Saturday, January 7, 2012

Finding beach

I am a firm believer that leisurely long runs are a magnificent way to experience a city.  Today did not prove me wrong!

But let's start from the beginning, okay?  To be honest, I wasn't feeling the run for the first few miles.  I moseyed around downtown St. Paul and along the Mississippi River and still felt more like being at home than on the roads, even though I felt good enough physically and the weather was pleasant.  I was aiming for 10-12 miles at the start of the run and decided early on that I'd be quite satisfied with seven or eight instead.

Well, the phrase "getting distracted by something shiny" seems apt for what happened next.  I was running on trails way, way above the Mighty Mississippi and noticed four kayakers far below on the river.  That's right - the river was so open and clear of ice that it allowed for kayakers in early January.  It was kind of captivating to watch this unusual sight for awhile, so I kept going and going.  Then I noticed a path leading down to Crosby Farm, a park where I haven't run in ages, so I went down that trail and ended up running along the river for another mile or two before I went back up to the road that would take me home.  It was a very fun meandering adventure.  I finished with just over 12 miles.  Sigh.  Kind of silly.

Since it was just a week after that hard half-marathon effort, the goal was all about relaxing and just enjoying being out there.  I took a break by the river at Crosby Farm, mostly because the river trails I usually run are so high up that there's no concept of beach.  I stood on the beach today, January 6, and just stood there for a little while, looking at the ice forming by the shore and the people walking their dogs on the beach.  Then I saw the kayakers again, who had caught up to me!  It was so peaceful.

I was happy to have my camera along for the ride.  Here's my first view of the kayakers, teeny tiny:

Then I put my camera away until I got to the beach.  I loved how the trees leaned.

And of course, being right on the water was great, too.  The sun popped out just in time to create some pretty shadows and reflections.

I can't wait to catch these trails in the summer on my bike!

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