Lansing

I hate winter. No. I despise winter. It may technically be spring, but no one told the weather this morning. And I guess I love running more than I hate the cold.

So I’m feeling pretty righteous after an early morning three-mile walk with one of my favorite people, followed by a chilly six miler that took me to Lansing’s Hawk Island Park.

Just how chilly? My iPhone 5 shut down and gave me a death message I had never seen before. (Just before I left my toasty car, the weather app said it was 14 degrees.)

I think I wore just about every single item of winter-weather running gear I own. I even threw on an extra fleece jacket plus stuck hand warmers into my winter gloves.

Stylin' with almost every piece of gear I own.

Stylin’ with almost every piece of gear I own.

It wasn’t until my second mile, a couple dozen Canada geese, three does and what seemed like an unending stream of cardinals that I could even feel my hands and feet. I wasn’t too sure whether my ears were attached to my head despite wearing my dorky black and highlighter-yellow running hat.

But run I did and eventually stuck my phone in a pocket with the aforementioned hand warmers. Note to self: That did the trick and my phone started working again, which meant I was joined once again by my boy Pitbull on my run.

I was also reminded of just how kind this running community really is. As I stopped a couple of times to deal with the dead phone, blow my nose or take a picture, a couple of other runners stopped to ask me if I was OK.

Hawk Island Park in Lansing.

Hawk Island Park in Lansing. (Ignore the gloved finger in the corner.)

Almost every other runner (and bikers, for that matter) on the trail said hello or waved and some even chatted with me as they caught up. I even saw two of my Black Girls RUN! Lansing friends, who were embarking on their own 20 miler. Brandess, also a Skirt Sports ambassador, looked fantastic in her black Ice Queen Ultra jacket (already made a mental note to order one for myself!).

Despite the cold, the combination of so much runner love and sunshine warmed my soul. Now if it could just get a bit warmer so I don’t lose any body parts, that would be great.

What was your long run this week? What’s the coldest temperature you’ve ever run in? What’s your ideal running temperature?

 

Got to go for a three-miler today right after work. The sun kept peeking out, but the wind just wouldn’t stop. I didn’t look at my weather app before heading out, so I overdressed and had to strip off my windbreaker and hat right away (the hat mostly because it almost blew off my head!).

Not really optimal conditions, but this chica is not going to complain.

It was an even slower run than my usual shuffle (about 11:45/mile), but I thoroughly enjoyed being outside doing one of my favorite things. And so were a couple dozen or so people on the Lansing River Trail downtown.

Running the River Trail always reminds me just how much this city has transformed since I first came in 1989. The 13-mile trail is clean, well maintained and well used. There were several couples chatting and holding hands, a few folks walking their dogs and even a couple of families taking a stroll.IMG_3844

The 100-year-old Lansing City Market looked particularly nice and I noticed seating facing the Grand River, a potentially perfect lunch spot this summer. Going to have to check back on that.

I did slow down enough to take a couple of pictures of the “Inspiration” statue I’ve seen a couple of times on my River Walk runs, but had not taken the time to really admire. I later learned the 2,000-lb. stainless steel ribbon by California sculptor James T. Russell was paid for by private donations.

The ribbon was given to the city in 2009 after its sesquicentennial birthday celebration. The piece was particularly resplendent in the bit of sunshine that graced that part of my run.

Also particularly beautiful this afternoon with its white dome surrounded by blue sky was the Capitol, which I get to see most days. Even after more than two decades seeing this building, I’m still struck by its beauty and feel blessed I get to see it soLansing's Capitol building often.

It may not have been a perfect run, but I’m grateful for the time on the pavement.

So, did you run today? What’s your favorite place to run and why? Do you live in the city, burbs or sticks?