april 16/4 MILES

32 degrees
50% snow-covered
mississippi river road path, north/south

This weekend it snowed. A lot. Almost 20 inches. 2 inches an hour, at one point. It started late Friday night and didn’t stop until Sunday morning. But then only for a couple of hours. before starting again. Difficult to run in. So much snow that school was cancelled for the kids. In April. This is very wrong and I am over it. Thankfully, the path was clear today and I was able to run. In some spots, the path was completely clear. In others, there was only a thin strip of bare pavement. On my way back, I encountered more puddles and big chunks of snow that the plow on the road had kicked up. It felt good to be outside running after several days of being trapped in the house. What do I remember for the run? The wind in my face occasionally. Then, beside me. Then, at my back. The dull crunching of the snow when I ran over it, then the soft thud of my feet on the bare pavement. The cars rushing through puddles and splashing up water. I wondered if the water would hit me (it never did). The running felt good, strong. I felt like I was springing off the path.

Watched the Boston marathon this morning. Such miserable conditions–38 degrees, lots of rain, strong head wind. Des Linden was awesome. Had fun cheering for the persistent underdog.

Not much else to write. This weather is crushing my creative spirit.

april 1/2.1 MILES

60 degrees
ywca track

A quick run on the indoor track. Cold outside. Most likely wet, slushy snow tomorrow and the day after that. Where is spring? Read a headline from the MPR weather guy–Will we skip spring and go straight to summer? Nooooooo!!!

The track was crowded with an irritating walker who stubbornly refused to follow the rules (that were painted on the track) and walked in the center lane, making it difficult to pass on either side.

 

march 21/4.1 MILES

37 degrees
mississippi river road path, south/north

Today’s run felt difficult. Was it because I ran in the afternoon? Or because I ran a 10K yesterday? Not sure. But I ran the whole thing. Ran right by Minnehaha Falls. So loud, with the water rushing down to the river. Didn’t feel much wind. Did feel overdressed. Too many layers. As I looked down at the gorge, with the trees bare, I thought about how the number of layers I’m wearing is inversely proportional to the number of leaves on the trees. I’m ready to not be wearing 2 jackets and a base layer + running tights. Heard lots of birds. Felt the sun on my face. Spring is definitely coming! Anything else? Oh–a woman was walking a big white fluffy dog–or was the dog walking her? Hard to tell. Several people were admiring the falls. One person was taking a picture of Minnehaha creek. Kids were out playing on the school playground. There was lots of grit on the path making a nice scratching sound. Ran through a few puddles, over one or two patches of ice.

march 18/5.25 MILES

43 degrees
franklin loop

A great run with Scott this afternoon! We went slow and walked for a minute after every nine minutes. Very easy. Almost effortless. Wet with lots of puddles. Not much ice. Not much else that I remember. No eagles perched on the dead tree near the Marshall/Lake Street bridge. A rowing boat–I think they’re called a shell?–on top of car driving up from the Minneapolis rowing club. An annoying black standard poodle–is there any other kind–was barking on the path ahead of us. I’m so glad that we ran!

march 11/3.05 MILES

36 degrees
15% puddle covered
mississippi river road path, north/south

The day started out rough. Adjusting to daylight savings time. Being trapped indoors at the biggest, most crowded mall. Failing to find what we needed. Shifting knee-caps. But I got to run outside by the river and look over at St. Paul and the white slopes of the gorge. And I got to breathe in fresh cold air and listen to Beck sing about being free. So, who cares what happened before that? Any day I get to run is a great day!

feb 18/2.25 MILES

43 degrees
puddles!
mississippi river road path, south/north

Decided to fit in a quick run since it is so warm today and will be so cold/icy/snowy tomorrow. It was windy and wet but not too bad. I managed to avoid most of the big puddles.

