Running on Dirt is Nice
I’m back on the train on a Monday morning, headed home to NYC after spending some quality time with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew, who I just might be obsessed with. And I’m pretty sure he’s obsessed with me, considering he would call me “mommy” when my sister wasn’t in the room. A highlight for the weekend was going to baby (or is it now toddler?) gym class yesterday morning, which is pretty much the cutest thing in the world. A bunch of toddlers bouncing and dancing and tumbling and balance-beaming? Yes, please. My nephew pretty much excelled when he was instructed to run around the mat. Looks like someone is going to be taking after his favorite aunt.
Anyway, I had said that while I was visiting, I wanted to get out and take a run around the lake near my sister’s house. This is my goal during every single visit there, but plans get changed easily—babies can change anything—so it’s never a guarantee. This trip, however, I made it! I got my lake running in, and it was awesome.
Saturday morning, after a little snuggling with Alex, I headed out for an hour of running. When I stepped outside, I was amazed by how perfect the temperature was—absolutely ideal shorts-and-long-sleeved-shirt weather. And from the second I started running, it became the kind of runs that you never ever want to end.
I warmed up running the 1.5 miles from my sister’s house to the lake access road. The access road is completely hidden off of a bike path, along side the highway. The first time I found it was about two years ago, when I was doing a long run around all the bizarre paths along the highways. I was getting really sick of the endless drab scenery and speeding cars, when I noticed a fairly well-worn path into the woods to the right of me. Now, anyone in their right mind would have NOT headed into the woods in an area they were unfamiliar with, and in hindsight it was probably really dumb of me to follow the path. But I did, and luckily for me, after about 7 minutes of omg-where-am-I-crap-what-was-that-noise-I-hope-not-a-rapist-or-hunter, I hit a lake, and a path that went entirely around it. And a lot of other runners and walkers. On the other side of the lake is a parking lot, and most people drive to it, but I can’t, so I just keep using the kinda-creepy-but-actually-peaceful access road.
On this particular run, the moment my feet hit the dirt of the access road, I felt more peaceful and relaxed. I absolutely love trail running, and wish I had the ability to do it daily. But, while I live in NYC, my trail-running facilities are limited and it becomes even more special when I get to run when visiting my sister.
As usual, the access-road part of the run was solo, and still a little scary, but I got to the lake quickly enough. The lake is around 7 miles around, with small rolling hills and lots of friendly faces. This morning, because the weather was so incredible, there were many walkers and plenty of runners, including, what looked like, a race. About 1 out of every 5 runners had a race bib, so I assumed there was a race going on, but couldn’t really tell. Everyone, however, had big smiles on and was enjoying themselves running along the dirt, with a picturesque lake to one side, and forest to the other.
I would have loved to run the whole lake that morning, but I had a time in which I had to return home by to babysit, so I turned around after about 40 minutes of lake running. Not a lot, but enough to put a smile on my face, clear my lungs, and get a solid dose of beloved trail running in my system, enough to tide me over for a few weeks.
That picture is giant. I apologize. Still working on my getting-back-to-blogging skills.
I could have stayed out there for hours, but was happy to come back to my sister’s and play with my nephew, becoming amazed at how much he has grown since he was first born a year and a half ago. All in all, a pretty perfect way to start out a lovely Saturday, and one of my last quiet ones before the spring semester starts (I’m not ready! Grad school…you’re exhausting).