I started running at a local trail last week because the loop I've been doing through my neighborhood has become less accommodating as my runn times are increasing. In order to avoid some nasty hills, I've been more or less running up and down a somewhat busy road. Now that I can run all the way up, and most of the way back down in one shot, I keep having to stop mid-run to cross. It's really been throwing off my groove, if you know what what I mean.
So, off I went to the Audubon Loop, starting at the Mill Grove Park, which is just a short drive from my apartment. I'm pretty sure it was love at first run.
Although it is parallel, and butts quite closely, to a main road, it is bordered on the other side by lovely meadows and walking paths. It weaves in and out of the trees so you don't always feel like you're running right next to the traffic and it's frequented by runners, walkers, and bikers, but never seems crowded. The trail also has just the right amount of gentle sloping hills that add some interest to the workout without making my legs feel like goo. I give two enthusiastic thumbs up - fine holiday fun!
In more exciting news, I have made my first big running-related commitment! My sister, Carlee, who trained for and ran her first marathon two years ago, has convinced me that if I really train for it, I'll be ready to join her to run a half marathon by May 1, 2011. More specifically, we'll be running the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, OH.
I'm only slightly frightened by the prospect of being ready to run 13 miles in less than a year. But, I have an amazing reason to stay motivated: my niece, Kenslee.
Kenslee was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder earlier this year called Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD). In a nutshell, this means that her body has trouble breaking down and storing glycogen. It's not an acute disease, but it is something that she will have to deal with her whole life. Presently, her condition is under control, but there there is the potential for long-term affects to her liver and kidneys as well as a lot more unknowns as she gets older. More information on the disease can be found here.
But, what does this have to do with running the Half Pig? Since this disease is so uncommon, there are only a handful of fundraising opportunities directly associated with GSD foundations. So, Carlee thought, if we'll be running anyway, why not raise money for GSD while we're at it? Of course there are a lot of details to work out, but come May 1, 2011, one way or another, we will be running for Kenslee (I'll keep you all posted as more details develop). There is no better motivation than that.