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Monday, August 16, 2010

Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger...

On Saturday, I ran my first Gopher to Badger Half Marathon (so called because it starts in Minnesota and finishes in Wisconsin; friendly rivalry and all that). It was a pretty brutal run, unfortunately--hot, humid, and hilly, with a 70°/94% humidity start at 8:00 and a finish nearly 10° warmer and almost as humid. Worse, the water stops were few, far between, and unprepared; at one, runners were dipping their own cups into open pitchers of water!

Still, I finished--10 minutes slower than my hoped-for time, completely exhausted, and a teensy bit sunburned, but glad to be done with another long run. The weekend before that, I ran my 15 by myself, around the lakes, with about as much water access (from fountains) as a girl could want. (It was also significantly cooler, since I started approximately an hour and a half earlier!) Next weekend, therefore, I'm forgoing the organized race (though there is one in town--the inaugural 13.1 series race, which looks like a Rock 'n' Roll knock-off) for a quiet tour of the lakes with my running buddy.

This is easily the best running city I've ever lived in. I love that from my place I can run through varied residential and commercial territory to Lake of the Isles, around it and Lake Calhoun, around Lake Harriet, and back, along the Greenway, for a perfect 13 miles. For longer or shorter distances, I can just add or subtract a lake, or spend a bit more time on the Greenway. There are even fountains and restrooms conveniently located around the lakes. And if I feel like mixing it up, there are also always the trails along either side of the Mississippi.

Granted, there's generally snow on the ground 6-7 months out of the year here... but they do plow the trails!


Carissa J said...

I'm totally jealous of your running city. :)

I did a 13.1 race and, aside from the warm and fuzzy feelings I have of it being my fastest half so far, I wasn't impressed with the organization and certainly not the entertainment, which was highly boasted.

CëRïSë said...

Carissa, it is pretty great; I feel like kind of a pansy complaining about the heat, compared to what you get in the south! And your review makes me feel even better about skipping 13.1--thanks!