Before we were runners, we three sometimes came to the park just to see these beautiful thistles in bloom. We didn't know then that they are judged "noxious weeds" by the state of Minnesota. But they are, and a public park is obligated to remove them, so there are not many to be found in the park any more. The photo shows a lovely stand of them along Hwy 61 near Beam Ave in Maplewood, far from the park.
My good friend Jim and I ran (and walked) 6.33 miles on the grass trails this morning. I tried to run without walking, but within a mile or two was breathing too hard and had to switch to a run/walk of 40/20. Even that was hard to maintain - perhaps because this was my fourth day in a row running at least five miles. I found myself leaning to the left, too, which sometimes happens when I'm tired. I did that in the Honolulu Marathon, actually, except then I was leaning to the right as I recall. Not enough core strength - I know how to fix that but just don't take the time to do the work.
6.33 miles in 1:08:46, for a pace of 10:52, which is actually great considering I stopped once for a natural break and once more to take a photo. I always run a little faster when I'm with Jim, because he lopes along so easily, and I usually end up a little more tired, too. Certainly I did today - that's a good thing. The trails are mostly clear of trees now, and the wet spots are getting a little better.