Monday, July 19, 2010

Switching it up....

I typically run 3-4 times a week. And I typically run on the Mount Vernon Trail that runs by my house. The above picture is taken on one of my daily runs, beautiful isn't it? Yet I have been running the same exact route for probably 7 months. And slowly it has become boring to me. So this weekend I was at my Mom's house out in the country. I was tired, it was Sunday morning, and it was hot. There were so many reasons to skip working out. Yet I know that I feel better when I do work out, and I feel guilty and lethargic when I skip my workout. So with this as my only motivation I suggested Mom and I go to a new trail system that has just opened near her house. She was excited to go and said she would walk with her dog Hans, while I ran.

The trail is a Battlefield park, typical in Virgina, it had a trail system that lead you around all of the major battles of Winchester with very nice signage explaining where the fighting was, and what the Generals were trying to achieve. I'm not a big Civil War buff, but the trail looked nice, so I strapped on my pedometer and started running.

I was tired, I didn't want to run, it took everything in me to keep going those first 5 minutes. But then a wonderful thing happened. The cows in the pasture next to me started moo-ing very robustly and anxiously. It was so loud and funny it made me laugh and start to watch them. They were chewing and mooing and walking and enjoying there morning hay. Then I approached a really great little stream with a wooden bridge over it, as I ran over it I noticed the cat tails and beautiful wildflowers that flanked each side of the creek. I noticed the fantastic electric blue on the dragon flies flying close to the water's edge, and just up the stream a line of baby ducks swimming behind their mother. As I ran up the hill I entered a large field that had just been mowed. It smelled wonderful, and the straight lines of huge round hay bails made me smile. As I ran on I watched all of the nature around me and noticed all the things I never see on my morning "city" run at home. It was beautiful, and when I looked down at my pedometer I had gone 5 miles. I headed back to the car sweaty, and feeling great.

Running is a wonderful way to stay healthy, and feel great. But what I learned is, if it's feeling like a chore maybe it's time to mix up your route, and find a new place to run. I am inspired again to find a new route here at home and not take my same route. To see something new, and continue to explore on foot.
So don't give up, if you're not feeling it try a new route, you may be surprised at how inspiring this little change can be.
The picture below is my country run....

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