have the much anticipated (at least by me) Crim race next Saturday, and today was my last long training run in preparation for actually accomplishing the ten hot and hilly miles next weekend.

Pontoon boats waiting for the weekenders to descend.

It’s not as though I’ve been training methodically. Or even with a plan. I just tried to run longer once a week than I did the week before. And I tried to get out there one or two other times during the week to do 3 or 4 miles.

Moving in formation away from the noisy, gasping, foot slapping runner.

And even then it wasn’t really running like I remember from the days when I was young. It was shuffle along for a quarter mile, gasp for air and walk at least part if not all of the next quarter, then pick up the speed and shuffle along again.

And if there was a big uphill, then all bets are off and walking was totally acceptable. Unless I wanted to prove something to myself, in which case I sometimes shuffled to the top just to say I could.

But not generally.

Riding a bike looked infinitely more fun.

This morning I did my last long run/walk at my favorite park. It’s where I used to run long every weekend, often meeting one or more of my running friends to talk and run together.

Along the familiar route today I’d remember things from previous runs. A running partner with a frozen water supply line here, a couple of dancing cranes there, the spot that Katie rested before we headed back to the car on one of our walks.

Very tall water lillies. I need to come back here with the good camera and maybe a kayak.

And sometime during mile 7 as I was slogging up a little hill to round the flagpole, ensuring my total would be ten miles because I added that ‘little’ out and back at Turtlehead, I remembered that once, many years ago while training alone I had come up this very hill and found a flock of cedar waxwings swarming a tree. I looked up at the tree again, now perhaps twenty years later, and imagined those birds, their little bodies fliting among the branches, the color on their tails. I remembered how I stood there a long time watching them way back then. And I noticed birds flitting among the same trees, though my eyesight is much worse now than it was then, so I thought today’s birds were sparrows.

Until I got closer and heard the little snuffling tweets they made as they flew back and forth.

Such delicate little blue bell type flowers.

Could it be? Not possible! But yes, up in the top of the trees was a flock of cedar waxwings, yellow band on their tails the tell-tale sign. I had to laugh out loud, though to be honest, crawling up a hill in mile 7 of a ten mile run is not generally a time I spend a lot of time laughing.

I guess sometimes you can conjure up memories and make them real if you give your mind free reign.

Proof summer is sliding at an alarming pace into fall.

Anyway, I saw lots of things on this run, the pictures here are all taken with my phone, often while I was still moving. They aren’t great photogenically, but they tell you the story of a (very) long run during a grey, foggy morning, at my favorite park.

And I’m very very glad it’s done.

Hiding among the reeds to avoid the paparazzi.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “The last long run

  1. I like your photos and your musings. I agree that summer is slipping right through our fingers. I also like your no plan approach to training. Very sensible and simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So wonderful about the Cedar Waxwings! I am so very impressed and awed by your ability to get out and do so many miles!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trees and shrubs here in the Pacific NW are “turning” early this year. They are so gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shuffle, gasp, walk, then do it again. I can’t run anymore b/c of all the hardware in my neck so I envy whatever it takes for you to do that 10-mile run, Dawn. In my running days, a friend and I used to joke that we were gonna take home all the prizes in the 60+ category. Pipe dreams for both of us….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I miss being able to run, I’m recuperating though, one day… Until then, I’ll miss the focus and otherly world you enter when you run. It always seemed as though I did the majority of my best thinking when I was out on the trails. Enjoy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, yes, the feeling of a long run. I can remember that feeling. It’s a good thing. Congrats and best wishes for a great run next week!


    • Thank you Shelley! I hope it’s not as hot as it is now…but likely it will be. The race starts at 8, so maybe we can get done before it’s too miserable out. Though one year I remember doing it when the temps were in the 90s and there was 90% humidity. I’m too old for that now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Much success on the walk/run next weekend!


  8. I hope you do great next weekend. I was never a runner a fast walker yes but never a runner.


  9. I admire your ambition! Best of luck!


  10. A shuffle-run is totally acceptable in my book. The sights you encounter on these trainings make a shuffle-run-walk the perfect pace. If you were cruising along any faster, just think of all the sights you’d miss — we’d miss through your eyes!


    • I’ve thought that myself. Sometimes when I’m ‘running’ I think I’d rather be on a bike, would be so much easier, but I KNOW I’d miss some pretty stuff on a bike. Just like when I’m shuffling along, sometimes I’m sure I miss stuff I’d see if I were walking…but honestly, shuffling is about the same as walking.


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