Fill up the tank

“Why don’t you fill up the tank we’ll go for a ride…” – Soul Asylum’s “Black Gold”

Not much beats a morning drive through the forest and hills of northern Minnesota, zipping through shadows cast by tall pines beneath a clear blue sky.

Tuning in my iPod, I sang along with several songs from early days as my mind drifted between long-ago memories and the present. Soon enough I topped Duluth hills and saw the expanse of Lake Superior in front of me, just minutes from the hotel. I’ve been blessed and lucky to land a spot in one of Canal Park’s hotels for the third year, including the same room as last.

As I drove from Fargo to Walker yesterday, I took an alternative route to visit my mom’s gravesite between rain showers. It’s always a calming, peaceful place to visit. My meandering on back country roads took me through Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, where I spotted a huge eagle perched upon a tree. Stopping the vehicle, I snapped a few pictures and admired it using some binoculars, and soon after resuming spotted 3 deer. The refuge is such a gorgeous place, full of trails to run someday.

Along the way, I realized this may be the last pilgrimage to Duluth for a while. It’s too early to be certain, but my marathon journey may take me to Provo, Utah, next June for the Utah Valley Marathon. At least that’s the idea rattling around in my mind.

Soon I’ll head over to the Grandma’s Marathon expo to pick up my race packet and visit some friends before relaxing my day away, which will include some laps in the pool and time in the hot tub. I love coming to Duluth and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend, whatever surprises it brings. With a brief workout this morning, I’ve started to fill my tank with carbs and enter my pre-race routine.

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