destination running

I always said I thought it was ridiculous to drive somewhere to work out. I have streets and sidewalks all around me, right outside my front door. Why on earth would I get in the car and travel to find OTHER streets and sidewalks? Absurd.

Absurd until I started a weekly pilgrimage to a local bridge to work on some hill training. It was a good change from all the flat streets and the new scenery was refreshing.

So traveling a little ways for elevation became an acceptable thing to do, but that was it.

I really should learn to never say never.

I was baby-sitting overnight for a friend, who lives in a neighborhood that is well-laid out for running. While I was packing for the night, on a whim I decided to include my running gear. And after I dropped the kids off at school that morning, I took advantage of the new streets to run a pretty incredible route. Not only was it a nice seven-ish mile distance, but I was treated to beautiful shaded paths, towering pine trees, and even little ponds full of lily pads. I loved every second of it, and even though it’s a bit of a drive from my house, I am considering going back on the regular.

The thought of going back to my normal routes kind of filled me with a little bit of dread, so for my next training run, I drove to a neighborhood on a golf course. Beautiful landscaping, small rolling hills, great shade and even wide paths for stretching afterwards. Phenomenal. The miles flew by, too, which is always a plus in my book.

And then my friend invited me to run with her in our historic downtown.

I agreed mostly because it would be good practice for the St. Augustine 10K I was running, but when I got out there, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner. So much to see, so many cool streets to explore, so easy to lose yourself in the moment and forget about the actual run. Another keeper route.

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to go back to the surrounding neighborhoods. Fortunately, there are some great locations nearby through which I can rotate, and I think it’s been doing wonders for my running, both mentally and physically. I also like how it’s making me feel more flexible in my training, which is probably a healthier approach for me.

Of course, another benefit is all the great pictures I get to take. I still haven’t gotten over my love of photographing all the cool things I see during my training (and in my upcoming race report, I’m going to share with you the restraint it took to not stop when I saw one of the most awesome sights ever).

Running has gone from being something of a duty or chore to something I look forward to doing again. Hopefully, the trend continues.

Do you stick to the same routes or do you travel to more scenic destinations for your training runs?

Where is your favorite place to run?

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26 Responses to destination running

  1. How fun! I need to get out of my neighborhood and travel a bit, I’m definitely getting tired of running on the same streets and seeing the same things over and over. Glad you’ve found some new places to keep it interesting!
    ari @ whatarisaid recently posted…iPad Mini thoughts… and related thoughts on privacy.My Profile

  2. Diana says:

    Sounds like you’ve been having fun! =) I have to change up my running every now and again, otherwise I get soooooo bored. I’m fortunate enough to have a few different parks that I can go to, but no waterfront, really. I’m jealous. =)
    Diana recently posted…Monday FundayMy Profile

  3. I don’t travel to run at all. Whenever I am up over 6 miles I run to a park about 3 miles away. My run in the park is always so beautiful!
    Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides recently posted…Monday’s MotivationMy Profile

  4. My ultimate favorite place to run is my own neighborhood, but I like to mix things up every now and then and run to our historic “downtown” square and back – it’s very pretty over there!
    Kristen @ The Smith Summary recently posted…That Time I Won a RaceMy Profile

  5. I try to do different routes for my training runs (living in DC w/beautiful monuments I try to take advantage). Mainly from home but I have been known to drive a bit to a new starting point if it gets me out of the same old streets. And I am a well documented racecationer for races!!!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run! recently posted…13 in 2013: Mission CompleteMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      So jealous! I would love to run through DC. And I love that term “racecationer.” So awesome! I find myself checking race schedules whenever we plan to go somewhere. Perhaps I’m on my way to becoming the same.

  6. Sarah Cailean says:

    I thought about you and your lighthouse yesterday while I was hoofing it up the “Rocky Steps” (front entrance steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art)!

  7. Lisa says:

    I really love running on one particular trail not too far from where I live. I enjoy watching it change with the seasons. It does require driving to it. Now that my running partner is moving away (wahh!) I may be doing more running near my house. It’s going to be hard to get motivated to drive somewhere only to run solo.
    Lisa recently posted…Monday MiscellanyMy Profile

  8. Kathy says:

    I do run at the park once a week, and the change does wonders for the run. Like you said, the miles go farther.. I am more motivated to run better in front of people in the daylight too! Well done. I need to get out there to more different places. I wish I lived in a more picture-esk place. Wow, can’t spell. I think you get my meaning! lol… enjoy the day!

    • runswithpugs says:

      LOL! It’s all about appearances, isn’t it! Absolutely get your meaning! It’s funny – I sometimes feel badly that I don’t live around all the mountains and pretty trails – but there is so much beauty right around me and I shouldn’t take it for granted.

  9. Betsy says:

    I tend to stick to the same route for convenience. I wish I had more time to head out to some trails though! It is nice to mix it up and have something different to look at!
    Betsy recently posted…Kona Chocolate Run RecapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It definitely adds time to the overall run, but I’m finding it’s worth it for me. I have to stop myself from going out every time, but for the time being, anything to help keep me in the right frame of mind for Space Coast is going to happen.

  10. Ohhh I’d love to run in the downtown area — definitely adding it to my list!

    You should come run with me and the MRTT girls some time! 🙂
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Weekly Workout Recap: November 4th – November 17thMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      When my schedule opens up a little, definitely. Right now, it’s just so hard because we are all at such different places in our training distances.

      You will love running downtown. It’s so cool.

  11. Matilda says:

    I’m lucky that where I life there are km’s of trail/bush land. I love it. I never get sick of it. A short drive away is the Grampians NP which has 1000’s of km of trails to explore.
    I love living where I live cause I have awesome runs.
    Matilda recently posted…Almond Butter & Banana SplitMy Profile

  12. Oh my goodness, you took the words out of my little running heart!

    My favorite thing in life (even more than running) is travel. My absolute favorite way to discover a new place, or even one I think I know is by lacing up in the early morning. As a runner, even in a foreign country, no one treats you like a tourist, you are just another person out there on the road. You see things you would never see, and discover places you would never discover!
    Anne @ recently posted…15 Miles, and I Might Get Disowned For ThisMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      My biggest problem is that I just want to take my big DSLR and photograph all the things I see when I’m running! Which kind of defeats the purpose! We are going on vacation soon and I am definitely brining my running gear!

  13. It’s a lot of fun when there are new things to see so I’ve driven to places to run many times. Seeing places people run is part of the fun of visiting running blogs for me, especially since I’ve never been to St. Augustine.
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…To BQ or Not to BQMy Profile

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