Sunday, October 6, 2019

so many trails, so little time

I ran down toward the waterfront trail, the flashlight app on my phone lighting up the dark street. I would rather run in daylight, but I had to be at the office early, and I were going to work a thirteen hour day with no chance to get outside. So dark it was, although I saw hints of the future sunrise.

Because I was staying at a hotel without a gym, and because there was no time to go to a gym, I was going to have to run a lot while I was traveling. Which was fine because Duluth happens to have hundreds of miles of trails. You can take your pick, and I did; the waterfront, the flat gravel trail behind the zoo, the Superior hiking trail, a series of biking trails, and even a hawk reserve.

One of the many trails near the Hawk Reserve.
The sun began to rise as I ran back toward the hotel. Two older guys were parked in lawn chairs below the campground. "We're just watching traffic," they announced. "Am I winning?" I hollered back.

"Keep going, kiddo!" they yelled.

Back in the day, before knee surgery, before I fell on a trail run and things seemed to hurt more after, I used to run six days a week. I think it's healthier to cross train, but I miss the feeling that running gives me. There's nothing else that compares, except perhaps cross-country skiing. Still, I'm glad I CAN run, even if it's slow, even if stuff hurts, even if people pass me.

The time and pace I run now would have horrified me, but I don't care. There comes a time when you're just grateful you can still do it. That doesn't mean I don't push it sometimes, but I also try to take it all in while I'm out there.

There was also hiking to be done!
I drove over to Michigan where my parents live, and we hiked on the North Country Trail. Here is a cute shelter for hikers.

The locals call this Top of the World and it sure seems like it. That's Lake Superior in the distance.

While marathons and a 6 minute pace might be behind me, whether by age or desire or a combination of both (I mean, I don't really want to hit up the track anymore), I just keep on trucking. This past week was a good opportunity to revisit the every day running. I didn't experience any ill effects, but I think I'll continue to cross train, just because it makes me feel better to challenge myself in different ways. When I ran all the time, I was really, really good at one thing--running.

I'm home  now, where an early snow has basically closed off all the running trails. I'm sad about that, but it means one thing--skiing!


  1. Geez up north is already changing. It will be done by the time I get back from China on the 18th

    1. I thought the colors were not at full peak yet. So you may still be able to see pretty good leaves.

  2. I spent most of the past two months mainly engaged in long and steep hiking. As I work my way back into trail running and biking, it's been unpleasant to realize how much ground I've lost since August. Especially in biking ... apparently there are a number of leg muscles that one uses at a much higher level in the saddle than marching up mountains.

    But I've also observed that engaging equally in several types of movement means I always feel a bit undertrained at any one of them. It was fun to feel so relaxed and move so freely on reasonably tough hikes. Single-minded focus can have its benefits.

    1. That's probably correct, I never feel like I'm that great at most of my sports, but I spent 20 years just...running. so I'm wanting to branch out more.

  3. I love how you always manage to fit in hiking and running wherever you travel.

    1. I am obsessive! Part of it is that my work travel involves much sitting

  4. For once I am not envious of your autumn colours!


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