On Saturday I was able to finish 2 seasons. In the morning I ran my final race of the summer season, and by 9 o’clock that night I had harvested the last bushel of corn from the field. Both gave me a great sense of accomplishment, and I was able to sleep well that night.

After the deluge of rain on September 22 and 23, I could not have imagined that we would have been able to travel across fields with combines and tractors 6 days later, but we did. For the most part, we didn’t find a lot of mud, and where we did, we let the ground dry out some more before we tried again. Because of the sunny, warm and dry weather that followed the rain, the crops were very dry, and harvest went very quickly. We were able to harvest every day after September 28th.

While it seemed like every spare moment was spent in the field, I did take time to watch cross country races in Spring Valley, Duluth, Waseca and Freeborn. I also got a few training runs in, since I had targeted the Big Woods Half Marathon as a goal race for summer training. I need to emphasize the word few, because weekly mileage plummeted to 15-25 miles over those 3 weeks, and I did what I could to make them quality miles.

The Big Woods Run is held near Nerstrand and about 2/3 is run on trails inside the State Park. I had last run the course about 20 years ago when it was held in conjunction with the town’s Bologna Days celebration. I really enjoyed the race then, and Saturday’s race is another fond memory. With the temperature around 50 degrees and a nice clear sky, I knew weather wouldn’t hold me back. My main concern was the lack of confidence building workouts during harvest, compounded with the amount of sitting I had done while operating the combine or tractors. Once we got into the woods, the pack had thinned out. I saw 2 people trip and roll, and I stumbled a couple times on the uneven, leaf-covered surface. While the course is described as being somewhat hilly, a better description is that it crosses a ravine about 4 times. It is a little tricky running down the steep slope, and going up will ruin your pace. However I kept a steady effort and recovered quickly at the top of the hills.

The best feeling I have from the race is that only 1 person passed me during the entire 13.1 miles, and I got him back within a mile. The last mile was a steady uphill and I passed another runner about .2 from the finish.

After that race I was pumped to register for the Boston Marathon, which I had qualified for at Grandma’s. I filled out the registration form twice and it bounced both times because of server overload. I decided to work while it was light out and work on the application later that night. I found out that the field was filled (24,000+ runners) within 8 hours and now am in search of a good spring race to focus on.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. ~Abraham Lincoln