You and Nature

One time I had a friend tell me that driving an ATV through the woods was great because it was just “you and nature.” And, you know, a blaring motor that doesn’t allow you to hear anything else.

Running (or biking) through trails, forests, beaches, or whatever gets you much closer to nature. And I definitely enjoy that. Being from the upper Midwest, I like hitting the trails and running around the woods with lots of trees. Obviously, I don’t that a whole lot in Iowa, which has led me to seek out some trails. Anyway, there is something neat about running through the woods knowing that you could very realistically be the only one out there. Sure that can be a bit scary, especially if you’re in the mountains (for example).

There are a handful of races, mostly at the Half or longer distance, considered to be beautiful races. If you were to search this on the Internet, you would likely see the Mount Desert Island Marathon, Big Sur, and Avenue of the Giants pop up fairly consistently. If you know any ultra runners, they likely have races that put them in even more remote and beautiful places, just by virtue of running a 50+ mile race through the woods.

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You can even find some gorgeous single track in the middle of Iowa

I would go so far as to say that almost every runner who has a trail, or trails, that they can run on constantly has a favorite place they would run every day and never get tired of. It could be White Ranch in Colorado, it could be a gravel road in rural Iowa, it could be an urban trail in the middle of a city. For me, it’s the Glen Park trails up in River Falls. What’s your favorite place to run where you really feel like it’s just “you and nature?”

Run: Yesterday it was windy and warm, and with some tired legs my motivation to run was low. Fortunately, I was able to hunt down someone to run an easy 5 with. Of course, when you have two runners who can run at a fast clip, “easy” is thrown out the window. After somehow carrying on a conversation for the first 3 miles, plugging away at a 6:46, we slowed up just a bit. Still dropping a sub 7 wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but what can you do. Tonight I’ll be opting for a bit of a different workout. It should combine speed and stairs. Hopefully. I’ll have the report tomorrow.

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