Sunday, March 22, 2015

River Road Run

Cold rain. I hate cold rain. I am running - if you can call it that, as slow as it is - down towards River Road here in Niagara Falls. It would have been easy to nix this cold, damp outside run in favor of something warmer, dryer and even faster such as a comfortable hotel dreadmill. But I think about how spring began yesterday evening after an awful winter - an awful winter that included way too much dreadmill running. I think about how many times I have pined for temperatures even just a little warmer than the single digits (today it was about 37). I even think about that year - yes, an entire year - in the nineties that I spent running entirely outside, based on a self-imposed exile from treadmill running.

Two Marriotts, including ours. An Embassy Suites, a Travelodge and several other hotels. Tony Romas, Margaritaville, Brasa, Outback, My Cousin Vinny's, Applebees, and gobs of other restaurants. Three or so casinos. The Silly-Skylon tower. The place is like Vegas, I think, as I turn onto River Road after descending the big hill away from the glitz. I hate glitz. Now at least it's quieter by the falls. Except, of course, for the roar of the falls. I have descended to a point directly across from the American Falls. It is still partially surrounded by ice and snow, but still pretty despite the cold, the dark and the misty, foggy light rain. I can see Horseshoe Falls about a half mile up river, but I turn the other way onto the walking trail.

Black, hard-crusted snow. And alongside it, black ice. I hate ice. I don't even like it in drinks. I have been running north on the walking path between River Road and the Niagara River, and now that I am getting farther from the glitz and the lights, the icy spots on the sidewalk have become more numerous. So I move onto the street. There is very little traffic at 6am on a Saturday away from town so there really is no danger.

At about 3.6 miles - just where I thought it would be - I come to the Aero-cars. These cable cars travel above a swirling whirlpool area of the river are a touristy thing that we did with Dave and Carol the last time we were in the area, about 12 years ago. I hate touristy. But it was actually ok. For today, this is as far as I want to go. I turn around and head back.

Now the cold wind and misty rain is in my face. I hate wind.

I try to pick up the pace, at least a little. The change is almost imperceptible. I hate running slow.

I turn back up the hill to return to the hotel. I hate hills.

After an extremely long time and not an extremely large amount of mileage, I make it back to the Marriot. I think about how much better it is to run outdoors than indoors. It’s like cats: indoor cats live longer than outdoor ones. But who would want to be an indoor cat, when the alternative is freedom? I think about all this in spite of how I hated everything along the way. I love running.

Debbie and me in our hotel room overlooking the falls
By the American Falls

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