Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 9: 7 mile "long" run

Still a bit sore from Sunday's Quad Cities Half Marathon, I lopped today's long run in half and took off east on State Hwy 136 and then south on County Hwy Z24 before heading back at the "old county home" turnaround.

A lonely old barn at the "old county home." The property was closed
 a couple of years ago and now sits empty, time passing it by.

The photo doesn't show it, but there's a tractor parked inside
 this old corn crib at the now defunct county home. 

 I'm always impressed with houses and yards kept so keenly attended.

 A view westward as the gloom and fog from the earlier hours begins to burn off.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 8: The old familiar flatty

For today's Long Run, I was looking to just keep it simple and jumped back onto Highway 136 for an out-and-back jaunt west through Delmar, Iowa. Here's some highlights...

Due north during Mile 3 around 9:45 a.m. CST. Really, does it get any more beautiful?
It strikes me how very lucky I am to live in this gorgeous place...

A couple more miles down the road to the south... 

 Experienced probably the sweetest thing ever on a Long Run: during Mile 9,
I felt something cold and wet touch my left calf. I ignored it thinking it was a bug,
but then I thought, "What bug is cold and wet?!" So I looked over my shoulder.
There trotted a friendly black dog! I jumped, screamed and then started laughing.
She'd given my leg a little lick. After cowering from my initial reaction, we chilled
and she rolled over for a belly rub, which I totally obliged.

 This is her bidding me adieu and staying, like a good girl...

 I hate to end on a sad note, but during Mile 14, this little one was fluttering around
on the shoulder. She couldn't take flight. I stayed my distance and used the zoom
on my phone so as to not cause her any more fright...

Weeks 3-7: The beginning of the views

Shots from Wednesday's 14th of September out-and-back 18 miler along Highway 136 in Iowa's Clinton County...

A pack of curious cows check out my moooooves during Mile 6.

Only 12 more miles to go, why the long face? tap! tap! tap! Is this thing on? ;) 

Hay there! 

Near the turn-around, a patch of gorgeous fall flowers along a cornfield....
 This garden has always cracked me up because it's the only thing there--
just a garden and a cornfield!
Whoever's responsible is quite the angel...thank you!

Ran my 7th of September 12 mile Long Run along and over the Might Mississippi in Clinton, Iowa, and Fulton, Illinois...

I stopped during Mile 9 to pet a kitty, didn't take her picture (bummer)
and then to snap this shot--it's the bike path along the Mississippi River in
Fulton where you can see their stellar wind mill.
 That bridge? Super fun to run over!

During my 31st of August 17 mile Long Run, I returned to my beloved Highway 136 and ran to Delmar, Iowa, and then south on Y60 for a couple of miles before heading back...

I struggled with heat in the 80s as well as a ticking clock, I wanted to get reach
home before my kids got off the bus. At 11.5 miles I started noticing a "moan"
over my headphones. I turned off the tunes and realized I was in a mooing crossfire! 
Initially I thought this bovine was stuck in the fence so I climbed into the ditch
and up the bank. He was just sticking his nose thru the fence. It was hilarious!
But then I noticed more "moaning" behind me and saw this handsome beast!   
 Turns out the first one was bellowing away, kicking up dirt and being all foamy
about the mouth at this one in yonder pasture on the other side of the road.
It wasn't until that night when I was telling my husband about it that I learned
this behavior was an example of why there's only 1 "bull" in a pasture.
These weren't doe-eyed cows, they were fully loaded BULLS! Yikes!

From my 4th of August 12.5 mile Long Run in Rochester, Minnesota...

Rochester's trail system is uber fantastic so an evening run along Silver Lake didn't suck!

A whole gaggle of Canadians head to the water around 6:30 p.m.
This was an area where Silver Lake met with the Zumbro River. Very cool!