sept 11/RUN

4.35 miles
to longfellow garden and back
61 degrees

Beautiful! Sunny, not too warm, calm. Ran past the falls to Longfellow Gardens. Stopped to check out the beautiful flowers — wow! — then started running back, past the barely trickling falls and to the Winchell Trail. I listened to cars driving by, acorns falling, kids yelling at the playground, an accordion player at the falls.

My left leg felt fine on the way to the gardens, a little stiff and sore on the way back. I’ve decided that part of the problem might be that my left glute isn’t firing. Listening to so many podcasts with professional runners and their injuries I’ve learned that this can happen and that it’s important to make sure your glute is actually working. Time to google some “glute firing exercises.” Found something! How to Get the Glues to Fire in Running

before the run

This weekend I was looking through Julia B. Levine’s collection, Ordinary Psalms. Here’s another poem about losing your vision that resonates for me and that I read before heading out for my run:

Psalm with No Cure/ Julia B. Levine

Beneath our grapevines at dusk, I will tell him
that the world is falling in on me,

a blurred unseaming of each from each
into a great sameness.

My husband reaches into the trellis,
cuts a cluster with his knife

and lays the red grapes on a plate before us.
I already know science is a religion too,

with its pantheon of evidence steadying terror.
Believe me, I’m grateful for any anchor.

Though here at the edge of autumn,
doesn’t it seem that the mythic breaks down

into that battered couch we once saw in Rome
floating down the Tiber

like a boat broken free of its mooring,
except this time, one of the five white gulls

shining at rest on its pillows
will not rise into the air again.

Please don’t try to make it better.
For now, there is a hunger in my lips, my hands,

as if I’d been called late to wander,
to feel by way of edges and texture

around lintels and doors, hallways
of shadow broken open by stairs.

There are too many choices
and ultimately none.

Don’t tell me a station of light will remain
like a lit house at midnight

in the fields rumbled through and groaning
under the evening train.

There’s a lot I could think/write about with this poem. This morning, the phrase “edge of autumn” stuck with me and I decided to try and think about what the edge of autumn looks/feels like outside, above the gorge.

during the run

This theme of the edge of autumn kept returning and leaving. I started thinking about the edge as on the brink of/nearing/almost here and then looking, listening, feeling for evidence of its impending arrival. Then my thoughts shifted and I thought about what it means to be on the edge and where the edges were on my route.

10 Edges

  1. (edge = almost, nearing) a soft golden light from the changing trees
  2. (edge = almost, nearing) over-rehearsed flowers — an excessive of past-their-prime blooms
  3. (edge = almost, nearing) school starting again, running past Dowling Elementary, watching cars line-up in the drop-off zone
  4. (edge = location) a garden worker kneeling at the edge of the flowerbeds, removing dead bulbs, weeds
  5. (edge = location) walking around the outside of the garden path, staying out of the way of a photographer taking pictures of the vibrant yellows, reds, oranges, purples
  6. (edge = location) running the stretch of the Winchell Trail that I’ve named “the edge of the world” because you’re running up a hill on the edge of the bluff that has a curve that if you miss taking would lead to falling off and into the river below. In late fall through early spring, when the leaves are all off and there’s nothing blocking your view of the empty air, it really looks the edge of the world
  7. (edge = location) encountering a walker, I moved to the very edge of the trail. No problem for me to navigate, but one wrong step and you could fall down the very steep hill — no railings here!
  8. off the edge: water trickling over minnehaha falls, through the sewer pipe at 42nd and down the limestone rocks to the river
  9. edges dissolving: listening to someone playing the accordion near the steps down to the bottom of the falls mixed with my footsteps mixed with the fast, steady rhythm of sprinklers. Difficult to tell which sound was the accordion, which my feet, which the sprinklers
  10. at the bottom of the steps, a choice: go up the stairs and run on the upper trail or go past the stairs and take the dirt trail through the oak savanna (I took the steps)

A few days I wrote about the kindness of 2 bikers on the bridge. Today it was a woman on the Winchell Trail:

As I approached a woman walking ahead of me on the narrow Winchell Trail, she moved over.
me: Thank you!
her: Have a great run!
me: Thanks! Have a great walk!

Another woman walking with a dog, stopped and moved over to the side, keeping her dog close and calm as I ran by. Thank you!