One of my favorite aspects of summer are the extra opportunities to run in places I’d like never go in the winter. The past several weeks have given me a chance to hit trails in the region, and head out on gravel roads for long runs.
A few weeks back, a friend invited me over to Turtle River State Park, a short drive west of Grand Forks, for a late afternoon run. It came after a tough double on Wild Hog Wednesday, which included nearly 5 miles at tempo, so my first venture back to the park in 3 years would be a slow jog.
It turns out that two of the local cross country teams also were there for a workout. I followed one large group out on the trails — and I marveled at the sights and sounds. For a few miles, I reimagined myself back on the trails in Portland, Ore.
And then I had a chance to caravan to Maplewood State Park, near Pelican Rapids, Minn., for a long trail run. Again, it’s been a few years since I’ve been to the park, but it proved to be great company and a challenging workout. If you’ve never run Maplewood, it’s definitely worth the drive — this video shows some of the spectacular views from the hilly terrain through trees and prairie grasses.
With a few days off late last week, I opted for a long run on Friday to clear my weekend schedule. This time, I found myself on familiar ground, running the gravel roads that became my weekend tradition during last year’s training for the New York City Marathon.
Then, on Saturday and Sunday, I hit the pavement as I continue my training for the St. George (Utah) Marathon, now less than 10 weeks away. The sizzling heat and thick humidity have added an extra layer to my training this summer, but my mileage remains consistent as I feel my fitness improving.
Since I was in Fargo over the weekend, a few of us watched the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels perform at the Fargo Airsho. We climbed on a buddy’s roof. Watch a video of the Blue Angels flying overhead.