Running with a destination

Why drive home from work when you can run? Why indeed.

One of the most satisfying  types of workouts, I think, is the destination run.

It’s running to get somewhere specific. You’re not running in circles on a track, like a hamster on a wheel. You’re not running up a monster hill, over and over, until you black out.

roadmap1Instead, you’re running because you need to get someplace. You’re turning a journey into a workout.

That’s what I did today, when I ran home after work. I zig-zagged 12 miles on a run that took me through a variety of streets and neighborhoods, hither and yon.

The run felt good. It also saved wear and tear on the Jeep, conserved gas, and gave me a good workout.

I don’t do these destination runs as often as I should. More often, I drive to a park, run a few loops, and drive home. Or I run around my neighborhood.

But I’d like to do more of them. If you need to get in the miles, and you need to get someplace anyway, why not kill two birds with one stone?

The 12-mile run was my longest run in a few months, so I took it nice and easy. I didn’t blast the miles. In fact, my total running time was 1:51:20, which works  out to a pace of 9:15 a mile. That included a bit of standing around at intersections, waiting for the light to change, especially in the busy first half of the run, coming out of downtown.

 There were two drawbacks to the run:

1) Parts of the course were not, shall we say, the most scenic. About 20 minutes or so was spent running through some low-income neighborhoods, where many houses were boarded up. I tried to stay on main streets, rather than isolated backstreets during this stretch.

2) The run was entirely on pavement. And you know how Trail Boy feels about pavement.

On the other hand, much of the run led me through some very pretty areas that I don’t have a chance to enjoy when I’m driving through at 35 or 40 miles an hour.

The biggest issue with a destination run is you need to plan in advance.  And that’s what I did. This morning, Mrs. Trail Boy drove me to work, and then kept my car for the rest of the day.

I left my heavy briefcase at home, because I wouldn’t be able to carry it with me while running. I also left my wallet and keys home today.  I took my running stuff to work, changed in the locker room after work, and locked up my street clothes in a locker. That way, the only thing I needed to carry home were my glasses and a water bottle.

The skies were cloudy during the run, and there was a light breeze. I’m sure rain will arrive soon, maybe overnight. But  I’m thankful that it held off during my run. I’m also thankful that my legs didn’t quit on me.welcome

When I got home, I enjoyed a big bowl of chili. My legs had a pleasant buzz. But also a bit of a dull ache from too many miles on roads and sidewalks.

My next run, I swear, will be on a trail.


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