Mid-Summer Road Trip

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I’ve been on more road trips this summer than I have in my entire life. Though I’m not generally a fan, when your Mom calls you up and asks her to drive 32 hours to and from Colorado with a corgi how can you say no?

It was strange traveling without my passport, normally around this time we’d be heading back to Dublin. It also happens that I know two sets of people currently traveling to Dublin, making my nostalgia kick into high gear. When we left I assumed it would be years before we visited, but now I’m scheming to visit-ideally by running the 2017/18 Dublin Marathon. Probably en route to somewhere else, but I still miss it more than I thought I would. It was home. Nashville isn’t, and since we’re leaving in ten months it’s a bit hard to get attached.

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And going back to the PNW reminded me that when we do leave next year, how much I’d love for it to be west, though the probability of that is unfortunately low.  Though, we are slowly making friends and feeling somewhat more settled. But it felt so good and easy being in my hometown and running where I didn’t have to look up where I was going, I could just leave and turn at random on streets I’ve walked for decades. I also got to run from Idaho to Washington on a 14 miler taking me along the Latah Trail to the Chipman Trail. As a teenager I used to bike the Chipman trail (7 miles each way) and thought it would be impossible to run, and always thought the runners on that trail were clearly crazy. I’m fairly certain a younger version of myself would never believe I’d one day run the full length (twice!), so although 14 miles is no longer that terrible of a distance for me (though certainly can’t classify as “easy”) it did feel pretty great to do something a younger version of myself deemed impossible.

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Our quick road trip was a loop of the inland northwest to Colorado, en route we visited Pocatello to see a friend on a medical rotation there, then through Utah (thanks to a missed exit-the fault of which is highly debated) and to Fort Collins to see my sister. On the way back we drove through Montana where I got to run in Bozeman (pictured two above), and despite being at nearly 5,000 feet the lack of humidity and cool temps made me feel like I was flying. Running in the south is one of the most oppressive running experiences I’ve ever had. Everything is an absolute battle, either physically or mentally. Heat training, of course pays off (similarly to altitude training), and we only have about 3-4 more weeks of the worst of it, but it was reassuring to run in non-brutal conditions again.

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Mostly though it was just so good to catch up with friends and family. Nashville feels a bit isolated right now, which seems odd to say considering we used to live abroad, but perhaps it’s because it is America that we feel like it should feel familiar and easy, but the south does feel different, in very subtle ways-some positive, some negative, but certainly not like the west. My trip was entirely too short of course, but there are more mini-adventures coming up this fall. An added perk of being an adult is the ease of family travel now, and getting to travel with my Mom is such a great experience and I can’t wait for our next adventure!

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