Running Before the Storm

“Running Before The Storm” artwork at www.mfa.org
Spring Hill City View Neighborhood of Pittsburgh

It was early. It was raining. It was forty degrees. This would be the best weather we would have for a week. I HAD to get out there and run! My office was close by and if I got done early enough, I was hoping I could sneak in and change into my office clothes without too many people noticing.

“Running before the storm” is ingrained in my mind as a wild time before a major storm comes bearing down on you. Perhaps it is from all those nautical adventures I read as a kid. But that expectation of something calamitous coming crackles with energy. Starting near my building on the Northshore, I knew I wanted to ascend into the labyrinthine Spring Garden hills to get some elevation. I wasn’t EXACTLY sure the best way to do it, so I zipped up into the Northside grid, with its flat streets and alleys in a regular pattern. My goal was to hit Tripoli Street which crosses I-279. The rain was beginning to come down hard. I passed one woman with a purple raincoat and umbrella walking her reluctant chocolate lab and a couple of dudes with baggy jeans and flannel shirts waiting for the bus.
Tripoli Street is flat and took me high over I-279, already filling with headlights coming into Pittsburgh. I made a left onto Chestnut Street and started up the hill. OMG! What a hill!

The blue dot is on Tripoli as it finishes crossing I-279. That sharp left is Chestnut. The mountain of elevation is going toward High Street.

I continued up and up, my theme. It was pouring at this point and mini Mononagahelas ran down every street. I made sure the dead-end sign on Leister Street was correct, backtracked and ran up Hunnel. The neighborhood is varied with some nice houses, decent yards, and vertigo inducing hills. Below is a picture of Hunnel Street in more pleasant weather.

Wooden stairs on the side of Hunnell Street with green trees and white houses on the very steep street.
Hunnell Street Wooden Stairs in the Spring

Up and up I ran. Woessner Street was cute. It did NOT have a dead-end sign on it and I felt like a roller coaster approaching the big drop. (That’s the middle peak on the elevation chart.) It ended in a circular asphalt pad at the top. No actual street intersected it, just narrow Wessel Way alley. Down the alley I went, saying “Hi!” to another hardy soul walking her dog in the rain. I began to plot my way back; Rhine Street, Mathias Street, Lappe Lane (below the cemetery), Buente Street, Overbeck Street and finally down Solar to catch a way across 279. I crossed it on Guerst Way, which is a pedestrian bridge. Back in familiar territory again, I resisted the urge to run up Rising Main and got to my office early enough to change. I basked in the warmth of the office and the run as the rain changed to snow and the storm blew in.


Run All The Streets 0017: (that’s right, 17)

footnote

If you regularly follow this blog, you may have noticed that I skipped a few runs. I went from “Run All The Streets 0014” to “Run All The Streets 0017”. Don’t worry, I will be sharing those runs and the remainder of my January 2019 runs in summary blog post. While there’s usually something notable on every run, I run more than I blog, so instead of letting them pile up for posterity, I’ll just do a catch up blog every now and then. Thanks for reading.

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