Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Running Minneapolis

I love running in the cold while the snows gently falls.  However, its a rare winter's night that the snow falls gently to the ground. Usually the flakes are small and crash to the ground by the force of a bone chilling breeze.  Those are the nights, if its snowing, you kind of think twice about gearing up and stepping outside.  Who in the world looks forward to being struck in the face by lake effect snow pellets?
Hmm... Raise your hand.  Ok. I do.
Well last week was definetly cold.  I ran at home and in Minneapolis but there was a stark contrast. In Syracuse that weekend it snowed every day. Each morning saw a fresh six inches of the white stuff.  That means its a snow blower morning and a treacherous day of driving while working followed by a slippery and snowy run.
I survived the weekend runs. I ran once outside. Beautiful run. Cold? Yes. Snowy? Absolutely. Yet, it felt great. When I run after work, I feel like i have earned my evening meal and a badge of honor because few people, runners, actually get out to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a cold, snowy run. It may be slick. The snow striking your face hurts sometimes, but you get beyond it. The miles bring your body tempeture up. After a couple short miles the snow isn't even a thought.  Its the rythm of your breathe; the sound beneath your feet; and the memories of today and thoughts of tomorrow that bring you to the finishline.
Oh, but running in Minneapolis.  Thats another different tale. 
Minneapolis is a beautiful city. You do not get a feel about how cold it can be since all the buildings are connected by the Skyway, a series of indoor, over the street tunnels between the buildings.  So it feels comfortable. Looking out the windows at the sun can be deceptive as to how cold it really is.  The high on a couple days was 4.  Tuesday was the warmest day; the high was 33.  IDC ended at 4:30pm. We returned to the hotel by 5pm. I was changed and ready to roll by 6pm. I waited for a friend til 6:15pm.
I have run in Minneapolis before so we ran to the river and headed up and down for 6 miles.
It was cold. It was about 20 when we hit the road.  The breeze we wicked coming off the river, hitting us directly in the face on the way out. The path was icy in spots and snow covered in others. I only fell once over some snow covered chopped up asphalt that hadn't been cleaned after the city made some improvements.  It was a good fall.  I stumbled for 20 feet attempting to stay on my feet as a running back may stumple to stay up long enough to cross the goal line.  I didn't stay up. I fell after hitting a second pile of rubble.  Never a fun experience although funny after the fact.
Once we reached our turn around, Minneapolis was lit up.  The skyline is gorgeous.  The buildings were different colors and the three bridges, crossing the river into St. Paul, had their own splendor.
The run back to the hotel was swift and uneventful.  I didn't fall.  I stayed on my feet.  Our pave was around 9:35 minutes/mile. 
I look forward to running in Philly at our next meeting when the weather ought to be better.  Maybe, just maybe, i could wear shorts.
See you on the road.
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