Groovy Girls run routes that we will never run again…

When the best run and the worst run collide, you knows there’s going to be a great story!

This was just that running perfect storm that most literally happened while in the eye of a Winter Snow and Rain Storm that when through, left 10″ of snow across the Metro Detroit area and puddles just as deep of wintery icy water.  At one point I shouted out to Matt that I wished the puddles were up to my waists because the need for an ice bath after would already be satisfied and there was no way around them.

A friends instagram photo to show the weather on that night...since there are clearly no photos from that run!

A friends instagram photo to show the weather on that night…since there are clearly no photos from that run!

As I tell the story again on our Saturday’s long run I realize “it’s” the reason why Katherine and I started GroovyGirls!  We take roads less traveled, make the most, bring along friends, and most importantly find a way to smile through it all!

Tuesday, inevitably, was seemingly destined to be a disappointment.  The winter storm was rolling in.  At the point when we finally called off our first GroovyGirlsGo outing I was bummed and then desperate to unload all the sandwiches and veggies that wouldn’t survive until our rescheduled date.  I hadn’t ran in the morning and the treadmill was looming as I packed up Montana from school and headed home with a mound of papers to correct on the, more than likely, snow day we’d be having!

As I pulled into the garage I was still himming and hawing about wether to still drive downtown for Detroit Runners and Walkers run club when Tana unbuckled herself, stepped out of the car, looked up at the sky, blinked away the ice pellets that forced her to squint and said, “it’s not so bad mama.”  Out of the mouths of babes as they say…..
And so I changed quickly, sent a text to Matt: “you in?” And started driving.
(I was certain Matt would show up as he and I were the only two during one other run club night snow storm…..and indeed he was.)

I thought after an hour in the car that my trip may have been in vain as conditions kept me from arriving on time; but alas, the three boys waited for me and as soon as I got out of the car we were running.  I don’t think anyone wanted to wait around for too many words to be unspoken because we may have all backed out.

Lusire said less than a half mile into the run, “come hell or high water, we’re going to run and Matt’s running through the highest of water!”  And sure enough he was.  Marcus tells that when he and Lusire were running part of the course that Matt and I had already run, that they could see two tracks in the snow… that went right through the puddles and “Kacey’s” that teetered around…..they followed me;)  ( I don’t get that too often!)

And so the run continued….the entire run was one big, “whose idea for a route was this?”  And yet we continued.   Very unlike me, I did run with a map in my pocket and when Matt’s map finally desintegrated he was happy to have the surprise!  We also had a great help that was the only other human out in this weather the entire route.  She put it out there that we were nuts, then re-routed us from what we were going to do which was wrong, and as we ran away, wished us luck and bid us safe travels warning us not to slip.  Kindness in the least likely of places, may be the real message in this story.

Route map

Route map

I was fascinated by the whole run.  I remember telling Matt that this route is exactly what people think we run in, and what they think Detroit really is, and its just this lonely section, nothing like the life and beauty of the RiverWalk, Midtown, the Newly sprung up city gardens, or up and down Woodward.
And so we literally trudge on.  The route only got worse as one section crossed some tracks and when I looked over there was this big, fancy, expensive car parked outside a brick two story building with boarded windows with faint lights peaking through……hmmmmmm, “Matt, what do you think that fancy car is doing outside this building?”   “Just keep running.”  Matt said firmly.  And I did.  Then I noticed, “Iron Coffins.” It seemed awfully strange, and not very environmentally friendly, that coffins would be made from Iron.  Matt already knew this too was a bicycle gang, with which now I am obsessed.  These people are the real deal.  Check out the website if you don’t believe me!
And as if someone had planted it, about a block up from the “gang” and two burnt out ashy buildings later, there was this beautiful historical marker proudly displaying and pointing “Manifest Destiny” to the left.  Well you don’t say………

At one point we ran to “a dead end.”  I couldn’t believe the irony of this.  I think not only was this a dead end, but it seemed in life that this place represented a dead end as well.  How ironic that I would be doing the event in my life that makes me feel the most alive, yet be passing by a house, where it seemed as if time stood still, as I took note of a girl on the second floor of a boarded up house.  She was looking out on the falling snow as it came down on her  “dead end street, ” boarded up with boards that literally were stamped to have been donated to the city of Detroit.  This girl’s home was boarded up out of kindness.  I dare you to stop and complain about anything after reading that.

So at this point Matt and I stare out at an open park….or should I say I stare out, Matt looks out through frosted glasses.  He wants to go through the laked up park, to seek out this “elusive Dix” road.  I, on the other hand, being a little less blind, noticed at least one of the roads on the map from a block up from where we had just come.  I want to go back.  Matt says park, I say road ~ park, road, park, road……logic finally permeates Matt’s headband and he listens to reason.  We run back to the road and at each corner we’re willing it to be Dix.

We at least no longer have to run with our hands shielding our face.  The ice pellet barrage has subsided and its mostly the ice under the snow we have to stay dialed in to.  Luckily, neither of us take any crashes.  A bit surprising since Matt blindly splashed through just about every knee high, stinky puddle in the South-West Detroit area.  When we finally got back, Marcus and Lusire first spotted us running in on the security cameras.  Well, those things got put to good use this night, because since they could see us on film, the boys didn’t have to wait outside for our arrival.  Quite frankly, a perk on a night like this.

Celebrating with Margaritas!

Celebrating with Margaritas!

Inside, once I wrung out my clothes, moved my car to the line of site of the security camera, and changed, the boys and I enjoyed some celebratory tamales (that you don’t eat in the husk) and margaritas on ice (that may have been gotten from off of us).  We lived to laugh, and laugh loudly we did about this “not very sexy” run.  I really have some of the best people in my life.  I mean really, who waits an hour to talk a girl through the Southwest part of Detroit, to run in the worst weather we’d had all winter, on a route that shouldn’t be done…..ever?  Yet they did.  And truth be told.  I never felt scared the entire run.  It was too crappy for anything but a great run!


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