Friday, July 8, 2011


Other than mom waiting on Sean hand and foot (to the point that both he and I are rolling our eyes), things have been pretty quiet here at home. I didn't sleep well (surprisingly), so I decided to stay home and work today. When I'm just writing, and I'm not getting paid anyway, it doesn't really matter WHERE I work, does it?

I had a fabulous run yesterday afternoon. At the last second, I decided I wanted to run at Wildwood Metropark. It was a favorite place of mine when I lived right around the corner and I realize I haven't gotten a code word for their "big search" from Wildwood in a couple weeks. Oak Openings' code words are normally someplace I run by anyway and just happen to see the word. Every other park, I actually have to make an effort to go find the stupid easel with the code word. I never hope to find all the code words each week; it's just too much driving, but I'm happy if I get 2 or 3. Every time I get Wildwood's, I just stop at the Botanical Gardens (another of my favorite places) and find theirs too.

Like I was saying before that little rant (lol), my run was fabulous. I had thought the heat was going to be a serious issue, but I made sure to wear my nike dry-fit tank, my baseball cap (explanation later), and carry my water bottle. Normally I just wear sunglasses when I run instead of my hat (I have enough problems with acne without a sweaty hat sitting on my forehead for a period of time), but I didn't have my yellowed glasses with me and I don't like wearing anything darker when I'm running in the woods. There is plenty of light even in the darkest areas of Wildwood's "Upland Woods" trail (unlike some of OO's), but I still don't like it. I trip over things really easily and I knew I was going to have to be playing close attention to where I was stepping. While I LOVE the diversity of OO's "woodsy" trails, most of them are pretty narrow and uneven. Wildwood's trails are pretty wide and smooth(ish). I still can't decide if I like having the wooden slats dug into the foreside of the dunes or not. It's nice to not be digging into the sand trying to go up the dune, but DAMN those things are slippery even when they're dry! My run took me across the boardwalk of the Floodplain Trail (blue) too, which was kind of fun actually. After a bout of "roughing it" in the dunes section, it was nice to have a (semi) level area for a comfortable stable pace. Even after a week of not running, I could feel the shift in my body as I decided to run. Of course I wish I could have run MORE, but I was just happy I didn't automatically cringe every time I picked the pace back up. I kind of wish I would have made more use the the boardwalk for some shorter sprints. I should run at Wildwood more often. I can really get some interesting miles out of their combination of trails. Oak Openings will always be my favorite (and go-to when I want REAL woods), but Wildwood is pretty amazing too.

How can anyone stand running longer distances on roads after spending time on trails like these? Ugh. My shins seem to like trail running a helluva lot more too. lol. Since the Metroparks don't open until 7am, I'm still forced to run through the neighborhood and village if I want to escape the heat with an early morning run ... I can't believe how boring that sounds now. *laughs to self* Who knew running ANYWHERE for ANY length of time would make ME happy?! If my high school self could see me now ... Now if only I can work on running further and faster. All in good time, I guess.

If you want to check out my log (and map) for yesterday's run ...

If anyone ever wants to check out ANY of the Toledo Metroparks (even for just a walk), I'm all ears. lol. Really, I can't believe the change in me since I started running. It isn't so much a physical change as a mental one. I see myself differently when I look in the mirror. I don't just see the number on the scale. I see the muscles and the effort I put into going that distance every time I lace up my running shoes. I see the difference in my health and how I carry myself. Hydration is still a bit of trial and error (I have always gotten dehydrated easily), but I'm learning. Mom is trying to be more conscious of what she makes for family meals because she knows I won't eat the same thing every other night and I know what I should be eating to stay healthy and fit. Fitness is a struggle in my family, and I like to think that I'm leading the charge, in a way. Eh, maybe not, but I know my parents look at me a bit differently than they used to, even when I was a rower.

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