A Monday in May

A Monday in May


We’re back from the Big Sur Marathon. An amazing experience. The marathon course was one of the most butt-kicking and beautiful courses I’ve ever seen. Lisa ran well and Lisa’s husband, Mark, Jeff and I drove the course as part of a caravan to support the runners. We didn’t spot a whale’s spout,but we saw just about everything else. There was the grand piano, the tiara and tutu-wearing sisters, the Taiko drummers, and a few scantily clad dancers. At one point, the wind kicked in so heavily it threatened to push runners across the road. I felt for the bike-medics because there were no downhill rests for them. I also saw my old friend Jon Beesen, the head of the Paralympic Development Triathlon Committee, look studly as he ran by, finishing his race.


We spent a number of days in Carmel. Again, I realized that a part of me doesn’t breathe until I get back to the ocean. I remember the first time I went to work with my father on Catalina Island, which had a bit of the Carmel feel. When I got off the dinghy and stepped onto the Isthmus, I felt a rush of recognition, like for the first time in my life, I was home. All of it seemed familiar; the feeling of the ground under my feet, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the taste in the air. I belonged there. I felt connected with a place I’d never been but that inexplicably already held my essence

For those of you who have never been to Catalina, there are rolling hills and clear blue water that spreads out in every direction. Wild boars and a large herd of buffalo roam the island,feeding off the grasses. No one had warned me, and not even a Midwestern girl expects to have to navigate a herd of buffalo on her way down the road to the snack bar. Sand sharks and stingrays swim en masse in the harbor. At the time, there weren’t hotels, or paved roads on that side of the island.


My father had a Mexican restaurant in Avalon that lasted for a few years. Then he ran the snack bar, restaurant and hunting lodge at Cat Harbor for another twenty years. I spent my time divided between the restaurant and the shoreline. Everyday I took my fathers’ two dogs along the beach and let them run. We watched the sun come up and when I wasn’t working, watch it set. Every time I returned home to Minnesota, I felt like part of me wasn’t able to breathe deeply enough.


From this trip, we returned to the forecast of snow, which thankfully never came. It’s sunny and beautiful. I’m trying to be good so this injury will heal but it’s hard because it’s such a lovely time to run.






~ by lindsaynielsen on May 11, 2008.

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