Bouncing Back

After nearly 400 miles by car and 4 hours of meetings, I rolled into Duluth for the evening — and I was ready to move.

Once I checked into the hotel, there was no time wasted throwing on my running shoes. It was time to move.

Slipping out the hotel’s side door and onto a gravel path, I found myself on the boardwalk. My lungs filled with the intoxicating mix of crisp, misty air with a view of Lake Superior stretching into the horizon. Pace didn’t matter, but my steps felt light and smooth.

A few people were out along the boardwalk and I covered ground quickly to reach the lift bridge. In all my trips to Duluth, I couldn’t recall having crossed over to the other side. The time had come.

Once over the bridge, it felt I was in another place and memories flashed back to a trip 6 years ago to Oregon. And I imagined this is what Maine or some other northeastern state was like — where boating and life revolved around the water. The mood was intoxicating as I bounced down the side of the road into Park Point. Thoughts turned to the upcoming Grandma’s Marathon, one of my favorite races and a course I tend to run well.

Bouncing back in the days after a marathon can be a bit tricky, and I decided not to push my luck. After a few miles, it was time to turn around and find something to eat. Appropriately, the choice later was fish and chips. The next day I left Duluth feeling the same way I always seem to leave the city — rejuvenated and optimistic.

The Fargo Marathon had left me with skin rubbed raw on the inside of my leg, a painful nuisance that hadn’t been noticed until moments after crossing the finish line. Other than that momento, Saturday’s marathon left me pretty much unscathed — and itching to run. There’s still work to be done — still time to tweak training and make improvements before Grandma’s, now just over 3 weeks away.

When the work day closed on Monday, I headed out for a short 3-miler, followed up by Tuesday’s run in Duluth. By Thursday evening, after a day of work back in the office, I still felt the post-race bounce and headed out after hours for 8 miles and a few repetitions over the 12th Avenue North bridge.