Keeping up my grand exercise plan: run one race a week and play soccer on Sundays. Seems to be working okay:-> IT band is behaving - somewhat - and my running times aren't too far off from previous years.
Last night was the Hawk Ridge run. The race starts at the "top" of Seven Bridges Road in east Duluth, and climbs from there, going past the Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve (sight of a large birding festival in September), turning onto one trail and then another as we head back to the start on the Amity Creek trail. The first mile or so has some pretty significant grades. There are a few crests along the way where you can catch your breath before the next uphill. Once you reach the observation area at the nature reserve you have hit the high point of the race and it is downhill for a bit before the turn onto the trail, a slight uphill and then it is downhill to the finish. Hard to tell you are running downhill on the Amity Creek Trail - but you are.
Fall colors are at their peak in Duluth right now and it was a beautiful run. Temps in the upper 50's to low 60's - even with the sun going down. I think I even got bitten by mosquitoes while helping out at the end!
I felt like I ran pretty well overall and tried to push it a bit near the end. The Amity Creek Trail is a bit of an ankle twister in spots and with the leaves down it was tough to see the rocks at times. All the recent rain led to a few mud puddles and I hear the finish of the race was a bit slick for some folks. This was the last Wednesday night run - from here on out they switch to Sundays. And last night you could see why - as we hiked back up to where the car was parked it was growing dark.
This is the time of year when it is tempting to play hooky. As I was driving across the bridge from Superior to Duluth yesterday (work meeting at our other site) I had to fight the urge to call in sick for the rest of the day and go play in the woods. Looking at the hillside ablaze in color.... it was a miracle I made it back indoors. Makes me miss the years of being home with the kids and able to drop everything and go out in to the woods when days like this presented themselves.
Enjoy what beautiful days we have left - rumor has it we may have snow soon.
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