Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving in East Dakota

1/4 mile driveway at the in-laws.
So I spent Thanksgiving with the in-laws. Actually we arrived Wednesday afternoon and stayed until Saturday. They live in  west central Minnesota, near the little bump on the western edge of the state.  I affectionately call it East Dakota. To say that they live in the middle of nowhere is an understatement, but that is not really fair because most of the people that live in this area love it and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Of course most of those people can't imagine living in the Twin Cities area where my family and I live.
So here are some pics to give you an idea of what  this part of the world looks like. The top pic is from the end of the driveway looking back towards the house. As you can see, it's quite a
The view south from the end of the driveway
ways and according to my garmin its approximately a 1/4 mile long. The last two pics show the 2 options a person has when leaving, north or south.  Of course what you can't see is the wind.  It is almost always windy and blows from either the west or northwest. So if you are planing on taking a run or a bike ride, you will almost always have a crosswind which is really annoying and mentally exhausting. On top of that, the lack of scenery makes it hard to stay motivated. I did a few of my "long" runs while getting ready for the Chicago marathon and can tell you that those were some of my toughest runs. It's difficult when you can know that you have to run 18 miles and get to the 9th mile and have to turn around, because once you turn

The view north from the end of the driveway
around, you can see almost all the way back to where you started. Actually you can't see quite that far, but from the pics you can see that you can see a long ways. It's almost worse while biking out in this area because you can't (or at least shouldn't) where headphones. Not to mentions the looks that passing cars, tractors, and anyone else that sees you gives. Some people look at you like your not wearing pants and can't understand why a person would want to run anywhere at any time. They will be the first to tell you the only kind of runs they like to do are beers runs.
The food was excellent as always and the kids love to play with their cousins. After a quick tractor ride for my 4 year old on Saturday, we hit the rode for home and made great time as we beat the holiday traffic. Now we are setting up and decorating the christmas tree.
On another note, now is time to set your schedule for next years races as you usually get a good size discount if you sign up in the month of December. I've got a couple in mind, but no serious commitments just yet. More of that to come. A big decision may be made in the next few weeks.

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