The Sunflower State or…Another Running “Vacation”

After a mere 15 hour (actually, 14 hour and 45 minute, a new PR for us) trek west, we have arrived in the Sunflower State. Our home state. Where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope (antelope?) play. You know, one of those rectangly ones in the middle of the country. I’ll avoid the obligatory Wizard of Oz reference and just get to the point: KANSAS. We’re in Kansas visiting family.

The title of this post is a little misleading. Even though our little adventure is technically a use of our “vacation” time, a vacation has connotations of rest and relaxation, and that’s not really what this trip is about. We’re embarking on a dizzying whirlwind tour of one corner of the state in order to see as much of the family as possible during the short time that we’re back. Since arriving at 6:15pm on Thursday, we’ve played a round of golf, attended a 4th of July party, helped set up and attend a wedding, and met the new baby of some friends. While all of these activities are fun and enjoyable, it explains why I know that I’ll be more tired after my “vacation” than I was before. But it’s worth it.

The other way the title of the post is misleading is that our “vacation” isn’t all about running. It would more aptly be titled a “family vacation.” (Sidenote: I’m tempted to relabel it “family visitation,” but the word “visitation” has either a funereal or paranormal association that is less than appropriate.) Being runners, however, our “family vacation” will have some running in it. We couldn’t escape it if we wanted to.

The great thing about running in Kansas is…….(building suspense)……..the dirt roads. Happy sigh. My legs are going to be thankful for this. They get so tired of pounding the pavement, but I don’t have anything else to offer them. The entire state of South Carolina is apparently paved over. But in my little piece of Kansas, a dirt road is never more than a mile away. I’ll admit that it’s no running utopia—when Johnny Drivetoofast flies by in his pickup, spraying gravel against my legs and leaving behind a cloud of choking dust, I may recall the sidewalks of Greenville more fondly. When Rover the almost certainly unchained/unfenced/unleashed country watchdog decides that the road is part of his “territory” and gives chase, the appeal of the dirt road may lose a little of its luster. Or then again, maybe not.

I believe it’s time for a run. 🙂


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