>Running on the Plains

>One of the “finer” parts of traveling for work is that I get to do a lot of my runs on a hotel treadmill.  Joy.

Well, not today.  I found a really cool trail here that essentially circumnavigates Sioux Falls, SD.  It’s a completely paved trail, and appears to have little traffic on it.  So, this afternoon, I left work early enough to go for a 6-mile run on the trail.  The part of the trail that I ran on is adjacent to the airport and follows the Big Sioux River.  Perhaps because this part of the trail is so close to the airport (or perhaps not), the trail is pancake flat, and there are very few trees.

I’ve got to tell you…if you don’t have experience running in the midwest (is South Dakota considered the midwest?) or in parts of the country where it’s this flat and treeless, distances can be really deceiving.  For example, there was one part of the route I ran today that passed some sort of food-service factory.  I could clearly see it off in the distance, and thought to myself that it was maybe only 1/4 mile away.  Nope – it was closer to a mile away!!!  The whole lack of perspection was really disturbing.

I made the mistake of not bringing my iPod with me today.  I usually am a slave to my iPod when I run; I need good tunes to help me pass the time.  Without it today, I found myself bored.  My head was on a swivel, but as I already mentioned, there’s not a lot of landscape around here to look at.  How did I pass the time on my run?  For a while, I counted my steps.  I was bound and determined to figure out how many steps I’d take in a mile.  I got to 500 and stopped counting.  I listened to myself breathe.  I sang to myself (thank God that there weren’t more people on the trail).  Seemed like it took forever to finish the run.

All of this said, it was amazing to get outside and run versus spending the time on a treadmill.  The weather was amazing – it was about 79 degrees with very little humidity.  For a Florida guy, today was like a mid-winter’s run!  It was wonderful!

Tri Madness on the trail in Sioux Falls.  Notice the treeline in the background – it looks close, but it really isn’t.  Flat ground and few landmarks can be decieving!

4 thoughts on “>Running on the Plains

  1. >I know that trail well. There are some fantastic places to run in SD! As a fellow road warrior, it is nice to hear someone hates treadmills as much as I do.

  2. >Had to laugh at the 79 degeees!On Friday morning in Houston it was 88 degrees but the humidity was only like 10% and we had a north eastern breeze. We were all talking about how cold it was and it was 94 when the run was finished. so 79 degrees would probably be long sleeve and pants weather for me right now … LOL!Hope all the travel isn't wearing you down!

  3. >I know that feeling all too well having grown up in Kansas. But you know what sometimes the lack of scenary can be good! Love the pic!

  4. >I love running in the MidWest. 🙂 Yes, Sioux Falls is still the Midwest too. Try running in western Kansas or Nebraska. THAT is FLAT country. The key to running or biking in the Midwest is in your head. Skip the iPod and next time see how many issues, challenges, problems, new ideas you can solve/come up with the next midwest run you take. Good luck!JB

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