On Friday, I honed my appreciation for outside running. On Sunday, I saw a completely different (but not necessarily in a bad way) side to running in the great outdoors. It was about 80 degrees but VERY windy, both factors which increased the difficulty of our trek. Additionally, I used Map My Run (LOVE this website!) to find a new route to keep us from getting bored, and it included lots of different kinds of terrain and more inclined running.
The route started us off on pavement, but quickly took us to some very uneven and dare I say treacherous, grass. There were dips, potholes and tons of pieces of trash strewn about this stretch of our run, which made running more labor-intensive as we dodged obstacles and our feet sank in to the soft, not yet mowed grass. We went from grass to a trail I had found, made out of soft dirt, almost like sand. Again, since this has a bit more give than hard pavement, I could definitely feel my legs working harder, especially during those moments when we happened to be going UPHILL and AGAINST the strong wind. It was a beautiful and distracting course, however, so that helped with the mental aspect of the run. We saw some birds, squirrels and odd passersby in between puddles of water, which we leaped over in true Olympic style.
The hardest part was taking on the grass portion on the way back, since we had already run 2.5 miles and the wind was now against us. I managed to take the whole course on, running the whole way, and we went 3.3 miles! That definitely made me feel better about the 5K that I am running on Saturday.
For some reason, running outside seems to produce even more endorphins for me and makes me a VERY happy camper. Both times I have been very apprehensive and reluctant to leave, but once I get going, I certainly never regret it. A big thanks to Dan for making me go and sticking with me, even though I’m sure the pace I keep is painfully slow by his standards.