First Run in California

I fell in love with running this past year. I’ve been running on and off since high school. But this past year, I finally hit the point where I can run four or more miles “comfortably.” I run slow. But I keep running.

Chicago was my running partner. Of course, I ran on the amazing lakefront path. Truly, when the weather is nice, one of the best places anywhere to run.

But I also ran in the city. I’d run from our home in Roscoe Village around Wrigley Field and back. I’d run from home and explore the neighborhood. I’d run from home with a transit card in my pocket, and run until I’d run far enough, and then take the bus and the el home. I ran with Abram in the stroller, I ran with Zora keeping up on her scooter. I ran through snow and tried to outrun rain. I ran under golden yellow fall trees, and bright white apple blossoms.

One Saturday last spring, when I realized we were really going to go through with it and move to California, I cried while I ran.

Sunday morning I took my first run in California.

(This is a partial lie: a few days earlier, I ran part of the way to pick up Zora from school. But this “run” involved a jogging stroller, a 25 pound baby, and a hill so steep that it has a sign reminding truck drivers to use a low gear. In Chicago, the closest you come to uphill running is when the road grade goes just a little slany to get you up on a bridge. In other words, the running was cut short.)

The sidewalks aren’t as wide. The streets aren’t on a grid. There are those dastardly hills.

But it was OK. I ran through neighborhoods, past parks and schools. The plants smell different. The people I met on the paths were friendly. I made it into the next town. My trusty smartphone had to help me with directions a few times. I walked up the worst hill. But I kept going, and almost 6 miles later I was home.