" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

May 14, 2008

Running Past Eye Candy

Question? How do you know when you've become a "real" runner?
Answer! You have an injury! You come home and you wrap your ankle in ice and put the tensor bandage around it. Achilles. Ouch!

The 5km clinic hasn't been as much fun as "Learn to Run" was partly because our group has dwindled to three of us (plus two-year-old Hanna).

Hanna doesn't run. She'd REALLY slow us down, even more than we slow ourselves down. Jen pushes her in one of those running strollers. And, then our leader, Carol, who was training for something called "The Goofy" which is an endurance race hosted at Disneyworld in Florida (and IMHO sounds like a very unhealthy endeavor considering that it's a marathon immediately followed by a half-marathon) suffered an injury that has completely sidelined her.

So, we've been running with Pam who was recovering from a very bad bout of the flu this past winter and that really cut into her training. I can't help but notice that runners, like seniors, can spend a lot of time talking about their physical ailments.

One of the really great things about running in a group is being able to go into the trails in Stanley Park. If I was running alone, I wouldn't do that. It's so green and quiet and beautiful and you get to notice things like a blue heron standing in the middle of Beaver Lake eating a poor little frog (gulp). You get to see baby ducks and swans, nesting. The air seems fresher inside the trails and it's softer running on trail than cement. You get to be reminded that you are one of the luckiest people on the planet because you live in a beautiful place where Stanley Park is your backyard a mere 3 minute walk down the street and your middle-aging body is actually running through it like you were a kid again.

One of the women who runs with us is from Costa Rica. She's doing a post doctorate fellowship and she's doing her fellowship as a pediatrician at Children's Hospital. She's everything you would hope for in terms of personal qualities in a doctor who looks after sick kids. She's REALLY warm and nice. She greets you with a hug every time. I'm just guessing that she's in her early 30s.

She looks like a runner: Tall, thin, long legs. In fact, she's beautiful. And, English, is of course, not her first language which, combined with her accent, makes the way she puts sentences together extremely charming.

We've been running together for four months now and we've gotten to know a little bit about each other. I know she has a boyfriend and he lives in Spain and he's coming to visit in August. If Wednesday's run was any indication, his arrival can't happen soon enough.

Last week, we were nearing the end of our 5K run. We'd gone along Lost Lagoon, up past the Rose Garden towards Beaver Lake. We then left Beaver Lake halfway around it and headed onto Ravine trail that leads out onto the Seawall. Then, we ran south along the Wall all the way back to the Vancouver Rowing Club.

As we were nearing the end of our run, Hazel, the Costa Rican, lets out this little spontaneous yelp as if someone had just come up behind her and tickled her or scared her. I looked and this really good-looking guy had just ran past us in the other direction.

It was as if, in shock, the air just came out of her and she emitted this noise involuntarily. When she did that, we all turned around to look and he turned around at the same time and it was really funny in a "you had to be there" kind of way.

That's life in Vancouver. It happens so rarely - seeing a specimen like that - that it's like being on the receiving end of an unexpected jolt from a defibrillator.

So. The moral of this story? There is still some straight eyecandy here afterall!!

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