Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Favorite Overlooked Run

Tonight I was a ZEN runner. I almost didn't run today. I certainly would have been more than ok NOT running. But on my way home at 9pm, it was snowing. A nearly perfect, peaceful snow. I previously wrote about how I love running on freshly fallen snow. Well, there's only one thing better than that, and that's running on freshly fallen snow while a light snow is STILL falling. And tonight, that's what was happening. There was about half an inch on the trails, and a light snow coming down. So I laced up and hit the trails, even though I don't usually like to run after 9 or so. But the snow was calling. And it was peaceful. No traffic, the streetlamps illuminating little oasises of falling snow. It was like running from one island of light to the next.

My only debate was which trail to take. My default one hour run is the Lake-Ford loop, but I am getting sick of that, and I thought there might still be traffic on the river roads. Then I remembered I could take the Minnehaha Parkway to Nokomis. I rarely do that for some reason, even though it's so close to my house. The reason is that then it's doubling back on the parkway, and I hate running the same terrain twice. Give me loops! But the section of Minnehaha Parkway from the falls to Nokomis is in my opinion the most beautiful part of the Minnehaha trail. It is completely separate from the actual road by several blocks at that point, so there's no traffic nearby. And the floodplain is pretty wide so you're further from houses too. And to top it off, the foot and bike traffic on this stretch is oddly very light.

All of these combine to make for a perfect night of quiet zen running. I was just in awe of the beauty around me, and it just gave me a chance to clear my head and feel some peace. I usually pray a little while I run, but usually not too much because there are too many distractions. Tonight there were no distractions other than the peacefulness that enhanced my prayer. I'm rambling here, but basically it just felt great to get out and feel good about running outside again, instead of slogging through the run which is how I've felt lately.

Below I've inserted a map of that stretch of trail that I love. I think it's my "favorite overlooked run". What's yours?

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