{a weekend away + life lists}

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Last weekend J and I both took Friday off and, after sleeping in later than usual, we hit the road heading East for Duluth, MN. Our weekend plans were twofold: 1. I got to check another box off the life list and 2. we got to celebrate our anniversary weekend with one of our newest hobbies.

I can’t tell you where, but somewhere along the way, probably between finishing half marathon #2 and preparing for half marathon #3, a passing thought, a glimpse of an idea, a new line item on the life list: complete a full marathon. I didn’t know when or where it would happen; couldn’t imagine the amount of preparation and work to get to the starting line, let alone the finish line.

Last year however, inspired by another finisher who said she hardly trained and is less athletic than I am, I made up my mind: This is the year. I will sign up for and do Grandma’s Marathon in beautiful Duluth. Β While my training was sub-par and the temperatures were outrageously unexpected (mid to upper 70s, 80-90 percent humidity); while I probably only ran half of it total and jog/walked the other half; while mentally and physically it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I finished. My two goals were to finish and to enjoy the view. The course ran along the beautiful scenic byway and we watched Lake Superior between the trees; we watched the fog lift through the morning; we saw beautiful houses along the way.

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We got to Duluth early Friday and our first stop was the Great Lakes Fly Shop. We loved the small shop and visited with the owner about fly fishing, which rivers to fish, and which flies the fish are biting on now. J and I just bought our first fly rods after J’s sister and her husband got us into it on our Memorial Day camping trip. While we don’t have a lot of areas to fly fish in ND, we’re excited to keep growing in the art of fly fishing.

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Before hitting the river we ate at a great restaurant right on lakefront. We were there at just the right time to be seated outdoors by ourselves and our food was great!

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We didn’t catch any fish, but as young fly fisherman we accepted that as a stepping stone on our way to mastering the art. We would love to come back in the Fall and devote the whole weekend to fishing and camping {and no crazy time consuming exhausting events like marathons or 23 miles hikes}. On our way out of town we stopped at the aquarium which was really cool and right on lakefront as well. We stayed with another married couple – which was great – and our conversations ranged from outdoor activities like hikes and canoe trips to problems with the 40 hour work week and life with a job to dogs. They were great hosts and so kind. They cheered me on during the marathon and we couldn’t be more grateful for their hospitality!Β I couldn’t have finished without such a sweet husband. Throughout the weekend J not only cheered me on but a) bought my aloe vera and aspercreme {which I’m convinced is a miracle worker for knees and hips}; b) made sure I had food when I needed it; and c) tied the leader on my fly rod while I was off running so it was ready to go that night.

It was another great weekend in the books, checking off boxes on the life list, celebrating our anniversary, getting to know new friends, and learning about new hobbies together. This week has been a whirlwind back and I’ve felt absolute freedom without the impending pressure to train or workout. This weekend, which is almost here thankfully, my sis in law and I are hitting the tent again for a weekend of yakking and fishing. Β Happy Thursday, everyone! Anyone else have great plans for the upcoming weekend??

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