There's no place like home?

Ahhh. Kansas. I have a love/hate relationship with the state. I have come to love it because it is the place where my husband was born and spent the first 12 years of his life. His older brother and wife, and nephew and wife live there now. We always have a great time when we visit them. On a bright, sunny day, the sky goes on forever. And at night, the stars blow your mind. And the weather…ah, that Kansas weather. It is either perfect, or it’s not. There is rarely an in-between. The day can start out perfectly. Then, just like that, here comes the wind, and the temperatures drop like a rock. As I write this, I am in the backseat of my car, jolting around in such wind, because my daughter is more car-sick than I am…so she gets to ride shotgun.

There are days in Kansas where it is so hot, you can fry an egg on the hood of your car. Add the wind, and it feels like an inferno. And there are days where you can watch a thunderstorm brew over the Colorado state line and head straight for you, dumping the most impressive amount of rain you have ever seen in just minutes. Then, there are days in the dead of winter, like yesterday, when you wished you lived there. It started out cool, and rose to 70° by the afternoon. It was a bit cloudy, but it was a day to remember.

And it was a day to run.

We took a quick trip out there. Quicker than we would have liked. But suffice it to say, for me, the 9 hour drive there and the 9 hour drive back was well worth the 12 mile run. I actually got to sweat.

Kansas is an equal combination of country and paved roads. And there is little population density. You can literally run for miles before you see another human entity. In fact, I only saw cars a handful of times on this run. Once, when I crossed the highway, and again when I crossed it a second time on the return trip. Unreal. The gravel roads were a challenge, but they controlled my pace, and strengthened  my ankles. The paved roads were flat and smooth with a generous shoulder. And the scenery? Perfect for a runner.

So, yes. This trip it was love. I have decided that if I moved to Kansas, I would become a warrior. I could run until I drop.

But, reality sets in as I glance at the car thermometer the moment we cross the Minnesota state line…11°. And snowing.

Welcome home.

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