A love letter to the Monon Trail

We’ve been having a rough winter here in Indy. More rough than normal. Stupid cold, feels like -40 degrees rough. So this past Saturday when the sun came out of hiding and the temperature climbed up to 53 degrees, people went a little crazy.

My first reaction was to run outside – literally. I’m training for the Carmel half marathon, my first time doing a big race in the spring. I don’t think I anticipated how hard it would be to start training during winter. I haven’t been nearly as consistent as my previous two halves because I don’t have the proper gear to run in sub-zero temps or on icy/snowy surfaces.

Excuses, I know, but that’s all the more reason why I couldn’t wait to get outside on Saturday. On my run, I saw a ton of people walking, running and biking down the Monon Trail. The city felt alive again and it was invigorating.


I was struck by how excited I was to be on the Monon again. It felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend I hadn’t seen in forever. With each step, the familiarity and comfort of the trail was solidified and soon it was like no time had passed. Like any good friendship, no words needed to be said. No apologies for time spent away. No awkward small talk as we try to figure out how to be around each other again. Just one foot in front of the other, pounding pavement, like we do best.

The Monon is almost like a living, breathing entity. It’s there for your triumphs, for your setbacks and for the occasional pub roll. There’s a sense of community and shared purpose when you pass people on the trail, whether they are in training mode or just going for a stroll. And I know I’m not the only one to lovingly refer to it as a friend. In fact, my buddy Josh even has a tattoo of the Monon on his wrist.

As the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. I suppose I have this ridiculous winter to thank for making me truly appreciate everything the Monon is and has to offer. Once we can finally shake Old Man Winter, I will waste no time taking full advantage of the Monon every chance I get!

Do you think of the Monon as a friend? How are you dealing with the separation anxiety this winter has caused? Share your Monon stories in the comments below!


12 thoughts on “A love letter to the Monon Trail

    • The Monon is great! It can be a little frustrating for bikers when you get to the crowded parts (Broad Ripple, parts of Carmel) and because you have to stop at every road that crosses the Monon. But I’ve loved the few rides I’ve done. Hoping to bike to work once a week (Mass Ave to the Monon to Carmel) when it gets warmer!

  1. The weather was amazing on Saturday! I live in Cincinnati and we have the Little Miami Trail which is also great. Normally I get out on it a few times in the winter, but not this year. I’m hoping we are very close to turning the corner to better weather!

    • I don’t have treadmill access either so that’s been tough. I did find a place close to work where you can run inside on a lap track for free. That’s helped but really I just need to suck it up, throw on an extra layer and get out there. I’ve got to start upping my mileage and I can’t imagine doing more than 3 – 4 on the lap track.

      I’ll have to remember the Little Miami Trail if I’m ever in Cinci!

  2. Good article Melanie (saw @TheMonon retweeted it), I live just off the Monon by 146th Street and will be using it a lot after we get rid of this weather. I’m not training for anything now so I’ve just been too lazy to get out in the cold!

    Good luck training

    • David (Roy)!! Blast from the past! So glad you stumbled upon my blog. Hope everything is going well. I live downtown near Mass Ave so we probably won’t cross paths on The Monon too much lol. I do want to bike the whole thing in one day at some point.

  3. Pingback: Training update: Carmel half and Crossfit Open | Melanie Woods

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