Tired Legs, Sloppy Trails

I ran today for the first time in a week. Last week I came down with a cold and decided to skip 2 runs and rest. With the end of the semester, a full-time job, and a move this week, I had plenty of other responsibilities to sap my energy! But I’m on the tail-end of the sickness now and I really wanted to get back to training. So tonight was a short warmup run and I’m hoping to do a long run tomorrow and jump back up to my target mileage.

[Sidebar: I’m really close to hitting 50 miles for the month. If I’d stuck with my training program, I’d have passed that mark easily, but now I’m scheming how to get a run in on moving day. That’s a shocking and encouraging number to me, so I’d really like to experience that milestone.]

So after work tonight I loaded the dog up and headed out to my favorite local park. It’s a great place with a dog park and miles of trails. We’ve had a few days of rain, so I knew the trails would be pretty messy and they were! My legs are covered in dirt and mud splashes. I had a nasty side stitch partway through and I had to stop a few times–to deal with dog or observe wildlife or whatever–but it felt great to get back out.

[Sidebar again: speaking of wildlife, check out these photos and video from the park!

(Give it a second, the wildlife isn’t immediately obvious.)]

Since we’re moving out of state this week, I’m down to my last few runs in this particular park and I’m starting to feel a bit sentimental about it. I’ve traversed all of the trails in this park and spent a lot of time on them, walking, running, and biking. I’ve visited with family and friends and with my dog more times than I can count. Every single time, the activity outdoors has soothed and invigorated me, reminding me how much I need to be in nature. I’ve seen 5 deer now, plus countless canada geese, mallards, herons, squirrels, and small birds. I’m endlessly grateful for the chance I’ve had to train on trails and enjoy the outdoors with this public park.

If you haven’t visited your local parks, I strongly encourage you to explore and see if you can find one that you love. Training in nature has added so much enjoyment to my runs.

Where are your favorite places to train?

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