Flats

I ran from the Esplanade to OMSI and then out onto the Springwater trail toward Oaks Bottom today. I wanted to run trails and considered running up to the Japanese Garden, but I didn’t want to run through downtown; and when I thought about it for a few minutes, I concluded I just didn’t want to see any people.  City people; rushing, cowering under their umbrellas, hiding in their hoods.

I started fast and when I got farther out on Springwater, past the homeless camps, past the lashed together dinghies on the Willamette that remind me of some PNW post-apocalyptic waterworld every time I pass, I slowed down… and then for a while I ran with my eyes closed.

It’s so flat and straight. With your eyes closed you find your lean. I was tracking just slightly to my left, not much. I tried to run a little longer, then opened my eyes to check my position, corrected and then closed them again. Like running in an sphere of energy, rolling along through 3 dimensions, the wind kissing my eyelids.

I found a trail. About 3 miles out, there is a trail into the woods off to the right, so I took it. And immediately I had to focus on my footing. I ran for a while through the woods and then came to a perch overlooking the river and stopped my watch.  I was directly across from the tower at the top of Council Crest. Looking up toward OHSU from the North part of the city, it looks like the tower is right behind OHSU. It isn’t; it’s some distance South.

I wondered how cold the water was and if there was a strong undertow; and thought about putting on a wetsuit and swimming across the river; just to do it. Something about being tenacious and driven and intense and relentless. Never stop moving. Then I turned around and ran slowly and then more slowly back to the office – just joggin’ on the flats.

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