Running the Bloomingdale Trail

There's a lot of buzz around Wicker Park about the Bloomingdale Trail and the city's plans to develop it into a Highline-type public outdoor space. I heard from a girl in my Tuesday running group that it's pretty easy to get up there, so I set out on Saturday looking for a way up.

Found it! (This is Leavitt at Milwaukee.)

Found it! (This is Leavitt at Milwaukee.)

I had Tilly with me and planned to run for at least an hour, but I had to be back home by 9am so I could go get brunch with our friend who was visiting from home and staying with us.

I've been slowly easing back into running again after Wisconsin. When I feel like running, I go running. If I don't want to, I don't. I am surprised that the thing that I procrastinated the most during training (slow, longish runs) is now the thing I want to do the most.

Anyway, once I got to the trail I poked around and didn't see an obvious entrance until I turned a corner and saw a big hole in the fence. Then it was easy to get up. I hadn't planned beyond this point so I just picked a direction and headed east to Highway 90 (or whatever people call it!), turned around, then ran all the way west to the place where the tracks split before turning around again. These seemed like natural end points/places to turn around, and when I looked at the map later I saw that I had run exactly the length of the trail. Technically, I think you might be able to go beyond these points but on the west end of the trail I saw not-abandoned cars parked outside a building that was on the trail, and decided to turn back before anyone saw me. On the east end of the trail there were some homeless people sleeping and I didn't want to disturb anyone.

If you're into abandoned stuff and urban decay, it's definitely worth checking out. The only caveat is that there are some really rocky patches up there and I noticed my feet felt very tender on the short run back to my house.

After brunch the guys wanted to see it, so we all walked back owe all went together to check it out.

Under the blue line.
Under the blue line.
A nosy person, I liked being able to look over people's fences while running.

A nosy person, I liked being able to look over people's fences while running.

Rocky patch.
Rocky patch.
A random well-like hole in the ground (there were a handful of big holes like this).
A random well-like hole in the ground (there were a handful of big holes like this).
Some train someone left here.
Some train someone left here.
You can't not climb it.

You can't not climb it.

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Here comes the sad part.

Because this was kind of an impromptu detour on the way home, I was still wearing my one & only pair of Tory Burch flats. The trail is dusty so my flats and feet were getting filthy, but they aren't the leather kind so I figured it was no big deal. Then we decided to come back home a different way -- a way that required that we go down a grassy incline and then jump off of a cement wall. When I hit the ground I felt a shooting pain in my left foot. It hurt so badly that I couldn't put any weight on it so I kind of dragged myself to the 72 bus on North at Humboldt. Over the course of the day the pain subsided and I was able to walk on it fine enough.

It wasn't until later that I realized 1) my shoes had ripped (!!!!), and 2) I have a big purple bruise on the bottom of my left foot.


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I didn't know what to google first: "ripped tory burch how to fix" or "can i run with bruise on ball of foot."

But now I will voice an unpopular opinion: I don't even like these shoes and only wore them because some fashion blog said they were good "professional flats." I refuse to wear heels to work, so do you have recommendations for replacement "professional flats?"

Have you run on the Bloomingdale Trail before?