feb 14/RUN

4.15 miles
river road, south/ ford bridge/ river road, north/ 33rd, west/ edmund, south
40 degrees / rain
5% ice-covered

There’s another runner in the neighborhood who I’ve seen running past my house several times in the early morning this winter. Usually I notice them when the weather is bad and I’m wondering whether or not to go out in it. I see them and think, if she can go out in this cold/heavy snow/rain, I can too. Not as a competitive thing, but as a sign of encouragment. That’s what happened this morning, so I went out for a run in the rain.

I want to name her and add her to my list of regulars, but I can’t think of anything catchy or pithy or whimsical right now. Maybe it will come to me after I eat lunch? Okay, I’m back. Scott suggested “Canary” for canary in the coal mine, which didn’t seem quite right. I’ve decided tentatively to call her Miss Wake-up Call because I see her not long after waking up and because she reminds me to get out there (and after it). I’m still not satisfied, but I’ll leave it for now.

layers: 1 pair of black running tights, 1 pair of socks, 1 long-sleeved green shirt, 1 bright purple jacket that I inherited from my beloved mother-in-law who died this past September, 1 pink and purple nylon running cap (also inherited), black gloves

About a mile into the run, my left thumb was cold. Why? Suddenly I noticed a big hole in the seam. I said out loud, oh, that’s no good, just as I encountered a walker. Did they hear me?

Was able to greet Dave the Daily Walker. Of course he was out in this rain; he can walk in anything!

Everything was wet and dripping, even the bill of my cap. Drip drip drip every few seconds. I didn’t feel it, just saw movement. Lots of splooshing from car wheels. I don’t remember hearing the water gushing through the sewer pipes. Why not? Big puddles near 42nd and on the path leading to under the Ford Bridge. No lakes.

Heard some strange clanking or clunking then honking over on the other side of the river. Heard the kids playing on the playground, then a teacher’s whistle as I ran south. Later, running back north, heard more kids. It was raining harder. How wet will they be for the rest of the day? I imagined them in snow suits, or because the playground was at posh Minnehaha Academy, under some fancy, magical dome.

Heading north, I noticed that the view near Winchell (Winchell to the left, the memorial bench to the right), was especially open and revealing. Earlier, heading south, I had noticed that my former favorite winter view spot just past the oak savanna was unsatifying. Too many small trees blocking my view. Are those trees new?

Encountered several walkers, some alone, others in pairs; a runner or two; at least two bikers.

As I write this entry, I am listening to the gentle ringing of the rain through the gutters. A steady ping ping ping vibration.

added later today: Returning to my desk hours later, I heard and then saw 3 or 4 geese honking and speeding through sky. This reminded me of something else I remember from my run. Twice I heard some honking geese, once on the east and once on the west. Both times I stopped running, leaned my head back, and stared into the sky to watch them. One wedge of geese was flying low, the other much higher. It’s always a good day when you can stop and admire the geese!

I found a rain poem from Linda Pastan for today:

November Rain/ Linda Pastan

How separate we are
under our black umbrellas—dark
planets in our own small orbits,

hiding from this wet assault
of weather as if water
would violate the skin,

as if these raised silk canopies
could protect us
from whatever is coming next—

December with its white
enamel surfaces; the numbing
silences of winter.

From above we must look
like a family of bats—
ribbed wings spread

against the rain,
swooping towards any
makeshift shelter.

Love the image of the bats. Over the years, I’ve found several wonderful bat poems. In theory, bats are beautiful, fun-to-imagine creatures who eat mosquitoes and see with sound in ways I’d like to learn. But my one close encounter with bats, when they were flying through my house one year and established a colony in the attic, freaked me out. I like thinking I see or hear them at twilight, flying high above. I don’t like seeing the evidence of them in my closet.