The least I can do is try...

I Found a Rave Run…I Think

In Fitness Bliss on May 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Anyone who has picked up an issue of “Runner’s World” has seen the Rave Run spreads. Typically, they are inspiring…and a little sickening. You’ll see some athletic person (who most likely runs no slower than a 7 minute mile) bounding through gorgeous cobblestone streets in Rome, evergreen bordered trails in Colorado, or coastal paths in California. Despite my sometimes envious eye-rolling at these panoramas, I have to admit– there is something inexplicable about running amidst beauty. John “The Penguin” Bingham wrote an essay once about how mundane runs are the dues runners pay for the beautiful ones that come along every once in a while.

OK, so let’s bring it down to not-running-anything-near-a-7-minute-mile me! I have been paying my fair share of dues on a treadmill 2x/week in a Rochester hotel. To avoid hurting any feelings or sticking my HUGE Brooks sneaker in my mouth, I will just say I have been spending a lot of time in a very industrial part of Rochester. Basically, nothing around me in this vicinity has inspired an outdoor run from a scenic or safety perspective. This has been my excuse to retreat to the treadmill— I have been doing my runs in the little hotel gym while watching sitcoms. While it’s not terrible, it is hardly inspiring! The closest thing to runners high I have experienced is thinking “Winning” while watching “Two and a Half Men”. Treadmill running to outdoor running is what a frozen dinner is to a home-cooked meal—a functional substitute…at least mentally.

So this week, the weather in Rochester has been warmer and I decided I needed to find an outdoor run. I should also admit, Coach Christine recommended I find one as well—for the changing terrain, fresh air etc.  Not wanting to be the coach-shirking type—I decided to find myself a route.  I kept my expectations low—I just wanted it to be safe and outside.  Being totally new to the area, I called the Medved running store. A really nice man answered the phone and directed me to the junction of the Lake Ontario Expressway and Lake Avenue—I Google-mapped and got to driving in my rented Ford Focus.  In 10 minutes I found myself at a park on the shore of Lake Ontario—and it was so pretty! I started running along the paved path and passed cerulean blue waves, frolicking kids on the beach, PDA-ing couples (barf), huge cedar-shingled houses reminiscent of Nantucket, MA, sprawling green golf courses, mallard ducks, and lake breezes. During my run, everything melted away—my to-do list, worries about upcoming races, career plans, even the bulge in my jacket pocket that said  “no it’s just a huge rental car key ring—I am not happy to see you” .

It looks like I have found a new business travel tradition—finding a beautiful run in the area! I think the Lake Ontario run was all the more beautiful because I am a visitor—runs you see every day become the norm—regardless of how nice they are. When I lived in California, I remember running along Huntington Beach thinking “just shoot me” as waves crashed in the background—now I would give anything to run beside the Pacific Ocean in December!

For me, on the road—or in life in general—stress makes it really easy to not take a little extra time to do something different, or go out of the way to pursue something that is not immediately work related or on my to-do list (expenses, bills, appointments etc). However, looking up for a minute and working against the inertia of habit pays off sometimes! I think this is definitely a lesson I need to stick with if I am going to keep running a regular part of my life.

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  1. That’s great. Did you find other scenic runs in your recent travels?

    • I have been sticking to the lake run– I have been meaning to make it to the Erie Canal!

      Also– since mom and dad live in CT now– I need to find a nice seaside route– this weekend!

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