Monday, June 24, 2013

Let's Talk About Your Running Route....This is what I've encountered!


What do you look for in a running route? I hate running on roads with cars, stopping at red lights, and worrying about whether or not the sidewalks are even and if I will trip.  Because of these facts, there are two running routes that have slowly become my favorites.

Island Park
(picture from state park website)
One of my favorite routes to run is a place called Island Park. This is literally an island surrounded by the river on all sides.  There is a nice path, half paved, half gravel around the soccer fields and then a path that continues in a wooded area.  This is one place that I make sure I have a partner with me when I run. I just don’t like the fact that it is so secluded.  After this weekend’s run at Island Park, I now have another reason to not run there alone.

 I met my parents at Island Park around 7pm.  No worries here as it was still completely day light!  We did two laps around the entire island ( including the wooded trail). My GPS watch hadn’t hit my mileage goal yet so I continued to walk on the path near the soccer fields. My dad walked with me until my watch registered a 5K. As we said our good byes, I told him I was going to continue the path around the soccer field ( I needed to get in another mile for the Boston Remembrance Run that was closing out tonight).  The path around the soccer fields is pretty open and it was still light out so I felt comfortable doing the lap alone (and there were other cars in the parking area, so I knew there were still people in the park somewhere) My dad walked back to the car, and I continued down the path.  When I got to the curve in the path, I remember saying “O My God” outloud!  I just stood there, I didn’t know what to do.  There was a deer in my path.  I figured that it was more afraid of me than I was of it. (Isn’t that usually the saying?) I figured as soon as it spotted me that it would run away. That was clearly not the case. That deer was literally staring me down.  I thought about just continuing on my way, but I was afraid that if I ran past it, that it would follow after me.  I decided to take a step up on the grass near the soccer field ( away from the deer) and at that time the deer hissed/snorted and went up on its hind legs. Yes, I was a frightened now! It pranced over to the side of the wooded area but did not go in the woods. It still had its eyes on me. I took a little short cut through the soccer fields and ran back to my car.  I figured I could do another lap but modify the route a little. I grabbed my phone just in case I saw anymore deer I could take a picture. By the time I got back up on the path my GPS watch had gone dead. I used this as a sign that it was time for me to just go home.  I went home and did my last .78 miles on the treadmill!  

I’ve told this deer story to a few people this weekend and it still shocks me each time I tell it. It was not an “Ahh, I saw( from a far) a beautiful deer along my run”  it was a “OMG, I have encountered a deer”.  And that is just one more reason why no one should run alone!


The Rail Trail
(Picture from Rails to Trails website)
My other favorite route is a rail trail which is a running/biking trail through a farming community.  The positives of this trail are that it is completely flat, and no worries of cars, red lights, or crooked sidewalks.  It’s a popular trail, so I feel comfortable even when I have to run it by myself. The downside is that a lot of the trail is open field so there is little shade in most areas, and there are no water stops.  I use to worry about wild animals coming out on the trail, but so far I’ve only had to dodge bunnies, chipmunks, the occasional cat, and once had to jump over a gardener snake.  If I hadn’t been running at such a good pace, that snake may have flipped me out but I didn’t see it until I was practically on top of it so I just jumped over and kept going.  There are beautiful signs of nature along this trail too. I’ve seen the sunset a few times from this trail and this is also the trail were we saw the calf being born!

 

Do you have a favorite running route? If so, what makes the route your favorite?

 

9 comments:

  1. LOL That's funny. I run with deer every time! Just this morning there were 6 of them. I also had a couple bunnies literally running right next to me! I don't worry about the deers or bunnies. It's the bears I worry about! Thankfully I have not encountered them on my runs. Not sure what I'd do if I did! Run faster?

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    1. I'm sure it is nice to see deer from a distance, but this one seemed to be aggressive. I'm thinking it may have had babies somewhere close it was protecting. I also worry about bears, but then I think " what is the chance"..lol

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    2. I'm not seeing them at a distance either. They are right there on the side of the road, bouncing along. I've had the same encounter with the deers, the hissing and snorting. Definitely not fun! I just keep going. I'm sure it was scary for you! I've come home to bears in my driveway, usually eating my trash. They seem to be more active at night, then in the morning. Stay safe!

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  2. I live in a very small rural community...so I either run around town (over and over and over b/c it's so small) or I can head to the gravel roads and run down them. Not much for scenery..but it is flat!

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    1. Yes, I always look for flat routes too!

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    2. My exact situation too. I sometimes mix things up by choosing a different route, but that's not a huge mix, is it

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  3. I run the same places myself. I live in the middle of nowhere and have to drive to my runs. One is just a couple neighborhoods with sidewalks (I don't want to run on streets without them), the other is a 30 minute drive to a rail trail. I run there is I need a place for a longer run and I'm tired of the above route. LOL! I should get my butt over to the state park because it's shaded and it has an 8 mile loop. Thanks for reminding me of it! :)

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  4. oh goodness, i'd be terrified if i were you! i know being terrified probably doesn't help because the deer would feed off of your energy, but man oh man. there's a 5k loop i can do around my city, but i usually stick to the city park. it has a 1.3k track, and it feels cooler because it's all in the shade.

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  5. That would terrify me - I have seen a deer prance across the trail I run on but that is all it did. If it would have stared me down like that I would have been very scared!

    I usually run a trail that is a 2 mile loop and there is always lots of people there so I always feel very safe and honestly that is the main reason I like it, but it also has bathrooms and water fountains, and trees all around so it has many great things about it!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.