6 Miles - Elm Creek Preserve

My biggest accomplishment today was being able to keep solid food down.  For the most part.  Running six miles felt pretty nice too.  I had a weird ending to my day.  I'd originally planned to try out Medicine Lake Trail, but a cancellation and a visit further out meant I was really close to Elm Creek Park Preserve so I headed that direction.

Originally I was really excited to try some of the single track trails because there seem to be about eight billion of them.  Sadly they are totally muddy.  The bikes could make it through, but I didn't have spare clothes and wasn't in the mood.  So I turned around pretty quickly and headed to a beautifully paved trail instead.  I ran 3 miles out, 3 miles back along the trail.  It vaguely went around a lake, but not in the way that paths go around the lakes in Minneapolis.  The trail was all up and down, not a ton of flat to enjoy.  But the return trip felt more 'down' so I did just fine.  I did not have my heart rate monitor.  I was secretly relieved.  Thank goodness!  Now I can just run how I like!

After my run I did a 'finisher' that really finished me off.  Side steps (hello IT band) and then standing bicycle crunches.  I started at 20 and worked down to 15, which took me ten minutes.  By then I could barely stand and my hip flexors were starting to seize up so I declared defeat and just stopped.  I did some dynamic drills and stretched out a bit before jumping in the car to go home.  My plan worked beautifully because by the time I got in my car and hit the road, I'd completely missed rush hour traffic (win for me!).   While I was cooling off, I saw tons and tons and tons of mountain bikers roll in.  I was at a trail head they use apparently.  I heard one of them say this is one of the only parks in the Twin Cities that's still open to bikers and not flooded out.  That explains the crowd!

I'm pretty excited to get out here again and try some more of the trails.  Particularly once the rain stops and I can go play in the dirt!  It looks like there's a few different places to park and trail heads.  It seems like this park will have no end of exploration for me.

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