Today I decided to mix things up a bit with my run and head to the Cleveland Metroparks for this morning’s run. Comprised of sixteen different reservations, the Metroparks is 21,000 acres of lush nature, picnic areas, and walking trails, among other attractions, including the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (notorious location of my first 5K). The Metroparks are one of Northeast Ohio’s best attributes, but one I, sadly, don’t take advantage of enough. So when I woke up this morning and my usual route left me feeling uninspired, I decided today would be the perfect opportunity to head over to the Brookside Reservation.
(And, being a smart runner, I let all of Twitter know where I was headed and where I was parked. Just in case.)
Naturally, one of the draws to the Metroparks are the gorgeous views. Of course, being that I was, y’know, running, I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked. But, really, any photographs taken on my iPhone wouldn’t do the area justice, so it’s probably better as it was. I did have to stop and snap a photo of this:
I have always wondered where the Northern Trek entrance was! I mean, in the Zoo I know where it’s located. Y’know, up in the Northern Trek where the polar bear hangs out. But I’ve always wondered how you actually get up there from the outside. And now, in a weird nerdy way, my life feels complete.
Setting out, I really wanted to do 4 miles. And when I started and it was breezy and overcast, it seemed plausible. But as the sun came out and it started to get hot, my body wasn’t quite as crazy with that idea. But I did do 3.6 miles, which I’m happy with. That’s the farthest I’ve run in months.
Upping my distance is a new goal: I’m comfortable at 5K/3.1, but want to start challenging myself. I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna start running 26 miles tomorrow, baby steps and all. The immediate area around my apartment isn’t the best for long distances and as I want to start training for a half-marathon next year, I need to start scouting out locations for the long run days. Plus, I don’t do well with circular routes, I get bored after a couple of laps, so I need places where I can run and run and run, hit the halfway mark, and turn around. After today’s experience I might have to start visiting the other Metroparks to see what they have to offer. One reservation down, fifteen more to go!
Any suggestions on how to start working on my distance? If you’re a CLE runner, do you have any favorite spots I should check out?
Love from the ashes,