Friday, July 01, 2005


I can’t tell you the last time I played golf – probably 2 years ago, maybe more. I like the sport, but just don’t have enough time (or money) to play very often. Maybe if I could go out and be happy with a 50-55 (for 9 holes) I’d play more often. However, I know if I played more often, I’d want to improve dramatically. It’s like I can’t do anything for fun, it always has to be competitive.

Anyway, a couple of my friends were meeting Friday afternoon for 18 holes. At first I said no. But then I realized no one was going to be in the office and it was going to be perfect weather, 75-80, sunny and low humidity. So I changed my mind and took the afternoon off. The course was in Menomonie, WI, which is about 1:15 from my house.

If this were a golf blog, I’d go into great detail about how think the rough was, how my slice (or is it a hook) was acting up, etc. But it’s a running blog and after finishing 9 holes (3 of which I actually kept score on) I went for a great run while my friends finished the back 9.

Menomonie (home of UW-Stout) is only about 20-25 miles from where I went to college. So I was well aware of the Red Cedar State Trail – a crushed limestone trail that runs along a river. It was nicely shaded, plus had mile markers posted. Since it took about 2:15 to play the front 9, I figured I could run for up to 1:45 before having to shower and meet my friends for dinner.

I started out fairly easy, then gradually picked up the pace. I’m not used to having mile markers and I decided to take my splits. The first couple were just under 8:00, then they dropped to around 7:45 until I reached the turn around at mile 6. My pace dropped to 7:30 and then 7:20 before having to go to the bathroom. After that, I couldn’t get going again and just maintained 7:45s the rest of the way. The weather reminded me a lot of Grandma’s; not a cloud in the sky, not sticky, a nice breeze every now and then.

This was, by far, the best my legs have felt since Grandma’s. No, I’m not tempted to jump into a 4th of July race, but it is reassuring to have a little spring in my step once again.

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