Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pennsylvania

Blessed to be able to spend a few days back home and running in eastern Pennsylvania.

Cold runs. Dressed in long pants, layers, beanie, and gloves. But enjoying every mile of. Hitting the hills. Running parts of the old routes that I cut my teeth on twenty, thirty years ago. Yes Thomas Wolfe... in running you can go home again.

Ran a section of the D and L (Delaware and Lehigh) trail one of the days. Started at the Lehighton trailhead and ran south along the west bank of the Lehigh River. Was a grey, damp day with temps in the low to mid 30s. Those days where any color seems to be washed out by the vast grey sky which droops down amoeba like on all sides. But in its wake a certain type of beauty seems to emerge... if only one is looking for it in the right places.

The kind of day where when I pass the old railroad electric T like poles I think of my grandfather and how he fished and hunted all around here ... these were his woods, his river, and his streams. I feel proud to be carrying on in his name. The trail curves around the base of the Blue Mountain and a find myself running in some ethereal spot that I used to have disjointed dreams about years and years ago. I can see the hi way across the river up against the other side of the gap in the mountain. Its romantically outlandish to be running here.... as if a portal has been opened into another dimension. I try n make sense of some of the graffiti scrawled high up on the over hanging rock faces. Like we used to look at as kids riding by way across on the hi way

On the way back a train goes by on the other side of the river and on down thru the valley. I run to its low groaning rumbling hum and think of nothing but just listen to the noise until it fades and fades and fades...

I felt really alive

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I did a late afternoon harder run on the towpath (in shorts, the only time) one of the days. Half mile or so in I wonder what is on the bottom of my right shoe.  I stop briefly to scrape the sole off on a bench and realize nothing is there its just that my foot is numb and just feels funny. I ran to the observation tower and up the two small flights of stairs ... and stopped for a brief second and gazed out at the cold running waters of the Lehigh snaking on down thru the woods and the valley. Back down and back up the towpath running hard, running strong thru the fading daylight closing the last 2 miles in 6;11 and 5:57 pace.

Other runs I hit all the hills I could. The hills where you lick your knees and shuffle one foot and front of the other ...til you think your lungs will pop. Hills that I've crested a million times

On and on and on it goes...and I shall return yet again.