Minnehaha Morning

Posted on June 18, 2011

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Day 2 – Minnehaha Creek Run

After yesterday’s six mile run, I was certain that it wasn’t going to be an easy run for the second morning.

Late last night, I began thinking that perhaps today would be a much easier and much slower run.  I actually planned to find a grassy park and do some barefoot running (I left the VFFs at home) for a few easy miles and call it a day.

However, there was an alternative.  A seven mile out and back along the Minnehaha Creek path that is included in the Minneapolis “Grand Rounds.”

No.  That would be too far.  My legs would definitely not make the trip.

The nasty hail and thunderstorms rolled through in the middle of the night.

I noted how strong and heavy the storm sounded as it beat against the roof.

“Are you scared?” asked Kokkiree.

“No,” I answered.

“You’re scared,” she declared.

Really, I wasn’t.

But, I knew that it would probably mean that my barefoot grass run would be a muddy mess and I wasn’t sure what the local park would look like after such rain.

In the morning, I woke up to find the ground soaking wet and muddy.  So no barefoot mess.  I’m a guest in the house here and I didn’t want to make the house, which is relatively pristine, a mud pie.

So off to the Minnehaha I went.

The first mile was along the same path as yesterday, but significantly slower at 9:21 mile pace.

The second mile was along a new road, and also slower than yesterday with an 8:51 mile pace.

In the middle of the third mile, I ran into some tight single-track muddy trail that was probably made for mountain bikers.  The trail was overgrown in several sections and I had to push back branches and brush to keep moving.  The trail slanted towards the creek, which, because of the heavy rains, was rushing along my right.

I suddenly ran into a steep uphill scrambling climb that lead to the bridge pass.  I crossed the bridge road, and kept running along the road until I saw the pedestrian path sign and took off down the path.  I heard the Garmin signal mile mark and I checked and saw a 9:15 mile pace.  The single-track and brush and getting lost really had slowed me down.

I wasn’t complaining all that much since my legs were already feeling tired from yesterday’s 6 mile run.  However, I was feeling sluggish and knew that one way to pick up the pace was to really get the body moving faster.

I tried to pick up the pace and fell into an easy 8:33 mile and made the turnaround to head home.  I pulled in behind two swift runners who were clipping along at a pretty good pace.

They were talking about marriage and happiness and talking way too much for the 6:30 pace we were hitting.

I didn’t join in the conversation because I didn’t know them, and I didn’t have enough energy or breath to talk.

I also had a bug in my eye.  Thankfully, I had been running with a small bottle of water in my hand the entire way.  I used the water to splash my face a few times as I ran with one eye open and one eye closed.  I finally was able to wash the bug out, but by this time, the two guys were gone.

However, it was good to follow them because they knew the path and I didn’t get lost on any muddy single-track on the way home.

I hit the fifth mile at 7:47.

By now, I was coming back along the main road I took on the way out.  I made a hard 50-foot uphill run and started walking because my thighs were burning and I knew that I wasn’t going to make it home at that pace.

I checked my watch and suddenly noticed I was running later than I thought, and I knew that I had to be back by 9:40 in order to get ready to leave the house at 10:00am.

Great.  This meant I had to run a bit faster than my body wanted.

After about 1/4 mile walk, I started back into an 8:00 mile pace and finished the sixth mile at 9:20.

I couldn’t stop now and made the goal of finishing all the way home.  I turned the corner to make the final push home.

I passed over a footbridge, climbed the stairs, and kept running uphill until I hit the driveway and stopped the watch at 59:59.

Wow.  Just under one hour.

6.81 total miles.  8:48 average.  259 feet of elevation change.

I quickly went inside, dripped sweat, tried to kiss Kokkiree who squealed a “noooooo,” and then jumped into the shower to get clean.

Tomorrow . . . I’m contemplating a rest day, or a barefoot day on grass.

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Posted in: Running