I looked out the window at 1:00, and the sun was out. I peeked at the thermometer. It was over 20 degrees outside. OK, no excuses, I had to run. I figured that the sidewalks would be icy, but maybe the park board had cleared the lake trails, and so I drove myself to Nokomis, where I began my run on the north side of the lake. North side, as in sunless side. The trails were coated with ice. I barely moved my feet as I "ran", struggling to making my upper body look like that of a runner, while my feet moved barely faster than a walker's.
Whenever I found a patch of dry pavement, I flew because I was finally able to let go of a little bit of my steam. Then the dry part would end, and I would throttle back so that I wouldn't find myself sprawling on the ground.
To avert the almost certain disaster of a spill, I almost turned around, but there was another runner up ahead. If he could do it, so could I. We met up at the stoplight. "At least we're still standing," he said. "Well, it's the slowest run of my life," said I (exaggerating, since surely the slowest run of my life was the Mother's Day run I lost to my mother).
His daughter goes to Carleton, and so we ran together around the slightly less icy south side of the lake, chatting about education and money and Jonathan Kozol, and allowing each other to use the dry patches on the sidewalk for traction.
And then, Christmas miracle, neither of us wiped out. We finished our runs and we didn't add to our injuries, and now I get to have that clear-headed just-exercised feeling for the rest of the day. I'm going to use it to buy some paint for the basement floor.