may 26/RUN

7 miles
to the washington bridge and back
60 degrees
overcast – drizzle – soft steady rain

Overcast at the start, cool. Calm, quiet. The green felt deeper and darker in the gray. A block before I reached the river road, an ambulance sped by, siren blaring. A few minutes later, a police car, silent, but with frantic, flashing lights. I felt relaxed for the first mile. In the second mile my left ankle hurt a little. Started chanting triple berries to lock into a rhythm and to block out creeping doubt. Nothing fancy, just strawberry blueberry raspberry over and over. Once or twice: strawberry blueberry raspberry ice cream caramel strawberry chocolate ice cream

Just before I reached the bridge and the turn around point: drops drizzle rain — soft, steady, soaking. A few reprieves under the leaves, but mostly insistent water. I didn’t care; it cooled me down. The only thing I didn’t like was how my water-logged shorts stuck to my legs. Yuck!

assessment: I had some moments of struggle during the run — my legs were sore, feeling the need for a bathroom — but I also had some moments where I powered through. So much of it is mental. I’d like to come up with some fun distractions. I should return to my St. Paul sidewalk poetry project, find some more poems to run to. I could also do another poem-inspired scavenger hunt. I need a purpose for these runs that isn’t marathon training related.

10+ Things

  1. approaching from behind, rhythmic slapping –the slap slap slap of heavy, striking feet — then a fast runner in a blue shirt ran past me and up the hill near lake street
  2. passed him again when he stopped to study the map at the kiosk — was he lost?
  3. a rower on the river! single shell, their oars skimming the water — not sounding soft like a goose skimming the water, but choppy and hard like ___?
  4. the coxswain, instructing rowers through her bullhorn
  5. slap slap slap the blue-shirted runner passed me again between the trestle and franklin
  6. limestone leaks: even before it started raining, the limestone bluff in the flats was gushing water and leaving puddles on the pavement
  7. whoosh! a car’s wheels driving through the puddles
  8. a strange, intense floral smell — sweet, I think, and not entirely pleasant or unpleasant, just smell and flower and sweet
  9. a honking goose perched on the wall that holds back the river in the flats — were they honking at me? at a biker approaching from the other way?
  10. slap slap slap Mr. Blue Shirt is back! Nearing the end of my run, heading south, he zoomed past
  11. sometimes the rain sounded like footsteps from behind, but when I glanced back, there was no one there
  12. flash flash flash flash lights on the back of two bikes flashed red to let everyone know they were there, which was helpful in this gloom
  13. Good morning! a vigorous greeting from Mr. Morning!
  14. the return of Mr. Blue Umbrella, who walks in the middle of the path and never moves over. I’ve complained about him before — maybe last year? As I ran by him, the smell of stale cigarettes
  15. soft green fuzz on the edge of the trail, above the floodplain forest — was it from one of the cottonwood 3 — 3 giant trees in a yard. Last week, Scott and I walked past them; I have never seen that much cottonwood fuzz: the lawn was almost all not-quite-white!

Because of the rain and the cloud-covered sun, I didn’t see any shadows. I remember wondering if I might be able to see one if I was closer to the streetlamp or a car’s headlight.