I’ve been coming to MN with Kris now for about 17 summers (whoah!). We generally spend some time up at her parent’s cabin, and then some time in the Twin Cities area. The best running spot I’d been able to find thus far had been near her brother John’s house, running around a group of lakes in Minneapolis. Trouble is, in recent years we’ve stayed primarily outside the cities, in the Woodbury/Cottage Grove area. Running there has been primarily on suburban streets, or along two lane county roads. Not bad, but also not exciting.
Yesterday, I ran up to the intersection of County Road 19, and 91st, and then noticed a paved trail winding over the hills across the street. I followed it for a while and found it was pretty nice. I ended up doing about 5 1/2 miles at half marathon race pace (45 minutes), and felt good. The trail winds down through a ravine, eventually coming out to State Highway 61. Today I ran all the way to a lake at the other end of the park, and circled back via dirt trails, for an easy 7 miler (64 minutes). They’re well-marked, and pretty well kept. The terrain is not what I’m used to, with lots of tall grass, some rolling hills, and lots of direct sun. But I found myself drifting into that blissful state of not wanting to stop.
Have to remember this one – I could probably extend this to a longer (15-20 mile) run if I wanted to.