Back to the Grind

I’ve been home from vacation for a week.  A week of working, a week of working out.  It was difficult the first couple of days to get back to the grind, but having to sit in front of a computer at work is about the same as sitting behind a steering wheel.  The workouts were a different story.  I can still barely walk from just a week’s worth of hiking, biking, Jillian and running, but mornings like this morning make it all so worthwhile.

Since I’m now working the Tuesday-Saturday shift at work, I need to be there at 8:45am instead of 9.  This means that everything gets pushed back a wee bit . . . run pick-ups are now 6:20am for Brittany and I, and as fall progresses we are now routinely out the door before the sun is out of bed.

Today was no exception.  Headlights were a must as I drove to pick her up, and on the way to West Van we chatted about how much we hate mornings.  Why do we push ourselves out of bed before dawn, grab whatever clothes are at hand, jump in the car and get going – with last night’s rain still fresh on the road, and a few drops still hitting the windshield?

This morning, as we pulled into the parking lot at the Hollyburn Sailing Club, I could see Dawn’s red face reflected in the apartment buildings.  As we hit the paved seawall at 17th, a woman walking towards us motioned to see what she was seeing.  As we turned, we saw the whole sky painted in shades of burnt red and orange, fading to a still-dark blue above our heads, silhouetting the Lions Gate Bridge.  We ran backwards, football practice style, to take in the magnificence of the sky.

After a few metres we turned our backs on the sun, and ran forward again, but not for long.  Like a beautiful train wreck, we couldn’t look away.  This time it was side-to-side crossovers, about 20 on each side, so we could still see the view, already changing, the reds and oranges turning to pinks and peach.  As we ran around the bend and out of the direct line of the rising sun, a full, albeit faint, double rainbow appeared in front of us.  Rising from UBC on our left, and falling somewhere behind the North Shore mountains on the right, it beckoned for us to find its pot of gold. 

So on we ran, towards the ever-diminishing end of the rainbow.  By the time we got to the pier at Dundarave, the rainbow had gone, as had Dawn; she had sped across the sky, beating us to the horizon.  When we turned eastward at the end of the pier, looking back towards the city, another landmark loomed in our view: Mt. Baker, clear and regal in the morning sun, 200 kilometres away.

Running back, we saw our vibrant sky replaced by one of light slate hues.  Day had come, and we had witnessed it.  So had our great blue heron.  We have seen him three times now on our morning runs.  Waiting patiently when as the tide is low for his breakfast.  Silently he stands, barely moving, easy to miss.  Luckily for us, we’re not that fast of runners.

Reaching our car, our cool-down walk started; just to the concession and back.  We chatted about life in general, my upcoming trip, Brit’s visit next year and World Cup Rugby in New Zealand.  Brittany had never seen a sunrise before – she picked a good day.

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