Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taking Running to New Heights

So on Saturday, I took my running to some place new. The location isn't really new, as I have been going there since I was out of the womb, but the run was completely different.

A little background: I live 2 miles outside of the city center in Pittsburgh, so I am surrounded by house on top of house, on-street parking, loud music, and buildings. I can't remember the last time I heard a variety of birds chirping at once, or found myself under the shade of multiple trees.

Okay, back to it. I took my running to the trails of West Virginia this weekend to a place that is very special to me: Coopers Rock. I had this little trip planned for a whole 2 days ( a bit last minute) and had it in my mind how it was going to work out, what I was going to do while I was down there, etc.  I held myself to a schedule, stuck to it, and did absolutely everything that I wanted to. People don't realize the high you get after doing what YOU wanted to do. I have experienced this high on a few occasions and it is like no other-where you dedicate yourself to doing something, and you do it and it is as great, if not better, than you thought it was going to be. This was one of those days. No one to answer to, no one to check on to see if they were having as much fun as me, no sticking to anyone else's schedule..just mine. I would have enjoyed this experience with my hubby by my side, but he said he wouldn't have enjoyed the running portion so I guess it is a good thing that his schedule didn't permit him to enjoy it with me. I took it all in. I took in the air (esp. the's nice to not breathe in city air), listened to the birds (there were so many!) and felt the sun on my shoulders as I ran through the trails. I ended up cover 10 miles that day, and rewarded myself at the end...
Originally I had planned to take the road to the overlook, but figured I'd take the trail as there are plenty of roads to run on in the city...

The trail run was 3.1 miles..which quickly turned into 4 as I went down the WRONG trail (largely downhill..which means correcting my mistake was largely uphill)

When I say I was running through the woods, I really was. It was wonderful. So glad I decided to take "the road less traveled"

Another picture of my trail leading me through the middle of nowhere. I had no clue how much longer I had, or even if I was going the right way...but that day I didn't really care..

                       Stumbled on this little guy as I nearly biffed it. I did NOT see that root coming
                                                           Destination #1: The Overlook
Made it before the heat hit!

As I looked out, I could see Destination #2 off in the distance: Raven Rock. Had to laugh as a group of serious-looking hikers with their Camel Backs, hiking shoes, and sunscreen talked about the trail to Raven Rock, and how they were going to tackle it as it is the "hardest trail here", and then said, "C'mon! Let's get in the truck!" I'm thinking..."Truck?? No thanks, I'll run there"

                     The trail to Raven Rock was not as friendly as the first. Thank God for Plyo!!

                                                         This hill was the most un-friendly...

                                   But the view from the top is you just gotta keep climbing!

                                                  A view of Destination #1..from Destination #2

               It felt great to be about 7 1/2 miles into my 10...but time was a tickin' and I was getting hungry

Took myself to the lake, for a little R&R where I met this awesome lady, Pam, who let me use her boat dock to swim off of. Despite the fact that the water was probably 70 felt amazing on my sore muscles!

Whatever you had planned for your workout today, try and take it somewhere new! Whether it's a run, a walk, or even lifting...take it somewhere different and watch how you develop a new passion for it.

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