What a treat I had this past Saturday morning. I ran a new running route. I know, I know, this may not sound too exciting, but it was a very welcome change-of-scenery in my otherwise regimented fitness scheme.
As a background, I run 3-4 times per week. 95% of the time, all but one of these runs are 5-milers. I love this distance, especially in the morning before I go to the office. My running partner and I don’t like to take it easy on these runs. We try for a PR almost every time, which is probably not the smartest thing to do, but we’re ultra-competitive with each other (in a friendly way) and we like to get a good workout. We’ll run the 5-miler in about 35 minutes, give or take a minute. Add 15 minutes for stretching and chatting, and we have a good, solid workout in under an hour.
One day per week, usually on Saturday, we’ll go for a longer run. This will be at least 7-8 miles. About 8 runs out of 10, we’ll run the same route – on the boardwalk. I live a block from the beach in New Jersey, so running on the boardwalk is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It’s one of the reasons my fiancé and I chose to move to this location. I never take it for granted, especially in the morning when the sun is rising as we run. However, everyone needs to mix it up every once in a while.
Today, we mixed it up and hit a home run. We went to the local reservoir, which is encircled by a 5-mile perimeter track. It was about 28 degrees (F) and sunny when we started around 8:30 AM – a perfect day for a run. This was my first time there, so I was automatically a little more motivated. The path twisted and turned through the woods and around the reservoir, a perfectly peaceful setting on a crisp winter day. The other runners on the trail – there were dozens of them – we’re polite, and most offered a “Good Morning” as they trotted by. There were people of all shapes and sizes and of all fitness levels. Seeing everyone out there first thing in the morning with their running gear on is something that is hugely motivating for me. You feel so great about what you’re doing and about what so many others are doing. Unless you’re a runner, it’s difficult to explain the high.
We did 2 loops (10 miles) in about 75 minutes, a pretty good time if I do say so myself! The time flew by as we were taking in our new surroundings and relaxing along the path. It was a great treat to run along a brand new route. I know we’ll make this a regular route from now on….