February

Following
Every
Bright, sunny, above freezing day the cold and gloom
Returns having only briefly hidden
Under the promise of spring’s early
Arrival. Always
Retracted revoked replaced with more cold—-O how I
Yearn for warmer air!

feb 6/3.1 MILES

65 degrees
ywca track

Ran inside at the track. More crowded than I expected for 2pm on a Tuesday. I guess you could call what I did a tempo run. A little faster but not too fast. I’m writing this the day after the run, so I don’t remember much. Not too many runners, many more walkers. Saw a walker who seemed to be limping wearing thick black socks. He made it around the track for a few laps before sitting down on a chair. Also passed a woman using a walker. Didn’t recognize anyone else that I’ve seen before. No one pulling a sled or crawling. Did see someone using the long ropes–the ones that you grab in your hands and shake, making them look almost like snakes slithering or a wave rushing away from you. What are those called? Looked them up–battle ropes.

feb 4/1.5 MILES

65 degrees
ywca track

Another Sunday run at the track. The guy who runs at a lean was there, running fast and running with his head tilted slightly to the right. Saw an older women–in her 70s? 80s?–running around the track, looking strong even as she was hunched forward. Also saw an older guy–I’d guess he was in the his 70s too–running. Earlier in the day, driving on the river road, saw the Daily Walker and thought about running outside instead of the track, but it was cold and I wanted to go to the hot tub with Scott, so I didn’t.

jan 30/1.8 MILES

65 degrees
ywca track
+ 1250 yard swim

Swam in the pool before running. Felt pretty good. I like swimming outside in the lake much better. The air is nicer and the swim is more interesting. Plus, less flip turns and less opportunity to stop. Once you start swimming across the lake, you have to keep going. Even so, this swim was fine. Ran almost 2 miles on the track after the swim. That felt good too. I’m definitely running faster than last year, but I wasn’t paying attention to my pace. Found myself trying to keep an even distance behind a runner ahead of me who was going at a fast (for me) pace. His right arm moved back and forth awkwardly with each step and his whole head leaned slightly to the right. Does he know this happens? I wonder how I look to others as I run? Scott told me I look a bit stiff–almost like a machine. Do either of my legs swing out awkwardly? Are my feet in line? My head straight? Someday, I’ll have to get some video of myself running.

jan 29/4 MILES

10 degrees/feels like 2
mississippi river road path, north/south

Cold again. Didn’t bother me. Actually, it didn’t seem too cold. Maybe it was the number of layers I was wearing. Or maybe it was the fact that I’m used to running in the cold. Ran without headphones and heard some birds chirping. The path was almost completely clear and dry and hard. Did it feel harder because it was colder? Couldn’t hear my own feet on the path but did notice a lot of crunching under the feet of a woman running south as I was running north. Started with sunglasses but took them off when they started to fog up. Too hard to see any hidden ice patches or chunks of hard, icy snow. Almost twisted my foot on one of them, early in the run.

jan 28/1.5 MILES

65 degrees
ywca track
+ 500 yard swim

A short run and a shorter swim. Saw several cute kids running–or was it trotting?–with an adult. And a young boy–maybe 12?–running with his dad. An older man–guessing he was around 70–running slowly and steadily and for at least an hour. He had on a marathon shirt and you could tell he was a serious long distance runner. I’d love to be running like that when I’m 70. Saw a 30-something guy who would walk a lap and then sprint two-thirds of a lap. I think I saw him at the track last week too. Wonder if he ever runs straight without stopping. Soccer games were going on below the elevated track, but I didn’t really pay attention to them. My watch seemed off–7 laps to make a mile, not the usual 6. Since the indoor distance is based on number of steps, I must have longer strides at the track and more foot strikes outside.

jan 27/5 MILES

33 degrees
franklin hill turn around

A good run. I went faster than I usually do and ran the whole thing without stopping–even the Franklin hill. Encountered a lot of puddles, wet spots, slick spots, messy spots. My socks and shoes didn’t get soaked but they did get wet. A few times I ended up running straight through some deep puddles. Yuck! I do not like when it gets warm in winter and the snow melts onto the sidewalk, making it wet during the day and icy at night. But, it didn’t bother me too much. Still had a great run, listening to my headphones and getting pumped up by Beck’s “I’m so Free.”

words to describe a path that is mostly clear but still slightly covered with puddles and patches of ice and an occasional chunk of snow:

soppy gloppy goopy slick icy thawing melting defrosting loose/loosening/looser softening messy soaked saturated soggy slushy slippery

jan 26/1.25 MILES

55 degrees
the dome in austin, mn

Was planning to run outside on the sidewalk but it was too wet and sloppy. So Scott and I went to the Dome–which is the Austin High School football field covered with a bubble–and ran a mile. Started out rocky with walkers walking in the opposite direction and getting in our way, but we worked it out.

jan 23/4 MILES

25 degrees
85% snow-covered
mississippi river road path north/south

I love Minneapolis Parks and Rec. Last night we got 12.4 inches of snow and when I went out running this afternoon, the path was already clear. In some parts I could even see bare pavement. Impressive. Such a beautiful day for a run! Blue sky. Not too much wind. Warmer temperature but not warm enough to be sloppy.

