Why I Run Wednesday #15

My bike, hanging out at Theodore Wirth Park

The ‘Why I Run Wednesday’ posts are a weekly feature exploring a past, present, or future reason why I run.

Bringing back the running gratitude posts a.k.a. Why I Run Wednesday! One, because while my writing schedule may be lacking, there are an endless number of reasons to love running. Second, unexpectedly awful things happen in this world which is reason enough to appreciate the awesome and good that also exists.

Late last week I crafted my plan for Sunday: wake up early, bike to Theodore Wirth Park, run, bike home. Simple enough and I was pumped. There was one little detail to figure out though: How do I get to the park via bike? I should note that I have a terrible sense of direction. I managed to get places prior to smartphones by printing Google Map directions, and prior to that I was too young to drive. So, I could’ve gone the millennial-old-school method and written out the Google directions on a piece of paper and taped them to my handlebars. But, I suddenly felt inspired (shortly prior to the unscheduled departure ‘time’) and thought, ‘hey, I could make my own iPhone bike mount.’ Conveniently, I already had a cheap waterproof bag and a messenger bag comfort strap I received as a giveaway at a bike event a couple years ago. Armed with those two items, electrical tape, rubber bands and a pair of scissors, I was 30 minutes away from a low budget Pinterest-esque smartphone mount!

Homemade iPhone Bike Mount

Back to the Run

The mount worked like a charm (the shoulder strap provided a nice buffer for my phone during the mixed-terrain ride) and I made it to Theodore Wirth without issue. I biked up and down the parkway in search of a secure spot to lock my bike and eventually settled on a street sign set far enough from the road (the park could use some bike racks).

The Route

Quick stop on the run, Theodore Wirth Park

Well, no route was pre-planned. I just ran this way and that, pounded up and down hills, enjoying the view of trees and the feeling of trails underfoot. Around three miles in I decided it was time to head back. Remember that little detail about my less than stellar directional skills? Let’s just say I had the privilege of running another not-so-direct mile and a half back to my bike…

More biking, more fun

Sun still shining, water still in my waist pack, I opted to bike right past my route home and continued toward the Theodore Wirth golf course. Motivated by the “You are here” icon on a park map and a well-marked Grand Rounds bike path, I kept riding through new-to-me territory onto Victory Memorial Parkway. What a beautiful area! Back yards, front yards, bike path AND a long stretch of field in the middle of the road (eh, boulevard).

North Mississippi Regional Park

Onward to the North Mississippi Regional Park and although I could see downtown Minneapolis off in the distance I wasn’t 100 percent sure how to get back… luckily that homemade iPhone mount was holding strong. A couple of awkward street crossings and sidewalk bike walking, I cruised down 2nd Street through the North Loop into downtown.

Not quite ready for the Sunday adventure to end (and a rumbling belly), I stopped at Whole Foods to grab a green juice and an EPIC mountain medley. Feeling set with the day’s four-hour ride and run, I headed home for more food and a short nap.

So why do I run? Because there are bike paths to explore! And running trails to pull over and enjoy.

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