sept 30/RUN

2.6 miles
River road, north/south
80 degrees/humidity: 76%

All weekend, I was convinced that the 10th anniversary of my mom’s death was the 29th. Only at the end of the day did I realize that it was actually today. Did a short run in the afternoon heat. The last bit of summer weather until maybe April but more likely June. I’m writing this a few days later so I don’t remember much about the run. Lately, I’ve been behind in writing and posting these entries. I think it’s because I’m working on the running route pamphlet.

sept 29/RUN

5 miles
river road, north/south
51 degrees, drizzle

Ran through a light drizzle, which I loved. Wasn’t sure how much I would run when I started, but ended up feeling good and running 5 miles. Listened to an Agatha Christie audio book and didn’t think about much. Perhaps if I had remembered before heading out, I would have tried to conjure my mother to run with me. She died 10 years ago today. 10 years. I had imagined that this day would be a bigger deal, that I’d do something important to mark it. But I’m not. Why not? How has it already been 10 years?

sept 28/BIKE

bike: 20 miles
sam morgan regional trail, st. paul

Wanted to finally take a day off from running…with a 20 mile bike ride. We biked over the ford bridge, along the Mississippi, stopping at the lookout over the confluence (where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet). Kept going past Hidden Falls towards downtown St. Paul. Biked under the High Bridge and ended up unexpectedly at a taproom right along the river. Stopped for a beer. So cool! Felt like I was on vacation. Biked through Crosby Farms and Hidden Falls on the way back. Such a great trail.

sept 27/RUN

3 miles
trestle turn around
63 degrees

Running north, just after the old stone steps at the double bridge, I noticed that the fence was damaged and covered in caution tape. What happened? Was it a car? Someone on a scooter? Not sure. Farther up on the trail, past the Lake Street bridge, a dog suddenly popped out of the woods. Running back after the trestle turn around, felt like I was flying down the hill. That’s all I remember now, writing this a few days after the run.

sept 26/RUN

4 miles
2 trails + extra
56 degrees!

Finally Fall. Cooler this morning. Listened to an old playlist and felt great. Ran south, under the ford bridge, up to Wabun, down the steep hill above Locks and Dam #1, up the hill to the 44th street parking lot then down to the Winchell Trail. Came home and have been working on my map/guide about running by the gorge for most of the day.

Before heading out to run, learned a little bit more about the Railroad Trestle, or the Short Line Bridge. The train that uses the tracks transports flour from the ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) Mill on Hiawatha. This past spring it was announced that the Mill would be closing in “the next couple of months.” Has it closed yet? What will happen to the bridge now? This mill was the last flour mill in Minneapolis, which used to be called Mill City. Wild.

sept 25/RUN

3.35 miles
trestle turn around + extra
63 degrees

Cooler this morning. Sunny. Less humid. Beautiful. Greeted the Daily Walker. Saw a roller skier. Looked at the river sparkling in the sun and some green leaves shimmering in the wind. Admired more of the purple flowers on the bluff. Thought about the different fences lining the path: wrought iron near the rowing club and in the tunnel of trees, split rail near the trestle, chain link half buried near the 35th street parking lot. Made note of the WPA sign on the big boulder just before lake street. Tried to stay relaxed and even in my breathing and arm swinging. Wished I would have counted the number of times the running and biking paths separate on this route. Maybe next time.

the trestle

Earlier this morning, before my run, I started to think about the Railroad trestle and its history so I looked it up. It’s called the Short Line Bridge and it was built in 1880. It carried passengers from Minneapolis to St. Paul until 1971. Now it has a single track and is owned by Canadian Pacific (CP). In the time I have been running by/near this trestle (5 years on a regular basis), I can only remember seeing 2 trains. One crossing right over my head as I ran under it and one traveling on the tracks as I biked on the Midtown Greenway trail which starts at the end of the bridge and follows the trail across Minneapolis. For the past decade, ever since the greenway was built, bikers have been interested in extending the greenway over this bridge and to St. Paul and the bike trails there. I haven’t had time to read it closely yet, but here’s an article on the most recent efforts. It would be awesome if they could do this!

To the Light of September
BY W. S. MERWIN

When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground

but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later

you
who fly with them

you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night

perfect in the dew

“But they all know/that you have come” Yes. I love how this poem captures my thoughts this fall about September and how it is fall but still feels almost like summer but not quite. It’s summer until you see the leaves changing color, or the light shifting earlier, or the geese wildly calling out in the evening as they head south.

sept 24/RUN

1.5 miles
part of 2 trails
82 degrees

Is this my new Tuesday tradition? Doing a short run in the afternoon to make sure I get my move goal? Maybe. If I do it next Tuesday, I hope it’s not as hot as today or last Tuesday. The thing I remember most about this run is being on the lower trail and hearing all the car whooshing by above my head. Very intense. Lots of people heading home, I guess.

Nature Aria
Yi Lei
translated by Tracy K. Smith and Changtai Bi

Autumn wind chases in
From all directions
And a thousand chaste leaves
Give way.

Scatter in me the seeds
Of a thousand saplings.
Let grow a grassy heaven.
On my brow: a sun.
This bliss is yours, Living
World, and alone it endures.
Music at midnight.
Young wine.
Lovers hand in hand
By daylight, moonlight.
Living World, hold me
In your mouth,

Slip on your frivolous shoes
And dance with me. My soul
Is the wild vine
Who alone has grasped it,
Who has seen through the awful plot,
Who will arrive in time to vanquish
The river already heavy with blossoms,
The moon spilling light onto packs
Of men. What is sadder than witless
Wolves, wind without borders,
Nationless birds, small gifts
Laden with love’s intentions?

Fistfuls of rain fall hard, fill
My heart with mud. An old wind
May still come chasing in.
Resurrection fire. And me here
Laughing like a cloud in trousers,
Entreating the earth to bury me.

sept 23/RUN

5 miles
franklin hill
60 degrees

Cooler. Is Fall finally here? Sunny. Calm. Some beautiful light purple wildflowers lining the path. Do they come every year? I’ve never noticed them before. Saw the Daily Walker and a roller skier who called out, “you’re going race pace!” Encountered a few annoying strollers taking over the entire path. Did a lot of counting to 4. 1 2 3 4/ 1 2 3 4/ 1 2 3 4. Reached the bottom of the Franklin hill and immediately turned around without noticing the river. Saw more slashes of orange and red in the trees. Thought more about my writing project and how narrow to make the focus.

A Blank White Page
BY FRANCISCO X. ALARCÓN

is a meadow
after a snowfall
that a poem
hopes to cross

What a beautiful way of describing a blank white page. Speaking of blank white pages, this morning I finished writing in my 4th running/training notebook and started the 5th one. Very satisfying to completely fill so many notebooks.