Spring has sprung here in Minnesota. We were above 70 degrees yesterday — a definite new record for this early in March.
A variety of things brought me to St. Paul yesterday, and I had high hopes for getting in a run down by the river.
For those of you not familiar with the area, the Mississippi runs right by downtown St. Paul.
For the past few years I’ve been able to take a run at least once on the river paths during springtime, and it’s a tradition I hope I can keep up.
I love these paths. Views of the city skyline and picturesque river boats melt into quiet riverbanks covered with nothing but trees and open space.
Other walkers, runners, and bikers are usually plentiful, and I feel like part of a wide and wonderful culture of vitality and activity.
I like my open country roads and the lake paths close to my home, but running in a different environment is still invigorating.
It was mid-afternoon and about 72* when I pulled on my running shoes, and the warmth felt glorious.
Bare legs and bare arms soaked in the sun, and I powered along for a 5 mile tempo effort.
As I was nearing the end of my run, I passed by shiny, new apartments and condos that overlooked the river front.
The windows were open and I could hear kids chattering, likely just home from school.
A little girl was saying something, and I caught the words “orange shirt.”
I looked down at the tangerine hue of my top, and I smiled to myself.
Then, clear as day, I heard her shriek, “I spy a girl in an orange shirt and underwear!”
For the record, I was wearing a pair of Nike tempos. They were even my baggy pair, size medium.
Ah well — I suppose after a winter of watching people stroll by in parkas and fleece pants my tempos did look more similar to underwear!
I climbed the steep hill up from the river bank to finish my effort, and I finally arrived on a busy street corner in downtown. Rush hour was starting, and I’m sure I was a sweaty sight as I paced at the red light across from the ramp where my car was.
5.22 miles in 46:50, 8:58/pace.
Right on target for my 1/2 marathon goal. Especially with the unexpected warmth and the hilly finish, I’m quite pleased.
More than the time or the workout though, I’m just so thankful, so grateful, I was able to run in a beautiful place on a beautiful day.
You see, after my run I met one of my sisters to head to the hospital. My uncle has been slowly recovering after being hit by a car while on his bicycle on new year’s eve. I do ask for your prayers for him, if you are so inclined.
The bad runs that make me gasp for breath and curse my throbbing legs — I would take these everyday over not being able to run.
I am lucky; the ability to be active is a gift.
Sorry to end on a somber note.
Well, I guess I do have one more thing to share. This is a view I never get tired of.