Running to stand still

There’s something mystic about the muted yellow, brown and gray tones of the frozen prairie in late autumn, before the snow covers the ground and reminds us of the long winter ahead.

This morning, as I sipped my coffee during the drive to the hills, I couldn’t help but feel lucky. A perfect morning, with the slightest of wind, started with a terrific discovery: my old iPod, believed to be left behind in Chicago after the marathon, wasn’t lost after all. It had bothered me, because I don’t lose things, I just put them in places where I will remember. Unfortunately, that means sometimes I end up hiding things from myself as I forget where they’re at.

It was like meeting up with an old friend and it seemed as though I was rediscovering many of the songs. U2’s “Running to Stand Still” sounded even better than the first time I heard it.

Upon my arrival, I realized it’s the second weekend of Minnesota’s deer hunting season, and wondered if I would regret choosing to run in the hills. But this place isn’t heavily hunted, and I figured no one would mistake me for a deer with my royal blue running jacket on. The run went well, even up and down the hills, but I did wonder around the halfway point whether I’d have enough juice to crank out 18 miles.

There was a lot more traffic than a typical Saturday. Most of the traffic was due to deer hunters, but they probably noticed what I did: there were none around. And none of them appeared to be upset with me being out there, and nearly all of them waved or offered a good morning.

An injured ankle didn’t give me any problems out on the road and the run was solid throughout, better than I expected. Tomorrow, Riley and I will head out for our typical Sunday run, and the next 2 Saturdays present some different runs: a 90-minute progression run and a 120-minute steady run.

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