july 31/RUNSWIM

5 miles
bottom of franklin hill and back
65 degrees

What a wonderful morning to be outside! Cooler, sunny, calm.

My new morning routine is to get up, feed the dog, make my coffee, and then sit outside on my deck. Sitting there, I noticed a few birds swooping down from our new gutters. Uh oh — they’re trying to build a nest.

I felt pretty good on my run. Relaxed for the first few miles. Running down the hill, my left hip felt a little tight. Not too bad. Last night, Scott and I talked about signing up for the Oct 2024 marathon, for our 50 birthdays. Can my knees and hips handle it?

Listened to birds, acorns falling from the trees, kids calling out for Dairy Queen for the first half of the run. Put in headphones and listened to “Camelot” on the way back.

At the bottom of the franklin hill, I turned around. As I walked back up the hill, I recorded a few moments from the run:

moment one

Running through the tunnel of trees
a few minutes ago
a wonderful silence
no cars
I could hear myself breathing
everything still
no wind.
I was mostly in the moment
every so often a wonder
about when a car would come
and break the silence
cut into my calm.

moment two

approaching the trestle
I heard some kids
yelling, yeah! dairy queen!
another camp group
a dozen kids in bright yellow vests
as they biked past me
one of them chanted, dairy queen! dairy queen!

moment three

as spoke about moment two into my phone
a runner passed me
looking relaxed graceful
his legs rhythmically bobbing up and down

10 Things

  1. a still river
  2. a black shirt dropped near the porta potty
  3. one acorn dropping to the ground from a tree, thud
  4. another acorn being crushed by a bike wheel, crunch!
  5. 2 roller skiers, or the same roller skier encountered twice
  6. the Welcoming Oaks wondering where I’ve been
  7. a person asleep under the bridge
  8. a regular — Santa Claus
  9. another regular — Mr. Morning!
  10. a woman ahead of me, a dark shirt strung through the strap of her tank top, flapping as she ran

On this last day of July, a month about water, I want to include this passage from Roger Deakin’s Waterlog:

The following afternoon, under a blue sky fringed white with distant clouds on the horizon, four of us swam in 360 feet of turquoise water in a sheer-sided quarry on Belnahua. The island encricled a huge natural swimming pool, raised above sea level, whose waters were so utterly transparent that when we swam, we saw our shadows far down, swimming ahead of us along the bottom. All around, only yards away, was the deeper blue of the open sea, and the Hebrides: Fladda, Scarba, Jura, Lunga, the Garvellachs (the ‘Islands of the sea’, St. Coumba’s favourite place), Luing, Mull and Colonsay. The light and the skies kept changing all afternoon: from bright blue with distant dazzling clouds to deepening red and gold. Diving from the rocks into the immensely deep, clear, brackish water, intensified the giddy feeling of aquatic flying.

Waterlog / Roger Deakin (237)

I would love to swim here (or near here)– some day in my 50s, I hope. Last week I mentioned possibly seeing my shadow in the water, but barely because the water in the lake is opaque. I remember seeing (and writing about) my shadow in the pool last winter, how it felt like I was flying above the deep end. I love the idea of aquatic flying and the rare times I feel like I’m actually doing it.

swim: 2 loops (4 cedar loops)
cedar lake open swim
83 degrees

Always grateful for another swim. Was able to swim on course, even without the buoys. My calves felt a little strange, my nose was a bit stuffed up, but otherwise, a great swim.

Instead of listing 10 things I noticed, here’s the coolest thing of the night: the vegetation stretching up from the bottom of the lake. How tall is it, I wonder? On the last loop, rounding the far orange buoy at Hidden Beach, I swam parallel to the beach, right above the vegetation — is it milfoile? Whatever it is, it’s wonderfully creepy — a pale green, ghostly, reaching up toward the light or my torso. So much of it! When I have more time, I do a little more research about these plants, and try to describe them more too.