Fall has to be the best time of year. Crisp weather, honeycrisp apples... Ok, ok, I'm a broken record on all that.
But now the nice part of fall is over. It's cold, dreary, cold, dark early, cold, brown, and cold. The leaves are gone or ugly and apples are beginning to be in short supply. With snow in the forecast for Sunday, it's time to clang the gong for fall.
However, this past weekend I had the most fantastic wrapup to my fall. I hit 3 parks (state, regional and county), and spent pretty much the whole weekend enjoying the fall colors in the 50 and 60 degree weather. Can't ask for much more!
Saturday I ran the Nerstrand Big Woods Race near Faribault. It's a half marathon and the course is on very hilly trails. It was a lot of fun and the course was beautiful with the leaves covering the ground (which made running somewhat treacherous). I headed down with Mike and Chris. Mike placed 2nd overall, Chris placed 2nd in his age group (9th overall) and I placed 4th overall. MDRA is becoming quite the force! For his efforts, Mike won free meat. Who could ask for more than that? I ran the half in 1:23:40ish, about 1.5 minutes behind the winner. It's weird running a race almost completely by yourself. But this is the kind of race where I enjoy doing that, where the terrain changes and it's scenic.
The photo below shows Mike and Chris at the start of the race, which is at a little church with a spooky cemetery. (Misty Mike earns his name).
Later Saturday I raked some leaves. OK, a lot of leaves. 12 bags! I like raking, but I HATE bagging. Especially by yourself. I need to get a big vacuum cleaner or something.
Then on Sunday, after a nice run with the guys through Lebanon Hills in Eagan, I went for a nice hike with some friends at Hyland Hills. As often as I've run, biked and skied there, I had never just hiked! We walked all around looking at the prairies and the leaves. My friends had never been there before so it was neat to see the look on their faces when they saw this hidden jewel of a park for the first time!
I love fall...I miss fall...