Running on: sights, sounds, second winds

Post-run photo of legs in front of the first blooms of a magnolia
This morning brought by far the longest run since I returned to the sport from years away, but also a reminder that the sights and sounds and opportunity to reflect are more important than the distance and pace.
 
I live far enough south in Oswego that I haven’t gone anywhere near the main street of Route 104/Bridge Street (my roots in this town) in any of my routes, and only once to Utica Street, the second-biggest east-west thoroughfare. But today I set a goal to get all the way across those to the northern border of our city, which happens to be Lake Ontario, and Breitbeck Park.
 
The run took me past St. Stephen’s Church, the stalwart sanctuary of my Polish neighborhood, filled with folks getting the Good News. Each gathering anywhere is truly unique, as all these people under the same roof will only happen today, hearing and sharing the same things, before going their various paths in life.
 
I wove west to Liberty Street, and my goal was to not walk before Utica Street, all good, then I told myself the next block, and the next, and then to keep running past Bridge Street, which was made even easier by light traffic. Ideally, I would have run all the way to Breitbeck Park, but after I convinced myself to get another block past Cayuga Street and then to Seneca Street, I knew my legs needed a break. Walked a block, then back at it to Breitbeck Park.
 
To those not familiar with Breitbeck Park, it’s really the jewel of Oswego parks, opening up into a magnificent view of Lake Ontario, the Oswego Harbor, our signature lighthouse and beyond. It’s one of the things that convinced me to move to Oswego. It’s also an amazing place for people watching.
 
Not too many people on this peaceful Sunday, but enough. A young couple strode the lakeside walk below. She paused to take pictures on her cellphone of the lake and trees — and not a single selfie! She also handed her purse to the gentleman, who didn’t complain and took it like a champ, fulfilling an important part of any mating ritual.
 
In the park, a parent and child played with a large yellow dog. One day the child will grow up and they will think back to these Sundays in the park as good times. Rejoice!
 
I took a break from running (feeling lazy for it), walking down to the lake trail and into Wright’s Landing. Seven boats were in slips this early in the season, and each of those boats is something special, the result of a lot of work and savings to buy, and to maintain. Those are seven dreams come true for people or families. And I thought about my late grandfather, our main father figure, born 110 years ago this month, and how he built a boat in his retirement years.
 
The boat was called, appropriately, Second Wind. Running, and life in general, is about second or third or tenth winds, and on a day celebrating resurrection, hard to think of a better metaphor.
 
My minimum goal was to run from there to West Park, and I felt good enough to keep running, then past services at the Church of the Resurrection and St. Mary’s Church. Next goal was Bridge Street, then the next block, then the next then across Utica Street. Then a walk, then run, then one more walked block then up the hill to home.
 
In all, I was out for more than an hour and ran about 3.5 miles — longer than a 5K. I realize a sizable caveat exists in the amount of walking in there too. But all around blooms and buds were showing, spring rising majestically. I heard kids in backyards hunting for Easter eggs, and laughter and happiness.
 
May this Easter Sunday, bring you joy, reflection and renewal, as well as second winds and beyond.
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