Running is an inspirational, yet challenging experience each time you decide to embrace it. Making your experience that much more enjoyable is an important element to preventing boredom. Some of the best places to run are right outside your door or only a hop skip and a jump away.
Your Neighborhood. Believe it or not, your neighborhood can be a great place to run. For example, this morning I woke up, pulled on my Brooks, slid my runner’s belt around my waste, plugged my headphones in my ears, and turned up the music on my iPhone. I opened the front door and looked around. It was 6am, the weather was a bit nippy, and the neighborhood was silent. As my body hesitated, I plunged my feet onto the pavement and slowly began my run. The world almost seemed to be still. I turned my music down, tuning my ears up and watched the world around me as I glided through neighborhoods. I heard beautiful silence, the birds softly singing as if welcoming my presense and the breeze gently dancing leaves in the trees, it was only me against the dawn. I embraced it. I observed things I had not noticed before, beautiful blooms in the trees, vibrant tulips bopping their heads, the white plump clouds elegently outlined by the sun’s glistening rays, the smell of the Spring’s honeydew, and a snail’s effortless attempt to cross to the other side. I laughed at that snail. I took a picture of him. I never would have noticed this delightful snail before. Sometimes listening to nothing but the world around you opens doors to things you may have not noticed before.
Of course before you venture outdoors, make sure you are prepared for the road. To prevent injury, invest in quality running shoes. Visit your local running store to have a custom fitting. If you bought your shoes at a local “all shoes” store, think again. The professional can evaluate your stride and determine your arch to ensure you are using the right shoe. You know it’s a good running store if they videotape your run, so they can slowly playback your stride so they can see how your feet function dynamically. In addition, shoes should be replaced as soon they show signs of wear. This will help ensure comfort and prevent future injuries.
Check out these sources to help you find the right fitting:
Fit Right NW
Hop, Skip, & a Jump. I grabbed my favorite running partner and we Googled running trails. We found an app for the iPhone called AllTrails. There are many more apps you can download that will help you find that perfect trail you have been looking for. On AllTrails you can filter your search criteria to help you find that perfect trail. We found one that stood out to us. It required driving but was well worth the commute. We researched trails that offered a moderate challenge, was about 4 miles long, offered a beautiful scenery, such as water falls, streams, and abundant in nature. The run was a little more challenging for the muscles because of the diverse ground levels and cushiony floor that almost helped the feet spring forward with each stride. Make sure you bring your camera for these runs! On one jont, we discovered a nest, nuzzled up in a bush. As we peeked in, we noticed tiny baby birds snuggled up together, chirping for their mother to return quickly with some food. We also got to see a beautiful waterfall, slightly dripping off of the side of the rocky hillside, and a hidden pond, gracefully embraced by vibrant green algae and mossy trees. With a geographical natural terrain, running becomes more of a delight rather than a job.
Here are some links you can visit to help you navigate and explore your local area:
Of course, before you decide to venture off and explore the outdoors, make sure you properly prepare for the adventure:
- Invest in some proper trail running shoes. You want your run to be as comfortable as possible. Trail running shoes offer necessary support that is needed off road.
- Thoroughly research the trail you want to explore. Some trails could confuse you so make sure you bring along a GPS or map to help you navigate.
- Running is best with a partner. Not only will this provide more encouragement and enjoyment, but is also safer.
- Pack water. Water. Water. Water is a necessity! You may not have access to a drinking fountain, so always ensure you have enough water to keep your body hydrated.
- Tell someone where you are going. It is always best to play it safe. Communicate and come up with a safety plan just in case…
Have fun, run safe, and inform me of your many jonts. I would love to hear about them!