Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All Runs Should Be So Good

I've posted a fair amount of times about bad runs. Runs that make me feel like turning in my Saucony's and calling it quits. But today is different. Today I'm going to tell you about the most awesome run I've had in a LONG time.

I decided to hit a local paved trail last Thursday for a mid-length run. The Weasel fell asleep on our drive and as I pulled into the parking lot of McDonald's, I wasn't paying attention. I unloaded the stroller, placing our water bottles in their holders, grabbing a snack for Weasel, and getting my RunKeeper App ready to go. Then I did my best to get her out of the car and into the Bob still asleep. SUCCESS! It was an incredible 70 degrees at 9:15 and I just had a feeling it was going to be a good run. Then I looked up and quickly realized I was parked at the WRONG McDonald's. One that was no where near the trail I was aiming for.

The "never wake a sleeping baby" rule definitely applied in this case, so I decided to make the best of it and just run along some crappy sidewalks and into the "downtown" heart of Jacksonville, NC. (I have to add the NC because I wouldn't want anyone getting jealous of me actually living in the GOOD Jacksonville!) We took off and about 1/2 mile into it, lost the sidewalk and had to share the road with traffic and a group of inmates collecting trash...and boy did THAT make me run faster!

I've driven on a bridge over the New River about a million times and always said, that place over there looks kinda neat. I need to check it out. Well this run was the perfect opportunity, so I cruised along some unfamiliar streets and saw amazing houses on the waterfront, a great park at the marina, and ended up back in a place I recognized. That was at about the 3.3 mile mark. My sister had asked for some microwave vegetarian lentil soup, so I popped into the New Bridge Organic Market and grabbed several items. This loaded down the stroller a bit more, but it meant I didn't have to make an extra stop on the drive home, so it was totally worth it:

Huge score! Hoping she will like some of these random picks!

Shopping trip complete, we headed back out and ran back toward the water where I had seen some great wooden bridges that I wanted to check out. It was a solid decision as this is where we ended up:

Seriously, perfect running day!

I can't believe I've lived in Jacksonville for over 2 1/2 years and didn't know about this place! We will definitely be going back. I was maintaining slightly over an 8 minute pace and feeling pretty good, but Weasel was starting to get antsy as she had been awake since about the 2 mile mark and we were close to 5.5 at this point. Perfect time to happen upon yet another park:

Weasel in her element!

After about 20 minutes of playtime and a not-so-terrible slide incident (she was going down the big winding slide in the back and decided to forget to sit down first!), Weasel climbed back in the Bob and we finished the last 1.2 miles to return to the car. 

This was such a relaxing way to run. Sure I used my RunKeeper App to log miles and keep time, but I wasn't glued to it (thank goodness for the pause button!). I wish all runs could be this grand!