Running Outside > Treadmills

Saturday morning… the sun is shining, the temperature is perfect, and I have a good solid hour to get a workout in. An hour is probably enough time for a quick bike ride, but the hassle of getting dressed and making sure the bike is ready makes that hour an easy hour and a half, and I can’t go very far in an hour… so I opted for a run.

It was my first time running outside since Xterra Crystal Cove Trail Run back in December. After that, I was running on the treadmill inside because the weather was getting cold, the evenings were getting dark, and it was just more convenient. That ended up being a bad idea because I pushed myself too hard too fast and started feeling shin splints and other legpains, which prevented me from running for a while. It was weeks of ice and rest and leg strengthening with no running. Now that my one-month gym membership has expired, I’m slowly trying to get back to running, which brings me to Saturday morning.

I opted for an easy five miles around Mile Square Park (I realize that a lap around Mile Square Park is only 4 miles, but I started half a mile away… so it works out). I went in knowing that I would keep an easy pace and stop to walk if my legs started bothering me. For the most part, I made it through with minimal leg pain.. and finished in 51 minutes, which isn’t horrible for me, having not run for a while. But.. I was feeling it afterwards, and was DYING for ice on the walk back to my house. First thing I did was plump the icepack on my legs and downed some coconut water (YUM!). Today.. the legs are feeling a bit better, though sore from the first run in a long time. I iced a little more, but definitely won’t be running today. I’ll give them a little rest and maybe run again tomorrow.

I have to say, it (mentally) felt great to be running outside. The treadmill is SOOOO boring, and even though I’ve run around the park a million times (<— that’s a gross exaggeration), it was still better than running indoors. Also, I found some new things at the park.. like these added workout/stretching stations along the 3-mile walking loop.

I remember seeing something similar on the 1.5-ish-mile loop at Huntington Central Park and thinking that it would be a GREAT idea for Mile Square Park. I guess someone read my mind. I only saw one because I wasn’t running the loop, but I’m sure there are more. I’ll post back on it once I find them all.

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