Closer to home, I enjoy trail running in Mission Trails Regional Park, but there's no shade to be had there, and it's been a bit to warm to run there recently (and I'd like to build up some more leg strength before tackling some of the hills there). So I've been settling for Lake Murray, which is technically part of Mission Trails, but certainly doesn't have the same vibe as as the rest of the park. More like a wide asphalt road available for running, with some sort of puddle next to it. I tend not to really take in the sights of the lake while I run, though I enjoy looking at the hawks overhead and squirrels scurrying across my path. In my mind it's mainly just a practical outdoor running path when nothing better is available. I did run there around dusk a few weeks back, though, and as my run came to an end back at the parking lot, the sun was beginning to set and a lone duck was swimming across the lake's surface, and I realized that, considering it's less than five minutes from my house, I'm lucky to have such a pretty place so readily available. Uncharacteristically, I took my iPhone instead of my iPod with me, so I had a camera phone with which to snap a few shots. Not what I'd call profoundly beautiful, just the sort of everyday loveliness it's easy to take for granted, and just one more reason I'm glad I'm out there running.
Monday, September 01, 2008
One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post, is that my running has benefitted, I think, by an effort to run outdoors as much as possible. I used to not even consider a treadmill an option, but over the years I've gotten more and more dependent on the treadmills at the gym for the bulk of my running. It has the advantage of being lower-impact than running on hard street surfaces, but it's dull, dull, dull. And they always have the TV at the gym on the news, which I'd rather not have to try to ignore. And on cold days, they crank up the heat to an uncomfortable degree (on hot days, at least, it's very pleasantly cool). But I tend to put off my runs until after I've digested my dinner, when it's dark, and I don't have too many options. Or I'll plan a morning run, and sleep in until noon, and not want to run in the mid-day sun. But I've been making an effort to run the majority of my runs outdoors, since just spending time outdoors provides incentive to run, and increases the immediate benefits of the run as far as mood enhancement. Most of my runs have been after work, on my way home, stopping off at Mission Bay. Even on hot days, there's a nice sea breeze keeping things cool (the recent humidity hasn't spared the bay, though, I'm afraid). The path through the park there is concrete, which isn't a very good running surface, but there's lots of grass, so I spend the majority of my time off the path. And while I don't consider the section of Mission Bay I typically run particularly beautiful, just being in proximity with such a large body of water is soothing. Not as soothing as the view from work in La Jolla, but nice. (I plan to run in La Jolla today after work, and will include the Scripps Coastal Reserve, since there are few better views in the city)