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River of Life

Saturday, April 04, 2015

With the arrival of April comes the month-long preparation for my annual tradition of running my one & only 5K of the year. I am NOT a runner and I don't really enjoy it. However in the interest of mixing it up and challenging my body in different ways I donate April to the cause. Plus, I figure if I keep re-visiting running, who knows? I might get bitten by the running bug! :-)

One of my favorite places to run is along the Chenango River downtown Binghamton. There is something about being near the river that helps one keep their finger on the pulse and rhythm of life. Ideally I like to commit myself to an hour of jogging when I get out and yesterday the river was surprisingly filled with many large slabs of ice flowing in the tide. In APRIL? Amazing.

We've been blessed with a couple warm days peaking around 60 degrees yesterday and today. Perfect weather for kicking off my training!

Cloudier yesterday, less inspiring. I was pleased with my initial jog. Every year I have a little pep talk reminding myself of Galloway and the walk-run intervals that I should be taking to gear up for this.

But my interval method always drifts back to my WI-FLI approach: I will jog and walk at the following intervals


I'm a big fan of keeping it simple. No numbers, stop-watches, etc. for me. Jog till I feel like I need a breather, then walk till I'm too bored with my pace.

Problem was I overlooked my choice of shoes! Oddly enough, my newer New Balance shoes, despite being the same size, are slightly more narrow around the toes. About halfway through my hour my feet were killing me and I was very annoyed to be walking much of the last half. And so SORE! All over, everywhere, going to bed wondering if I would bother with this whole 5K thing anymore. I didn't remember feeling this badly during past years.

However after a good night's sleep and digging up my old sneakers, which were all beaten up and stained green as they had been relegated as lawn-mowing sneakers. NIGHT & DAY DIFFERENCE to my feet! No matter how badly worn they were...the fit was heavenly!

So I head back to the Riverwalk trail along the river and head for the stairway to the lower track which runs along the river more closely and avoids the need to cross Court Street by running under the bridge.

Except! That trail which I had just run yesterday was swallowed by the swollen river! No Tri swimming for me just yet, thank you...!

So I take the "high" road and put up with crossing the traffic on Court Street and progress down over the Washington Street bridge and up over the Vestal Parkway to the school they were rebuilding as it had gotten flooded out during our serious flood a few years back. I miss the school track as I would jog 'round the grassy outer perimeter, the soft ground offering my body a break from the jarring of concrete and asphalt.

The construction workers were just getting off work and one good-naturedly sprinted by me, yellow hat whizzing by & turning around waving me on to join him, "C'mon, let's get some RUNNING on!" My first response was a self-deprecating, "In my DREAMS!" thinking to myself, I'm only 20 minutes into my hour and I'm gonna make like I'm doing a 100-yard dash?

But he pressed on in a pleasantly infectious way which caused me to re-think and I replied: "Hang on, I'll get there someday!" to which he grinned widely and said: "Well all RIGHT! That's better!"

I truly appreciated his ability to re-affirm my belief that we are really all fundamentally good and want the best for each other.

I finished the latter part of my run by heading back up Riverwalk until it turned into the Cheri Lindsay trail and then returned to my fitness center for strength training and the blessedly long shower. My body felt tired and sore, but in a much better way today.

During these transformative days, weeks & months I've been hugely self-absorbed. Much quieter at work, keeping more to myself. All media, especially television, but even my preferred public radio stations and my own music just seems like annoying gnats of distraction to be listened to for only short bouts of time.

Returning to the river has been centering for me and I suppose it's a form of "faking it till you make it" ala Amy Cuddy's talk as recently referred to by the Wise WATERMELLEN:


As turned in upon myself as I may be feeling, BAM! There I am putting myself out there in the world, jogging along Binghamton's Riverwalk!

Despite my jog being a solitary activity, there is a deeper sense of connectedness in the experience: with the river and wildlife, with the people I meet and pass along, deepening a sense of being a part of the community, part of this river of life.

Binghamton has been getting a lot of bad press lately. Declining population, rumors that we may even lose our baseball team. However I still see many good things around here and tremendous potential, especially if we promote and develop all the natural beauty around us.

It was fun to see Binghamton front & center in Hugh Grant's last movie, The Rewrite with Marisa Tomei and JK Simmons:


While not a top-notch movie, it's definitely better than many and who can't get into the theme of redemption & second chances? Worth catching!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's been a while, but I'm glad to find you still blogging (and jogging) along.
    I read that the most peaceful places are those that involve 3 elements-water and the colors of blue and green-sounds like you have found a place of peace as you prepare for your annual 5K-best to you!
    1321 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Ouch! Nothing worse then ill fitting shoes to ruin a jog out. That sounds like a beautiful river to run along! Listening to your body is what its all about, not following some one size fits all program. Glad you got your zen on the second time around!

    1327 days ago
    Once we get through this the coming week, April weather looks great for your mission.
    1327 days ago
    You are a master at making the journey YOUR OWN! That's what it's all about. Thank you for sharing your journey and your link. Appreciate it.
    1327 days ago
    It sounds like you've found a beautiful path for when You Feel Like Running. Good for you. I hope some day I'll be able to run too.
    1327 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    all the best with your 5k............
    Happy Easter to you and yours...
    blessings and hugs.......lita
    1327 days ago
  • OCT1962
    Good luck on your 5k_!! I do a few of them a year and dread them but always feel great right after the race. Its a nice atmosphere. It sounds so pretty by the river!
    1327 days ago
    It's odd how different styles of shoes fit differently even when the same brand. Glad that your second day was so much better than the first. You clearly love Binghamton and your description makes me want to visit.

    Keep up the good work and have fun on your 5k!
    1327 days ago
    You're so inspiring!
    1327 days ago
    So when is your 5K date again? Great way to celebrate Sparkiversary month - coming up for me on the 27th.
    I love your interval system! emoticon
    1327 days ago
    Your jog/walk path actually sounds lovely! Along a river! ! ! The winter months can bring on a slump for many of us and I think your plans for April will renew your spirit again. I was only able to complete a 5K once (no more running/jogging for me with these new hips), but I remember how hard I had to work to prepare since I had never run a day in my life. It took me 5 months! I wonder if it would get easier if you did it more throughout the year? I like your WI-FLI approach too. That is exactly what I did. I jogged until I felt like I could hardly put one foot in front of the other and then I would walk until I caught my breath.

    Also, Don, I too believe that we are really all fundamentally good and want the best for each other.

    HAPPY EASTER! Keep hopping along emoticon and you will reach your goal!
    1327 days ago
    Shoes can certainly make a huge difference. They do for me! Have a great weekend Don!

    1327 days ago
    I put The Rewrite in my netflix cue so I can see it.
    1327 days ago
    I have a definite affinity for water - it calms me to be near any kind of water, especially waterfalls.
    1327 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I also like to walk near rivers and oceans..though I am not a runner. I do feel connected to nature and to the community of people who enjoy nature. Your river sounds beautiful and you are staying healthy!!!!
    1327 days ago
    I shall have to find a way to catch the film, thanks for the link! And thanks for the word-memories of some great scenery. No matter slow or fast... you're OUT THERE! emoticon
    1327 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Have a wonderful weekend. And EXCELLENT emoticon blog!
    1327 days ago
  • ZRIE014
    have a nice weekend
    1328 days ago
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