Much like my fellow running blogger Donna’s recent entry regarding running routes, I too often tire of running the same courses. I think as mileage frequency is increased this becomes even more apparent. While I like to think that I’ve been a runner since 7th grade when I joined the track team, my consistency of running has waxed and waned over the years. Since summer 2017 I can say that I have been consistent in my running thanks to training for my second and third half marathons and completing the York Winter Series.
All this regular running has meant that sometimes my regular running routes become stale. Finding new routes is hard, particularly if I haven’t been on a road to know if it’s highly traveled, has a decent sized shoulder, etc. This is especially true as my long runs need more miles added onto them. For this reason I often turn to local rail trails as there aren’t worries about traffic and I can easily increase distance by going out and back. I’m fortunate to live within a 15 minute drive of the Heritage Rail Trail Park (or as I always call it, the York Rail Trail) and a 30 minute drive of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail.
As much as I love the rail trails my frequent use of them means that the scenery sometimes becomes boring. This is especially true because when I’m required to be in the office I often drive to the same part of the York Rail Trail to run after work because it’s less than 10 minutes away. I normally can’t manage to run more than 5 miles total on this section because I’ve just ran it so much it creates the same boredom that running on a treadmill does.
Last night while trying to figure out where I wanted to run my 8-10 miles today it hit me. I could pick a new trail head along the York Rail Trail and start from there instead. Why I hadn’t thought of this before is beyond me. I think it helped that Jason and I recently biked 31 miles round trip on the trail. It made me think about how much of the trail I’ve biked more than I’ve ran.
After looking up driving directions I set out this morning and came to find that the trail head I went to isn’t any farther of a drive than my usual one. The portion of the trail I ran I hadn’t actually ran since 2011 when I ran the Rail Trail 10 mile race. It was fun to take in the scenery of the area since it had farmland, woodland and even a small nature preserve area. It was also advantageous because the one junction had a water fountain that I was able to use on my way out and back. I ended up running a total of 8 miles. At no point during the run was I bored. I will definitely be returning to that starting point in the future. Today’s run proved that thinking outside of the box can take a familiar path and turn it into a new adventure.
Do you ever get bored of your usual running routes? How do you find new routes?