August 12, 2014


I don't own a camera but if I did I'd post a picture of the levee in north Lawrence. It's my favorite running destination. Not for the scenery, because there basically isn't any. Not for the terrain, because it's a flat gravel path

But actually, yeah, for those things. For those things, or rather, for the absence of them. It's my favorite place to run because that's all it is. You go, and there is no auto traffic, and thus no stop signs or lights. There are very few other runners, walkers, and cyclists as well.

It's about 4.75 miles from the start to the railroad, at which point I'll turn around, sometimes after sitting for a bit to watch a train go by. I look at the graffiti and goods and wonder what stories are there, think on the intersections of industry and culture.

I could run the other direction - towards Topeka instead of KC - but I don't. I like the repetition.

It's a little crunchy but basically silent. There are things to see but nothing to look at. So you run, and while running, you are running, and you are thinking about running, about your cadence, arm carriage, pace, etc. Sometimes you think about nothing and the wind narrates your actions, punctuated by rhythmic footfalls.

If I could change it I would add some rolling hills, but then it would be a road, not a levee, and I'd have to share with trucks. So no. It's fine as is.

I ran there yesterday, sharing it with a few members of KU's cross country team. A steady day for them, conversational, fluid, symmetrical, and of course, faster than me. I was more aware than usual of my short legs, slight inward ankle roll, floppy hair, mediocre pace, sub 10 but not sub 5% body fat, etc. Self conscious but I said hi, they said hi, and I went along, thinking that yes they should run here, it's a good spot, probably the best spot in town and the only one that allows you to miss hills, if you want to really cruise.

And so I did, and so I'll do today, with other people or not, because it's not my lawn, and even if it was, I wouldn't tell any damn kids to get off it.

Also, one of the dogs - you can never tell which - ripped my heart rate monitor strap to bits. So - as usual anyway - "cruise" is gonna be my only pace metric for a bit.

Edit: A picture has been provided in the comments. I'm to technologically illiterate to post it, however.


  1. The levee was one of my favorite spots for running also, that unchanging open expanse of farm land was pretty amazing to stare at.

  2. Oh, and here:

    1. Instagram doesn't really make 'image' files that can be saved or copied, so this is not a fault on your part!