Today I ran eight miles—that is not unusual. The fact that I ran outside shouldn’t be unusual. But so far this calendar year it has been. The only thing that has been more unusual so far this calendar year is running with others. I still hope to fix that, but for right now I am just enjoying running—even if it is by myself.
Today’s eight mile run was down my street, over to Northwood, out to Northern, up the Alameda to Sherwood, down Regester, across Loch Hill, down Loch Raven, around the grocery story and post office on Meridene, back to Loch Raven on Northern, down to Cold Spring (police activity at the corner and I could not get the speed indicator to measure me at more than 8 MPH this morning), across Cold Spring to York, up York to Bellona, back across Northern to York, up York to Hollen, and then winding through Lake Walker back to my home.
What did I think of while I ran? I thought of a few things today.
First, how many places of worship I passed. Probably at least a dozen. Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic. Probably a few others along the way. A Catholic High School. The many and varied ways that people worship and believe and live out their faiths.
Second, I thought about how I feel comfortable running through most of the northern part of the city from Falls Rd to Harford Rd and north of 25th street. As well as downtown. If I go back four years when I first got it in my head to train for a marathon I ran north of where I live. Now, I run south quite a bit through all sorts of sections of the city. I think of the city as my “canvas” for running. Where the patterns of streets I run each day would make interesting designs. Where I try to find new paths that form loops or crossing loops and avoid, like the plague, out and back when I run in the city. And I am comfortable enough now that even when I run to downtown or to Lake Montebello or to Druid Lake, I don’t need to just do an out and back. And I like to celebrate how comfortable I have become with my city.
But then I checked on where this puts me: 213.5 miles toward my goal of 2000 miles. And where does that put me—about a mile and a half east of where PA-136 and PA-88 intersect in Monongahela, PA. I would have run a bit along the Monongahela River. That is one of the three rivers that come together in Pittsburgh where the baseball team once had a stadium. Pittsburgh is where my most frequent long run partner for the last three years hails from. I’ve heard they have a good marathon.
In the spirit of canvas (and I literally did not know this before I ran today), I would have run on a street called Rainbow Run Rd. Rainbows are many colors. I certainly passed a “rainbow” of faith experiences today.
Google had a rainbow of colors on its main page for searching today. Maybe a sign of protest against the anti-LGBT issues being raised by the Olympics being in Russia.
Once again, I find an odd sense of interconnectedness. I think of the city as a canvas. I pass a “rainbow” of places or worship (at least a Christian rainbow). I find that I would have run on a road called Rainbow if I were physically on my 2000 mile question. And rainbow is a symbol in the news.
How all this interconnected stuff happens again and again for me is a mystery. It will continue to be a mystery. Maybe it is not so interconnected. Maybe I just like to interpret it that way. But if that helps me make sense of the world, so be it.
That is ultimately what this is all about. Making sense of the world.