I love my Garmin. It keeps me honest about my pace and distance and makes tracking my weekly mileages a piece of cake. Lately, though, my favourite gadget on my long runs has been my smart phone - both because it ensures I have a way to call for help when I need it and because it has a built-in camera that lets me take photos of the places I run.
I was especially useful during my long slow run yesterday. The day was grey and drizzly so it was hard to enjoy being out the way I usually do. None of the scenery I've been savouring in recent months looked as pretty in the low light. Nevertheless, out of force of habit, I spent much of the run looking for potential photographs and began to notice something wonderful - many of the buds that were barely promises the week before had suddenly burst into bloom. Hot pink azalea, soft pink and white magnolia, and yellow daffodils and forsythia added bright splashes of colour to an otherwise gloomy day.
It wasn't possible for me to get really good pictures of any of them given the subdued light filtering through the rain and clouds, but the effort to do so inspired me to pay more attention to the beauty around me, instead of the discomfort in my legs near the end of my 26km long run - which was a good thing in and of itself. And I did get one shot I liked as I ran through an old rail cut on a completed section of the Centennial Trail. The clouds lifted just enough to let soft sunlight reach the mosses and plants that seemed to grow straight out of the rocks - wonderful examples of mother nature's resilience.
More on the places my run and thoughts took me this weekend when I get back to my home computer tonight!