with equal parts compassion & hilarity

Deep Thoughts & Running

I am running the Fargo half-marathon on Saturday and I am hoping the fairly flat course will compensate for my lack of serious training. My registration is compliments of The Forum and old-fashioned luck (I won the lottery for a single event registration as Forum Communications Company is a title sponsor of The Fargo Marathon).

I work at The Forum. Maybe I should not get ahead of myself by seventeen steps. My brother tells me it’s difficult to keep up with the thoughts I forget to say aloud to which I typically respond, “Well, if you could read my mind things would just be easier on all of us, so why don’t you work on that one, mkay pumpkin?”

Anyway, on Sunday I needed to check off a 60 minute run. Since I had gone home for the weekend, I ran my 60 minutes in Lake Park. I started in town and ran past people on their riding lawnmowers, the grocery store called Jeff’s (the best grocery store in town), the Lake Park Lutheran Church followed by the Lake Park Lutheran Cemetery on County Road 7 and then I was surrounded by relatively flat farmland for the next 40 minutes. You should know that Jeff’s also happens to be the only grocery store in town. We love it. We think Jeff is a really nice guy. By “we” I suppose I am referring to me, myself and Alexis. 

I was thinking about how great it was going to be for my face to get a little sun, appreciating the quiet and watching the ducks camped out in the mini ponds of the fields. Unfortunately, I could only think about those three things for a short while before becoming a little bored. I have always thought the biggest difference between running in the country and in the Twin Cities (my home for three years during college) is my level of boredom.

I tried to get myself to appreciate the view. “Don’t be bored, Alexis. You are running through beauty right now.” I forced my eyes open wider like how I used to in order to not blink on picture day in elementary school and focused more intensely on the landscape. It helped; I could see a lot more with wider eyes. Really.

I noticed how there weren’t too many trees. Enter: a deep thought. 

“Hey, what if I really had to go to the bathroom right now?”

Like, must go to the bathroom now. If you’re a runner, you get it. You have had this thought. It is a serious thought warranting intelligent conversation. What if? What it? What if?

Obviously, there are no bathrooms along country highways and the lack of trees signifies a lack of cover. I don’t know if you’ve gathered this yet, but it’s flat up in this part of the United States so the wind could add an extra exciting element of complication. What then? Yeah, I still don’t have an answer. Granted, I was just playing a fun game of “What If?”, but I’ll keep you posted should I arrive at a reasonable solution.

Perhaps the biggest difference between running in the country and in the city is not my level of boredom, but instead the sheer number of bathrooms available alongside running paths. Coincidentally, here’s a map of bathrooms for runners in Minneapolis. Shockingly, I could not find one for County Road 7. 

When I told my mom about all of this, she shot me a look of disgust and strictly instructed I not share this with other humans. Then, I proceeded to tell her an even more comprehensive story about how one time I found myself kind of, but not quite literally, stuck in a porta potty during a 14 mile run along East River Parkway in Minneapolis. That’s maybe another post.

P.S. I highly recommend clicking on the deep thought link above if you want to ask yourself “What is this? Seriously, what the heck? How is this even a thing?”

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