About an hour before I went running, my daughter and I took Delia the dog for a walk and we saw people cross country skiing in the street. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

jan 21/5.75 MILES

36 degrees
25% snow-covered
the franklin loop

Wet air. Icy paths. Not a bad run. Very calm. A little tougher than the last run outside. My left hamstring hurt a little 4 miles in, so I stopped to walk for 30 seconds or so. Started running again right as I encountered the daily walker. Actually did 5.25 outside and then, because Scott wanted to run at the y in the afternoon, I tagged a long and did another 1/2 mile there. I’m writing this hours after my run so I’m probably forgetting a lot of what happened. One thing I do remember: running across the Franklin bridge and noticing the tree line along the river. Not sure how, but it was glowing. The sun was illuminating it from somewhere. One other image: at the y, a woman was stretching in the corner of the track right next to the window. She was extremely flexible. At one point, she looked like an alien or a spider as she did a strange squat with her legs open and her knees in line with her torso. After that she went down into the splits and stayed in that position for a few minutes.

jan 16/4 MILES

65 degrees
ywca track

Went to the track again today because it was cold and because I wanted to try out a speed workout. My first ever, I think. Here’s what I did:

1 mile, easy run
1 mile, 7:55 pace
easy walk, 4 minutes
2 x 1/2 mile, 7:50 pace
easy walk, 2 minutes after each one
2 x 1/4 mile, 7:45 pace
easy walk, 30 seconds after each one
1/2 mile, easy run

It went well and was much more interesting than just running 24 laps around the track. I think I’ll mix it in once every couple of weeks. Too many speed workouts can be bad for training and writing/thinking–I didn’t really think about anything else but my pace and how many laps I still needed to run.

What did it feel like to run faster?

lighter, freer, bouncier, more breeze, less breath, hotter face, less distractions, more focus, more fixation on time pace effort, less awareness of others except for when I wondered what they thought about me running by them so fast or at least so much faster than them

Listened to my playlist and had a strange combination of effort + song: during one of my sprints, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” came on. I added this to a playlist for longer runs and didn’t realize it was on the one I was listening to. Maybe I should put together a speed playlist?

jan 14/2.5 MILES

65 degrees
ywca track

Not much to write about this run. Felt fine. Runs at the track tend to be more boring and less inspiring. Listened to my running playlist and tried to run a little faster. How to summarize the run?

lune

slick snow cold
outside inside warm
dry boring

acrostic

Trying to
Remember what lap I’m on is
Always a struggle–why is
Counting so hard? Why can’t I ever
Keep track?

Tanka

Running in circles
around the track—-more effort
than inspiration
never quite getting anywhere
but back to where you just were.

jan 13/4.1 MILES

0 degrees
99% snow-covered
mississippi river road north/south

Cold but bright and barely any wind. Felt warmer than 0 degrees. As usual, I wore too many layers and was too warm. We got around 2 inches of powdery snow a few days ago so the path was covered with delightfully crunchy snow. Love that sound! And not too hard to run on–except for when I hit a slick spot. How to describe that sound?

Running on snow
I hear a crack–
not sharp and singular
like a wooden bat
on a hot summer’s day
but a constant crunch
creaking and brittle
dry crystals shattering
crying out
with every step

 

jan 10/5.1 MILES

38 degrees
10% snow-covered
franklin loop

Another warm and windy day. Another run on the Franklin loop. The path is almost clear but that will change tomorrow when it snows again. Since they don’t clear the east side of the river path quite as well, I’m not sure how long it will be before I can run this loop again. Listened to my playlist and had a good run. Could tell I was getting faster and that my last mile was my fastest. It’s a very gray, gloomy day. What did I think about? I really can’t remember. Didn’t worry about anything. Didn’t experience doubts about whether I could keep running. Didn’t struggle with trying to find the right words or ideas for my poems. Didn’t feel guilt about something I’m supposed to do or something that I already did. Just ran and felt the wind in my face, at my back, rush past my ears. Avoided puddles and ice patches. And tried to keep my breathing steady.