march 13/RUN

3.25 miles
trestle turn around
32 degrees

A beautiful day for a run! A cloudless blue sky and a clear path. It feels so important to be outside, breathing fresh air. I’ve been struggling with a minor cold (which is almost definitely not corona virus) and being sick during this pandemic is causing uncomfortable waves of anxiety. A throat that wants to close up, a clenched jaw, the need for deep breaths, a rush of tingling heat on the back of my head, and even more restlessness–lots of pacing around the house yesterday. Running seems to help. I feel okay when I run, relaxed.

Added another clear walking path to my route–my favorite trail that dips below the road and winds above the floodplain forest! I didn’t run it on the way out, only on the way back. So wonderful to have it clear. I’ll have to check my old log entries, but I probably haven’t run this trail since sometime in November (I checked and my last day was Nov 26th).

When I reached the trestle, I took a short break and admired the clear, open river. Oh, the river! So wonderful. Brown, I think. When the sun hit it, it was sparkling silver or was it white gold? Marveled at it several times: above the rowing club, near the double bridge, above the forest. Running south through my favorite trail, the river glowed through the bare trees.

When I finished, I walked to the overlook and breathed it all in: the bare, brown branches, the wide open gorge, the brown river with the wide sparkling stripe of sun. Then I looked down at the ravine, noticing how exposed it was and how slick and icy the trail heading up the hill looked.

Greeted Dave the Daily Walker. At first I didn’t recognize him because he wasn’t walking fast and swinging his arm and he was wearing a coat. He said, “I’m not in my uniform today; I have a bad cold and I’m just out here trying to get some fresh air.” I hope he’s okay and doesn’t have the corona virus. Dave is one of my favorite people.

possible exercise: an acrostic poem that casts a spell?

When I searched for “fun spell-like poems” (of course, I didn’t find any), several of the results were about acrostic poems. Yes! Acrostic poems spell words. I wondered, can you create an acrostic poem that casts a spell of some sort? What would that look like? I’m not sure yet, but I wanted to make note of it to try out later today or this week or sometime.

jan 17/RUN

5.5 miles
Annie Young Meadows turn around
10 degrees/ feels like -4
30% snow-covered

A big snowstorm (9-12 inches) is moving in this afternoon, so I wanted to get out on the mostly clear path before it was covered in snow again. Cold today, lots of layers: 2 pairs of running tights, 2 pairs of socks, green shirt, pink jacket, gray jacket, 2 pairs of gloves, a hood, a hat, a buff. Maybe if I had fancier high-tech tights I could get away with less layers, but I guess I’m cheap. Figured out before I headed out on my run that one pair of tights and the green shirt are at least 6 1/2 years old. It is time to get some new ones–I think it’s not that I’m cheap, but that I don’t like shopping or spending money.


aside: Sitting at my desk upstairs, looking out the window, I just saw the big white dog and his human walk by. I mentioned this dog a few weeks ago and how they mimic the walk of their human. It used to be an exaggerated shuffle. Today the human was pushing a walker with the dog ahead of him. Hunched over the walker, his back was almost horizontal. Sad that he has so much trouble walking these days but great that he’s still getting outside. That is my goal. To walk outside until I absolutely can’t.


The path by the welcoming oaks was in bad shape, so was the stretch around 29th. The rest of it was better. So wonderful to be running on bare pavement out in the fresh air! Heard some geese flying near the trestle. Low in the sky. Decided to run down the Franklin Hill so I could check out the water. Slushy and icy and thick. Running north, it looked still, but when I stopped at Annie Young Meadows Park, I realized it was moving slowly towards the falls. I watched the chunks of ice travel beside me as I started running south. Not many people out today–less than a handful of walkers and runners. One fat tire.

Almost forgot! A few days ago, I saw a cross country skier skiing in the boulevard between Edmund and the West River Parkway. Nice!

Sprinted up the final hill–the one that’s on the path above the tunnel of trees. Guess this is my new end of run ritual. I always wonder what the cars think of me as I try to speed up the hill. Do I look fast? Strange? Do they question why I’m out here in the cold? I also try not to imagine one of these cars, slipping on hidden ice, driving up one curb and crashing into me. Has that ever happened to anyone on this stretch?

This morning, scrolling through twitter, I found a link to this cool poetry walk which is on an amazing looking site: Trance Poetics: A collaborative site for language&healing arts to counter the apopocyplitic energies that are contaminating the physical and psychic field of language. I want to try this walk–should I try it as a run?

Kristin Prevallet’s Poetry Walk (a modified version of original walk by Lundy Martin)

This is a 45 minute exploratory walk. Spend 45 minutes walking, and return to this spot where you began. Please do this exercise ALONE! Write short passages or sentences for each instruction, spending a maximum of 5 minutes in one place. First thought, best thought. 

1.   Walk outside for in a random direction to an area that appeals to you. Stop and sit down. Write a sentence that describes where you are and how you got there.

2. Write an invocation to someone/something you miss terribly. (Begin your line with an Ode: Oh, _____).

Walk to another location. When you have arrived, sit down.

3. Close your eyes and listen. Write what you are hearing that you didn’t notice before.

4.  Describe a memory of your childhood using details from an architectural structure that is visible from where you sit.

Turn around and face the opposite direction.

5.  Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).

Walk somewhere else. Sit down.

6. Write a sentence in which you contradict something you wrote earlier. 

Face another direction. 

7. Pull out your phone and write down the last text message that you received. Write what you really want to say to this person. 

8.  Write a sentence in which an emotion springs into action as in: “the frustration cleaned the house” or “the depression switched off the lights.”

9.  Study another’s body movements/gestures from a distance. Mention at least two of these gestures.

Walk for 5 minutes.

10. Write a sentence beginning with the phrase, “I remember.”

Walk to another location. Stop.

11.    Imagine yourself at a time in the not to distant future, feeling the way you want to feel and living the life you want to be leading. Write into this future tense, as if what you are writing is a prediction.

12.     Write a consoling phrase from a language other than English.

13.     Mention something about the weather without making it known you are talking about the weather.

Spin around. Sit down.

15.     Close your eyes. Breathe out for a count of 6, and in for a count of 3. Do that four times. Write: What’s everything that you are not thinking about? 

16.     Make a nonhuman object say or do something to someone who injured you as a child.

17. Make up an instruction and insert it here. 

18.   Give this piece a title that comes from one of the lines you have written so far.