Hitting the trails
After five days of unstructured activity, it was about damn time that I got my rear in gear. Although my father and best friend ditched me, I decided to go for a run. It was tough to decide if I should go outdoors or on the dreadmill (in the glorious AC). Thankfully some Twitter folk talked me into the outdoor shaded option, if you weren’t aware, they are serious enablers. (Note: I hate dreadmills even though I’ve heard rumors that they can be good for me.)
So I suited up and set off for the trails. Valley Forge National Park offers a dozen trail options from hilly and out in the sun to a 20-something mile trail into down town Philadelphia. For today I chose the 90% shaded path that runs along the Schuylkill River. Theoretically this made the run a bit more bearable, but I’m not sure if I believe it. The temperature on the path was lower, yet it was still humid and hotter than I’d prefer (anything over 50º).
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I went out way too fast on my first mile. Looking down at Garmie (the Garmin 305) I saw that I was going at a great pace for a day when the weather is more agreeable and I’ve been keeping a regular training schedule. Today was not that day. I slowed down substantially for the following three miles, it was quite necessary or my body might have rebelled. In the end I completed a solid four miles much slower than typical. I’ll take it for now and try to get back out again tomorrow.
The paths are quite beautiful, I suggest checking them out if you are ever in the area. It was serene being out there. Since I went at a random time of day, there were very few individuals out on the path with me. So much nicer that way. On the weekends you’ll find hoards of people in the main park from bikers to roller bladers and tourist groups galore. Other cute things about the park include the monuments and structures. There are log cabins and cannons every couple of miles. Today I saw a brick structure; I had to run past it (to hit four miles) and then I wandered back to get a photo. Fortunately my camera fit comfortably in my SPIbelt (and no one saw me awkwardly taking photos).
What is your favorite outdoor place to run/exercise? Do you seek shade or AC on these hot days?