I guess I’m a runner…

So apparently today was National Running Day; who knew?  Not I, though that does explain why there were so many more people than usual on the Howe Street Stairs today.

At no point in my life would I ever have imagined I’d be a runner.  But then somehow, a bit over a year ago, I accidentally became a runner.  It stated out with just climbing the stairs near my house to train for a hike to Enchantments that I was planning to go on with some friends, friends who happen to be 10 years younger than I am and mostly personal trainers, so I was pretty motivated to get in shape.  The stairs are just shy of a mile from my house, and one day, I decided that instead of walking to them, I’d run to them.  Pretty soon I was running both ways, and eventually I was running all over my neighborhood several times a week.

Probably the main reason I became a runner was a broken heart.  Broken hearts hurt.  But it turns out that the runner’s high is a real thing; once the endorphins kick in, everything hurts less, even broken hearts.  It worked.  Between hiking 300 miles last year and running another 200, I pretty much left that heartache in the footfall behind me.  I ended up in pretty good shape, too.

Here’s a soundbite from my head when I’m running:

Pre run:  Ok, my shoes are on, it’s time to run…really, go run, now…oh, hey, Facebook!

First half mile: Oh, this is nice, I’m glad I got out.

Mile 0.5 to 2: Ummm…why do I do this? I don’t like running.  Maybe today will just be a short run.

Mile 2-4: My god!  Everything is so beautiful!  I didn’t know leaves came in that shape! That bush has flowers? Seattle, you are so pretty!  I love everything!

Mile 4+: I guess I could just keep running…

So yeah, I guess I’m a runner.

Actually, these days, I’m more of a run-stop-run-stop-runner, because I’m really distracted by all of the blooms and bees.  I stop at most flowering plants to see who might be pollinating them.  I get really excited when it’s honey bees.  I wonder if they are my honey bees, and imagine they often are.  I find them in different places in the neighborhood as the days go by.  Honey bees are very loyal to one crop at a time, and right now it’s blackberry. There is a lot of blackberry between my house and the Howe Street Stairs, where I often run, so my last few runs have featured long breaks while I watch the girls collect nectar and pollen.  I also found them today on these heavenly-scented flowering shrub near my house:

Are you one of my honey bees?
Are you one of my honey bees?

The Mason Bees seem to have finished their season; their nest tubes are full and I haven’t seen them in a while.  There are all kinds of other little bees in the neighborhood that I’ve never noticed before this year, though.  I’m especially partial to the bumble bees, and the exuberant way they belly flop into everything.  They seem impossibly un-aerodynamic.

Back home from my run, it’s more bees.  The Jaimes have nearly finished drawing out the comb in their third box and have filled quite a lot of it with brood, nectar, and pollen, so they got a 4th box on top today.  The Shuras remain a bit behind, though their population is definitely growing, too.

Listening to the birds and the bees.  The scents and sounds of the apiary are so sweet.

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