bike: 25 minutes bike stand, basement run: 1.5 miles treadmill, basement
Biked and ran again today. Thought about running outside on the snow-covered paths, but I wimped out. Not because it was cold or icy, but because I was worried if I fell and hurt myself–which has never happened in my 5 years of serious winter running–I wouldn’t want to go to a doctor or the emergency room. Too many covid cases, too much scary talk about new, more infectious, strains. Am I being too cautious? Perhaps, but I can still run in the basement and when it’s not the day after 3 or 4 new inches of snow. And I’ll still make sure I get outside for at least 20 minutes a day (already did today, when I shoveled the snow!).
Before I worked out, I spent the morning with my favorite poetry lines, trying to shape them into a poem or something resembling a poem. Last year, I printed out all the lines, cut them out, spread them on a table, and then experimented with different groupings. This year, I decided to type up the lines and then keep narrowing them down, reading through them repeatedly and picking out the ones that I liked, until I had a manageable amount. Then I printed and cut those out and played around with how to categorize them. After a few ideas, I came up with: The Is, The Ought, The Why Not. The Is includes lines that describe. The Ought includes lines that prescribe. And the Why Not includes lines that wonder and imagine and dream up new ways to be. Is this a poem? Not quite. I might try messing with it more at some point. Still, I’m posting it as my final poem for my monthly poem challenge: December Decisions
bike: 22 minutes bike stand, basement run: 1.5 miles treadmill, basement
I thought about not running for the rest of the year, but a week off seemed too long and 4 days seemed like enough. Also thought about not posting on this log in order to keep the nice round 1000 miles up there, but decided that it was more important to me to keep an accurate record of when I ran and when I rested. So here’s a post (written a day late due to my ambivalence).
Watched a few running races as I biked; dropped my new iPad from high up on a music stand down to the concrete floor. Not even a scratch! Whew. Listened to Miley Cyrus’s new album, Plastic Hearts, while I biked. I like a few songs, not sure about some others. It felt good to run again, even if it was in the basement on the treadmill.
Before and after my run, I started reviewing my notes + entries + mood ring poems. I’ve decided I want to use some of the more interesting facts and sources of inspiration to decorate my desktop. So far, I’m thinking: a diagram of the eye and a depiction of how we see + an image of St. Lucia (patron saint of vision) holding a platter with eyeballs on it + a creepy state fair mannequin + the uncanny valley diagram + the amsler grid with my blind spot + descriptions of filling-in, blind spots, Charles Bonnet Syndrome + a few passages from Georgina Kleege.
Yesterday we got 3 or 4 inches of snow and this morning it is 1 and feels like -13, so I did my final run of 2020 in the basement. Today I accomplished a goal I’ve been trying to accomplish for 4 years, ever since I started this running log:
For most of the year, this goal, which had me averaging 20 miles a week, wasn’t that difficult. But these last 2 months have been much harder. My body is ready for a break. I will try to take the rest of the year off–which will be a big accomplishment too; it’s hard to stop running, even when I’m tired.
As I ran, I listened to a playlist created by Spotify from my recent interest in Taylor Swift’s evermore, Harry Styles’ fine line, and Demi Lovato’s “Sorry, not Sorry.”
willow/ taylor swift
golden/ harry styles
bitches broken hearts/ billie eilish
edge of midnight (miley cyrus–a cool mash-up of Stevie Nick’s “edge of 17” and cyrus’s midnight sky)
cool for the summer/ demi lovato
lovestoned/I think she knows/ justin timberlake
sign of the times/ harry styles
hate me/ mile cyrus
The chorus for “hate me” was…not amusing or interesting or striking? I can’t find the right word:
I wonder what would happen if I die I hope all of my friends get drunk and high Would it be too hard to say goodbye? I hope that it’s enough to make you cry Maybe that day you won’t hate me
Ran with Scott on the Franklin loop! Warm this morning; snowstorm/blizzard this afternoon. The Weather Channel app predicts 5-8 inches and Dark Sky, 10-15. Yikes. It was great out there today. Not much wind, only a little misty rain, bare pavement. We ran slow and stopped many times. The river was a beautiful gray–no sun today. Noticed the lions in front of a house had Santa hats on. And–almost forgot!–we saw 5 big turkeys crossing the road over in St. Paul. Anything else? I recited the poem (Babel/ Kimberly Johnson) I re-memorized yesterday to Scott as I ran and he mentioned how much it sounded like Captain Beefheart lyrics, especially the line, “while the tesla bees whine loudly at the stunned sky.” I love the idea of tesla bees and a stunned sky.
only 28 days/ 672 hours left of Trump! just 3.25 miles left to run to reach my goal of 1000 miles!
