My work puts me in sometimes the most out there, random areas…places that don’t have sidewalks, and barely have places to stop in to eat. Some places are better-known cities – with sidewalks and poor reputations in some neighborhoods.
Everywhere has a lake.
It seems, any time I want to go for a run, that’s the thing I tend to have to ask about.
“Where’s a good place to run around here?” never seems to get me anywhere with rental car dealers, airport officials, or hotel hosts. They tend to stare a little blankly. Which, I’m not sure, could be better than the reaction I usually get when I ask, “What’s a good local place to eat?” Typically, that second question earns me a snide, “I’m not from here.”
I guess it’s the concept of going outside somewhere and running.
Especially since this is technically winter, even if most of the places I’m at are experiencing weather in the 60s, on average. For reference, here at home today, it’s 20F. I am not acclimated to the cold. I’m also not healed. My IT band…which is now just the whole leg… gets pretty sharply painful around mile 4-5.
So I stand in front of these various dumbstruck people, hiding behind their desks to keep this crazy person at bay, waiting to be told a good spot to go for a short run. Finally, as their heads start to shake, whatever in my question that caused their circuts to hiccup fading, and I leap again…an easy question: “Is there a lake with a path or a park somewhere nearby at least?”
That does it. They come back to life. Oh! There’s a lake!
It worked in Pennsylvania.
And that brought me to a beautiful spot, a 4 mile path, and great sights as I ran in the drizzle after a winter storm – the fog rolling.
It worked in Rosewell, where I was told there were lakes – but for running, I should just go over to the park up the road. Both were worthwhile spots. Especially since the lady told me to see the lakes toward sunset.
Or how about in Baton-Rouge, where I was lucky enough that one of my friends used to live there – before my plane finished taxiing to the gate, she had told me exactly where to run.
When I spent this past week in Oklahoma, the hotel staff proudly pointed out the back door of the lobby. “Running ? Gurl, your trail is right there. It’s 16 miles long. It goes everywhere. It’s illuminated. Go have fun!”
That river trail aside, Oklahoma City also has a lake. And the entire local running club will tell you to go there. It’s worth it, for sure. Especially at sunset. I’m sure sunrise would be equally rewarding. It’s not quiet or devoid of other runners.
Most of my other runs all over the areas I’ve been this winter have been spookily alone. Barely even seeing vehicles out on the roads sometimes. In the early dawn hours, in these new places, that gets a bit… eh… creepy. But running at Lake Hefner was like being at a race, or a big running festival, where there were tons of people out. It was warm, if a bit too windy. And some 75 year old passed me on her bike.. I think I heard her call me a sissy as she passed.
Next week I head to Mississippi. It’ll be another new spot for me. There is a lake… but there’s also a lot of “Don’t run this area. It’s dangerous.” There are a few locations recommended, but they’re far enough away from where I’m staying, that I won’t have the time to travel, run, travel, clean up, and make it to work on time. So, I’m kinda worried that despite the ideal running temps there, I’ll be trapped on a treadmill.
Anyone from Jackson MS on here wanna give up some running locales? Maybe the lakes?
Hey? Did you know I have a Facebook Page? Go like the hell outta that page! I often update with a photo of where I’m running that week.
I also have the Instagram. (Because everything is funnier with “the” in front of it). Follow my adventures there as well!