Saturday, February 15, 2014

Warmth and Hope

Today, I ran yet another workout on the treadmill.  Today's workout was a simple 7.2 miles in 1 hour.  As far as workouts go, an average 8:20 mile on the treadmill is a pretty easy workout.  I enjoyed it even though I was back at the gym to start my workout less than 12 hours after I had finished my last one.  Not quite a "two-a-day" type of workout as those are usually beginning and end of the same day rather than end of one day and start of the next.  

Where does this next 7 miles put me? Well, it puts me 259.2 miles from where I began.  And being that far from St. Pius X on the virtual walking path to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, this puts me on a street called Lava Ave in Wheeling, West Virginia.

I've only been to West Virginia a handful of times, although I've been though West Virginia many times driving along I-81 to our vacation spot in Virginia.  And I don't think I have ever been through Wheeling.  In any case, when I saw the street name, I wondered (although I haven't tried to find any information on this) why there would be a street named "Lava" in West Virginia.  When I think of lava I think of volcanoes.  And I don't think there are or have been any active volcanoes in West Virginia for quite some time.  But I could be wrong.

In any case, lava brings a number of images to my mind.  The first is heat.  Heat is something that a lot of people in the mid-Atlantic have been longing for a lot lately given the cold and snow we have faced.  And I thought it was interesting that on a day when I ended up on Lava Ave on my virtual pilgrimage, at the ice rink where my son played his game this morning in Laurel, MD, the Baltimore parents managed to find a heat source to sit near.  Between finally remembering to dress in the right number of layers (including longjohns and three layers up top under my jacket) and sitting near a heat source, I felt very comfortable.  So much so, that I didn't even need my gloves.  And now that there have finally been a series of Saturday morning games that I could attend, I know the other parents better and felt the warmth of the team spirit and the excitement of the game.  

The other image that comes to my mind when I think of lava (beyond heat) is speed and slow/deliberate movement.  Speed--because sometimes the lava flow is amazingly fast.  Slow and deliberate movement because sometimes the lava just seems to creep but it is unstoppable.  This is interesting to ponder this week, a week during which we saw snow that sometimes came very quickly and at other times came slowly and deliberately but could not be stopped.

Snow (which Wheeling has had plenty of) and lava (a street in town) make an interesting contrast of ideas with overlapping concepts.  And the concepts of speed at times but deliberate, slow, but inexorable movement at other times, are concepts that I can relate to for my running.  There are fast track workouts.  There are tempos.  And there are both long and shorter workouts during which I simply go and go and go and go.   

So, I end with a Haiku:

Lava and some snow
Sometimes fast but others slow
That is how I train

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