You’ll Never Walk Alone


The Father’s Day race this weekend, besides being very hot, was great. I ran the 5K but noticed that most people had to just walk a little due to that heat. My husband said it was true of those running the 10K as well. I also ran extra after the race so that I could do my whole 55 minute run, which I didn’t do the weekend before. Anyway, the 5K is probably more of the “fun walk/run” compared to the 10K, so the first part of the race was just getting past the walkers. Once I did that, I found myself alone for the most part. The trail went around Burnaby Lake, and the sky was cloudless and perfect. I crossed an old wooden suspension bridge, felt dragonflies buzz by, saw weeds and grasses flowing in the wind, gazed upon the azure big lake, and, at wonderful times, got to get out of the sun to dip down into shady paths, though much of the run was in head-on sunshine.

I just don’t think many actually ran the 5K come to think about it. The few who ran stopped and began walking early on, though I think most of the runners left before me, so I was behind them. Regardless of the heat, I beat my 1 and 2 mile speeds and had hoped to beat my 5K speed, but at the end noticed that the the race wasn’t actually quite 5K! It was more like just over 4.34K, which was weird–at least this was the the distance my Strava recorded. And I had to use the bathroom before continuing (to finish my 55 training run). When I crossed the finish line, I was one of the first in that category, which made me happy.

At the end I waited by the sidelines for my husband to finish the 10K. They had a live band there. As noted from my last post I thought a lot about my father, though never did find the right music mix for running that day. But there I was standing, listening to the music, and the band played “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” At the time I had been delighting in that beautiful, warm day. And a breeze had come up (in fact, the rest of the day got so windy later that a tree fell and we had a power outage)–but to hear that song right then, when thinking of Dad, really gave me the shivers.

When he died, I had been in charge of putting together a slideshow. I scanned many old photos and put them to music. One of the songs I really wanted to play was the Oak Ridge Boys’ “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which was a song Dad loved. In the end, I didn’t include it because my sister chose a different song, but to have that song play at the end of a Father’s Day race of all things. It’s not like you hear that song, ever. How appropriate, both for remembering Dad and for running. The lyrics:

When you walk through a storm
Hold your chin up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.

I’m sure the lyrics are about God walking with you, but I prefer to think that memory walks with you, that loved ones are there in memory form. It’s a good song for both running as well as for walking through life, I think–what a neat way to end that race day. I mean, in life you generally have people around you to share experiences with. It’s the same way with running. I almost always see others on the trail when out running. But when it comes down to it, at least for me, running (and sometimes life) is a very personal experience. Ultimately, the hardships in running are personal; the motivation to keep going despite rain, pain, heat, or wind is entirely personal. But it also helps that you may have others physically urging you onward, or perhaps others on a shelf in your memory; for instance, my dad encouraged me through everything in life when he was alive, so I could see him on that memory shelf waving his hands and sporting that huge grin!

I was looking at next weekend’s weather, since my last 10K training run (60-minute one) has to be done then, and I was horrified to see that temperatures are going to be in the 30s (90s) both Saturday and Sunday, which is very unusual for this area and much warmer than this past weekend. I know that others get this weather all the time, but it is something to adapt to. We are already in a drought, and the grass is very brown everywhere. The Globe and Mail has an article, which cites John Pomeroy, director of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan, and who monitors 35 remote observatories in the mountains from Kananaskis, west of Calgary, to the Athabasca glacier, 100 kilometres south of Jasper, as saying:

But there is reason to worry [about the drought in the West], because the conditions are linked to climate change and appear to be here for the long term.

This year, the Rocky Mountain snowpacks, which usually melt slowly, releasing water well into the summer, have had a dramatic decline. This past winter, those snowpacks were as low as 25 per cent of normal measurements, and they vanished quickly in the spring.

All our stations are free of snow now, which is the earliest we’ve seen it. Not only was the maximum of snow water available quite low, but the snow melted much earlier – about a month to a month and a half earlier than what we would expect.”

He said the conditions are “eerily like” what he has projected will occur if a global warming of two degrees occurs, which climate-change scenarios consider likely.

We know that extreme weather has existed throughout our history, but now it is not just weather. It feels like more of a finality of drastic change that we are beginning to witness first-hand all over the world, some places more than others. To live in this changing world is like watching your life trickle around you. To run in this change is a little scary. I’m not sure what I’ll do next weekend short of getting up super early at dawn, at the coolest part of the day, and running then.

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