3.15 miles turkey hollow 25 degrees/ feels like 16
A great day for a run! Cold but not too cold, not too much wind. No snow or ice (that’s coming tomorrow). Not too many people. Ran south on the river road trail right above the river. O, the river! An unobstructed view. I think it was blue. I don’t remember seeing any ice on it, but I do remember admiring the pleasing contrast between the brown branches and the pale blue water. Saw several groups of walkers down below on the Winchell trail, spotted someone in a bright blue jacket. Why is the jacket always blue when I notice people below me? Is it the same person, always walking when I’m running, or am I only noticing when it’s blue, or is it not blue at all–I just always see blue? I didn’t see any turkeys down in turkey hollow–I made sure to look–but I did see a giant wreath on the door of one of the funkiest, late 70s/early 80s modern houses on that stretch of Edmund.
a nail gun on a roof–running south I wondered where it was coming from, running back north I found out: down Dowling Avenue (or is it street? I’m too lazy to check right now)
chainsaws cutting down some trees–sounded like a big tree or many trees
a kid talking to an adult below as I ran above on the trail
the queen of the block (the cat who often escorts me across the sidewalk when I walk by her house) meowing loudly as I tried to recite a poem after my run
Favorite Spot for Admiring the River
Running on the trail, on the stretch between 42nd and 44th, where the bluff is steeper and higher and the lower trail (below me) hugs the edge. So wide and open and gorgeous!
Tried a (slightly) new experiment today. Memorized a poem. Recorded myself reciting it from memory before heading out for my run. Recited it all through my run. Then, recorded it again on my walk home. I wondered what the difference would be? Would I know the poem better after my run? In the first attempt: no. I knew it better before, but I think that had more to do with being tired at the end of my run. The poem I memorized (or re-memorized) was: Babel/ Kimberly Johnson
Biggest mistake I noticed: both times I screwed up the verb tense, reciting could instead of can. I might try this experiment again.
Only 8.35 miles left to run until I reach my goal of 1000 miles. Then, a break! Also, only 696 hours until Trump is down–only 2% of his presidency left!
What a beautiful morning for a run! Frost everywhere, even on the road, sparkling in the bright sun. Not too much wind. Encountered a few patches of ice on the sidewalk, but no snow. Heard a strange bird, with a strident double cry, as I ran. Was it a bluejay? Lots of people on the trail and on the grass between Edmund and the river road.
Decided to recite “What Would Root” from memory. Normally it takes me about 3 minutes to recite it all (it’s a long poem), but while running it took 7 and a half minutes. Many distractions and repeated lines. I stumbled over the line, “The squirrels, I mentioned them already, etc, and the lizards ran down the spines of rocks like a bad feeling.” I kept wanting to recite climbed instead of ran even though I felt like that was wrong, which it was. Also got stuck on the line, “that they were a part of my body I could not doubt; they were living and enervated and jutting out.” In my typed up version, I had alive instead of living. Reciting it in my head, that sounded wrong rhythmically, which it was (again). I love the scolding squirrels and the chill red-crested woodpecker that “was not offended I didn’t know his name” and the land spreading greenly before me and the roots in my skull shifting. Such a magical, strange poem!
bike: 20 minutes bike stand, basement run: 1.55 miles treadmill, basement
Another mini cross-training day. A little biking, a little running. Watched a YouTube video with runner Emma Abrahamson commenting on one of her kid races. Why do I find watching other people race so fascinating? Not sure. Did I watch anything else? I can’t remember. Listened to a playlist as I ran; it ended (again) with Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.” That song–I really don’t like the lines, but the tempo is great for grinding on the treadmill.
Earlier today, Scott and I took Delia the dog for a walk near the gorge. No snow, just bare brown branches looking beautiful. I pointed out how I liked the contrast between the plain brown tree line and a runner’s bright yellow shirt. Scott thought it looked more green, which it probably did. A few minutes later he pointed out a biker’s bright shirt, remarking, “Now that’s YELLOW yellow.” To me it looked paler, dull. How much color do my cone cells still see? How much of what we all see is subjective, based on our preferences or interpretations? Maybe the runner’s shirt was both yellow and green?
Overdressed this morning in my green shirt + pink jacket + black vest. Windy and gray. No snow. Listened to a playlist and didn’t think about much. Too far from the river to see it. Briefly ran on Lake Street. Lots of cars, but only one a few people walking. What else do I remember? The gutters were cluttered with dead leaves. The pavement was wet–was it from street sweepers? Favorite song to run to: Harry Styles’ “Treat People with Kindness.”
ABECEDARIAN FOR THE DANGEROUS ANIMALS/ Catherine Peirce
All frantic and drunk with new warmth, the bees buzz and blur the holly bush. Come see. Don’t be afraid. Or do, but everything worth admiring can sting or somber. Fix your gaze upward and give bats their due, holy with quickness and echolocation: in summer’s bleakest hum, the air judders and mosquitoes blink out, knifed into small quick mouths. Yes, lurking in some unlucky bloodstreams might be rabies or histoplasmosis, but almost no one dies and you owe the bats for your backyard serenity. Praise the cassowary, its ultraviolet head, its quills and purposeful claws. Only one recorded human death, and if a boy swung at you, wouldn’t you rage back? Or P. terribilis, golden dart frog maligned by Latin, underlauded and unsung, enough poison to vex two elephants into death but ardent with eggs and froglets, their protection a neon xyston. And of course, yes, humans. Remarkable how our zeal for safety manifests: poison, rifle, vanishment.
I love this abecedarian. What a great ending! And the descriptions throughout: so good. I think I ‘d like to compose an abecedarian using facts from my vision research this fall.