13X13+13- January Edition- A Running Journey

I was looking for something different in my running schedule for this year, something challenging, but also something that pushed me into more runs that spoke to the joy of running. I needed to remember that every run wasn't a training run and that so much of my running is about solitude, reflection, and reconnection to my surroundings. This birthed the idea to run 13 half marathons in 2015 with the additional element of taking 13 pictures during my runs. This would force me to raise my head, look less at my watch, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. 

 

Today was journey number one. 13.1 miles finished in 1:57. 

 

It was the peach of the month when it comes to weather. After brutal cold most of the month, January 17 had a morning temperature of 37 with clear skies and no wind. The route included some normal roads, but part of the run were on roads never traveled by my feet. It included Richmond Heights, Maplewood, Brentwood, Ladue, University City, and the City of Saint Louis. 

There are so many small houses along the early part of the run, but I've been watching these home improvements for a few months now. A brand new fence and pergola are a beautiful addition. I bet that the summer months will be ones of joy for this home owner. 

Every time I run past here, there are people working hard. They are doing all kinds of things that make me hard just looking at them. I'll stick to running. 

  Running is a communal effort for so many, and I love the opportunity to run with others, but running for me is often a chance to disconnect, notice, and grow the physical and mental strength in my body.

 

Running is a communal effort for so many, and I love the opportunity to run with others, but running for me is often a chance to disconnect, notice, and grow the physical and mental strength in my body.

  When the temperature is just above freezing and the sun hasn't laid its eyes on every part of the landscape, there is such beauty. This pond in Brentwood Forest had the perfect morning light. 

 

When the temperature is just above freezing and the sun hasn't laid its eyes on every part of the landscape, there is such beauty. This pond in Brentwood Forest had the perfect morning light. 

  This gas station has always been the fancy gas station. The gas is always 10-15 cents more expensive than anywhere in town. I actually saw another BP station at 24 cents cheaper on the road. I guess fancy zip codes need fancy gas. 

 

This gas station has always been the fancy gas station. The gas is always 10-15 cents more expensive than anywhere in town. I actually saw another BP station at 24 cents cheaper on the road. I guess fancy zip codes need fancy gas. 

  Old Warson Country Club is probably an 18 that I will never play, but it is a beautiful place. There was some irony this morning with the frozen green, the red flag stick, and the industrial equipment all in the same shot. 

 

Old Warson Country Club is probably an 18 that I will never play, but it is a beautiful place. There was some irony this morning with the frozen green, the red flag stick, and the industrial equipment all in the same shot. 

  This Starbucks sits at the bottom of one of the toughest hills on the Saint Louis Marathon Course. It is steep and long enough to get your attention. Sitting in the drive through is a Saturday morning ritual for so many. Seems like a long time to wait for coffee. 

 

This Starbucks sits at the bottom of one of the toughest hills on the Saint Louis Marathon Course. It is steep and long enough to get your attention. Sitting in the drive through is a Saturday morning ritual for so many. Seems like a long time to wait for coffee. 

  There is beauty everywhere in University City, and this church caught my attention yesterday. Though I've run this part of the course before, I'm not sure that I have soaked in the beauty of this church. One of my favorite pictures of the run. 

 

There is beauty everywhere in University City, and this church caught my attention yesterday. Though I've run this part of the course before, I'm not sure that I have soaked in the beauty of this church. One of my favorite pictures of the run. 

  The University City loop is an incredible place to explore. Food, drinks, shops all have some character. This statue seemed to be talking to me today. It was also the Ice Carnival, and it was fun to see the sculptures being set in place for the festivities. 

 

The University City loop is an incredible place to explore. Food, drinks, shops all have some character. This statue seemed to be talking to me today. It was also the Ice Carnival, and it was fun to see the sculptures being set in place for the festivities. 

  Delmar Blvd. is an incredible road that has everything Saint Louis lining it. It is also a symbol of the racial divide of the city. All parts north of this sign are streets, communities, and people that are often forgotten by many. 

 

Delmar Blvd. is an incredible road that has everything Saint Louis lining it. It is also a symbol of the racial divide of the city. All parts north of this sign are streets, communities, and people that are often forgotten by many. 

  Washington University is a beautiful campus, and this is the money shot. So incredible to see the morning light radiating on it. 

 

Washington University is a beautiful campus, and this is the money shot. So incredible to see the morning light radiating on it. 

  Amoco is no longer a company, but this symbol of Saint Louis rises above. It has been one mile from my house for almost 11 years. Some pieces of history are bigger than life. 

 

Amoco is no longer a company, but this symbol of Saint Louis rises above. It has been one mile from my house for almost 11 years. Some pieces of history are bigger than life. 

  2014 was a wonderful year of running, but I needed to grab ahold of the joy of running again. I'd love to have company next month when I do it again. 

 

2014 was a wonderful year of running, but I needed to grab ahold of the joy of running again. I'd love to have company next month when I do it again.