Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Run/Walk in the Park

For yesterday's run, I decided to actually alternate running and walking. I've started having trouble with shin splints again (shin splints were a major problem for me when I first started running), so I wanted to take it a little easy, but still wanted a good workout.

I chose to shake things up a little and headed to a nearby park for my run. I usually just run through my neighborhood, but every now and then, I decide that I just don't want to deal with traffic, waiting for street lights to turn, cars that don't stop for stop signs and red lights, etc.

I'm really glad that I went to the park. It isn't the most impressive park in Chicago, not by a long shot, but it was still so pretty!

The river on the way to the park.
I was there early enough that there weren't many people around. I mostly saw other folks running or walking. In the evenings, the park is full of people. Kids playing, families spending time together, the random birthday party or BBQ, people using the tennis courts or softball field, people just hanging out...people love their parks!

It was great being surrounded by nature. During my workout, I covered all of the paths that run through the park.

Instead of my usual running app, I decided to go back to the 5k training app that I used when I first started running because I would have several workouts alternating walking and running. I chose one in the middle of the training plan.

I started with a 5 minute walk, then a 5 minute run. Next, it had me alternating walking for 30 seconds and running for 1 minute, then doing heel lifts, and then repeating the whole drill again. I repeated this drill 8 times. Next, there was a 10 minutes "free form run", which, for this 5k app, means that you can run or walk as much as you want - run the whole thing, walk the whole thing, or alternate the two. I chose to slowly jog for the 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes were up, there was 5 minutes of stretching (I chose to only stretch for a minute or two and then walked for the final few minutes) followed by another 10 minute free form run.

Once I was finished, I walked home, heading back the way I came. I prefer to stay on the side streets during the day - less traffic, more scenery, and sometimes I discovers things I didn't know were in my neighborhood.

Once home, I stretched, showered, and fixed some breakfast - oatmeal with sliced banana, pecans, and a little brown sugar along with a cup of coffee. It was a good way to start the day.

I think I'll need to head to the park more often for my morning runs. I have several parks near my apartment, and there are also the bigger Chicago parks and running trails along the lake front that are easy to get to on public transit. Not only did I enjoy being in a green space, but I loved not having to stop to wait for a light to change. Also, the paths through the park were much easy on my legs than the sidewalks on which I usually run. There are so many great parks and trails in Chicago! I don't know why I don't take advantage of them more often, but that is something that I need to change.

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