Saturday, November 5, 2016

Memories on the Monon - Marathon Prep Week 1

For my long run today I ran the Monon south of Kessler Boulevard...

The Monon is the railroad tracks from my childhood. It is now a greenway trail. When I first started running on the Monon, I would access it where it ran next to my daughter's dance studio in Carmel. From there I could run it North until it ended in Quaker Park in Westfield, IN. If I ran it south, I never had to go south of Broadripple to get my miles in because I had started so far north. Lately though, I've been starting my runs at the Jordan YMCA on 86th Street which has me starting much further south on the trail.

Today I went south of the trestle bridge for the first time in 30 years...

This is the railroad trestle bridge over Kessler. My high school, Bishop Chatard, and my grade school across the street, Christ the King, is a few blocks down the street on Kessler.

I crossed the trestle bridge and suddenly I was running back into my childhood. My own Brigadoon. I could almost hear the bagpipes...

Around 56th Street I passed Canterbury Park. I always called it Carvel Park because Carvel is the name of the road that runs next to it. I sometimes stopped here when I walked home from school to read or do homework. I always thought it was like a secret park because it was around a bend in the road and you didn't expect a park to be there until you turned the corner.

My friend Jean Marie lived right around the bend from the park. Laura lived catty corner from her. Another block down 56th street was where my cousins lived, and catty corner from their house was where Jill used to live before she moved to Ohio.

54th Street

54th Street. Right down the street was Haverford Little League where I played softball. One of my most memorable events was the end of season mother-daughter game where the moms played the daughters in their daughter's positions. My mom is the most un-athletic person you will ever meet. She ended up on the pitcher's mound. On the very last play of the game, Mary Dury hit a line drive straight at her. In a defensive maneuver, my mom put out her bare hand to protect herself and caught the ball. The ball had been hit so hard it flattened the band on her platinum ring. I couldn't believe she caught it!

Today I found this cute fruit stand and collection of shops that had not been there before.

Crossing the street I found a wall that had not been there in the past, painted with a mural...

The wall ran from 54th Street to 52nd Street. It was beautiful, yet I felt like it was protecting the Monon from the world on the other side.

52nd Street

52nd Street. Right around the bend on the north side of the street was the apartment complex where Michelle lived. This was also the south boundary for Haverford Little League. I remember my coach taking me aside at the end of the season, telling me I could not play on their post-season All-Star team because I lived "out of district." Living south of 52nd Street made me an outsider. The neighborhood got a little scarier south of 52nd Street.

On 52nd Street. I'm certain this used to be a church.

There was a wall on the west side of the tracks between 52nd Street and 49th Street. The last time I saw this wall it was white and covered in gang graffiti. Not so today...

On the east side of the trail were the backyards of my childhood. These were the backyards we ran through... from the Starlin's to the Dunham's. Somedays we'd creep through the thick underbrush and get on the forbidden tracks themselves, putting pennies on the tracks for the train to crush and covering our ears as the train passed by. It was strange seeing the yards fenced in.

49th Street...
49th Street

My childhood home is two blocks down the street. On summer days I remember lemon twisting down the street with Lynn and Dawn to the Lindner's on 49th and College for ice cream. You could get a second scoop for a nickel there.

Two blocks is a world away from the present day beauty of the Monon. My old house still has bars on the windows. My father-in-law put them up for my parents after the final time our house was burglarized. After that they threw in the towel and moved into an apartment because it was too frightening to live there. Just this week a woman was shot to death in her home at 44th and Norwaldo, a stone's throw away. Time still has not changed this neighborhood. Maybe, someday...

46th Street

46th Street. Right around the bend are the homes and apartment complex where I used to deliver newspapers. Delivering the Indianapolis News, the evening newspaper, was my first after school job in grade school. I had 144 customers on my route and the paper had to be delivered by 5 pm. On Saturdays we were suppose to collect money from our customers and turn it in to our station master at a small building further down on 46th Street. If we had a difficult customer, we would report them to the station master so he could go deal with them. As I recall, I passed this route on to Michelle when I decided I was done delivering papers.

In the summer time we would go to the Indiana State Fair. We went by ourselves as kids. We could either walk or ride our bikes there. All you had to do was follow the railroad tracks.

Alleys between 46th Street and 42nd Street

There are alleys that run behind all the houses so you didn't have to get on the tracks themselves.

42nd Street

42nd Street. This is the north entrance to the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The Indiana School for the Deaf is across the street.

Indiana State Fairgrounds

38th Street

38th Street. A couple blocks down at 38th and Washington Boulevard used to be a Roselyn Bakery. My mom would stop there to get her favorite pastry, custard puffs. My parents owned a wig shop at 38th and Illinois while I was in grade school. They never talked about it much because they felt like it was below their social stature to run a business like that but it paid the bills. They later sold it to my aunt and uncle's family and my uncle opened up his own store two doors down from my parents' original store so he ran that store and his wife ran the wig shop. My uncle was later murdered in his store. A personal vendetta. His cash register was untouched; his Rolex was left on his wrist. It's still an unsolved crime. Those stores are no longer there. It's a parking lot.

At 38th Street I turned around, relived it all, then crossed the trestle bridge back into the present. Long run for the day done. 13 miles.

So here's the Week One summary...

Sunday - Rest

Monday - 3 miles easy on the Monon.

Tuesday - 6 miles. Run Club day. Coach Matt told me when I started that all I needed to do was push myself a little faster every practice since I was just starting back. Most of the runners were running a race on Saturday so it was more a shake out pace run. I am still trying to figure out how fast to run. Quite frankly, I didn't feel like running all that fast but found someone to run with. Ended up averaging 9:25 miles so thank you Margo for running with me and keeping me honest in my efforts!

Wednesday - Swam 1600 meters.

Thursday - 3 miles easy on the Monon. Plus, had the best massage of my life that morning. I think Craig rubbed out my calves with hot rocks or something...

Friday - 6 miles at marathon pace on the Monon

Didn't know how this was going to go. I wasn't even sure what my "marathon pace" should be. All I can say is - Thank You Jesus for muscle memory!! Plus, I think I'm mentally tougher and more confident in my ability than I was two years ago when I crashed and burned two miles into this same run.

Saturday - 13 miles

Week 1 Total Miles: 31 Miles

1 comment:

  1. Great week 1. So glad you're back at it and that you and Margo hit it off. You guys will be really good for one another.

    I used to put pennies on the tracks from Canterbury Park! Such fun memories on that stretch of the trail!