What is your favorite place to run?

Mine used to be Fountain Hills.. kind of boring to some. But to me, I loved the challenge of the hills and getting to the lookout early in the morning before the sun even came up so I could see all of the city lights below. Then, Fountain Hills got bumped when I took a vacation to CA and ran on the Huntington Beach boardwalk. I was certain there would never be a better place to run. The sound of the ocean and the people watching made this place just awesome… that was until last weekend when I went on vacation to Columbia, Missouri.

I had never been to Missouri before. JT grew up there and hadn’t been back in a couple of years. He said October would be a great time to go back because the leaves would be changing and we could also catch a Missouri Tigers Homecoming football game. I would also get the chance to meet his aunts and uncles and their families and maybe some old friends of his too. No pressure.

We flew into Kansas City on Thursday night and met Aunt Judy & Uncle Bob, Aunt Barbara and her daughter Kelly who brought her son Christopher. We were starving by the time we landed so we all headed to Jack Stacks restaurant for its famous BBQ ribs. Yum! They were delicious. We went back to Aunt Judy’s after dinner and got to chat for a while. It was great getting to know everyone. They are the nicest people.

Then on Friday morning we drove to Columbia where I met Aunts Roxanne, Karen and Sharron and their families along with Uncles Tim, Todd and Brian and all of their families. I was a little nervous about meeting so many people all at once. Mostly because I was sure I would mess up their names! But, my nerves were gone almost the instant I met everyone. They were all so kind and made me feel comfortable right away. They made me smile and laugh I absolutely loved spending the weekend with all of them.

We watched the 4th World Series game on Friday night, went to the tailgate party and football game on Saturday and went on a motorcycle ride followed by a fantastic family BBQ on Sunday. It was so much fun that I could probably right a blog post about each day, but I’ll save that for a different time.

Each morning while we were in Columbia we got up early so JT could get his workout in and even though I am not fully back to running yet (still nursing a hip injury) I biked alongside him. The first morning we headed down to the Katy Trail it was a bit foggy. We pulled up in a small parking lot on the side of the trail and stretched a bit. I decided that I would run 10 minutes before getting on the bike. So we started on the trail and it didn’t take 30 seconds before I was overwhelmed with the trail’s beauty! This trail used to be an old train track but the tracks have been removed. I read on an information board in the parking lot that the trail goes on for 200+ miles! The trail runs right alongside the Missouri River and both sides of the trail are covered in rich vegetation. Since the trail has been around for years the trees have grown up tall alongside each side and in some areas provide almost a canopy. The leaves had just started changing colors and the rich hues of orange, yellow and red against the lush green were just stunning. I felt like I was running through a post card. It was just breathtaking. We went early enough that we had many parts of the trail all to ourselves so we took many pictures.

 Even though I only actually ran a total of 20 minutes (10 minutes on 2 different days) it definitely changed my mind and has now become my NEW #1 Favorite Place to Run.