If you need any more reason than the above photo to start hiking/running TODAY, I don’t know how to help you! I am making an effort to stay active on our week long vacay, so I wanted to go on a run this a.m. I’m so happy my boyfriend wanted to go on a run with me. I was going to drive all the way into Santa Cruz, but he informed me that there was a fairly flat hiking trail only 5 minutes away that we could run!
Running on the trails is way different from running on asphalt or even sand. It’s hard in some spots, and super silty in others. There are rocks and tree roots hiding under the path waiting to grab your ankle and twist it! But it is a really great way to challenge yourself. Sure, we walked quite a bit. But it was a great work out and we felt awesome jogging through the shady forest, next to a calm beautiful creek. Way better than the crowded beach run I had planned!
Running with someone else is a challenge in itself. Especially when that someone likes to run circles around you, leap and bound like a gazelle, and generally show off at how much better at running he is than you. It’s very motivating to try and keep up! When I was running, I ran much faster than I usually do. When I wanted to turn around, we kept going. When I wanted to walk the rest of the way, I had to keep running so I wouldn’t get left in the dust!
If you want to run/walk at Henry Cowell State Park, off the Hwy 9 in Santa Cruz, you can park outside of the entrance for free. Walk in and go right on the first trail after the bridge. You can stay on the trail next to the creek or go on the asphalt that runs alongside. Even today on a really nice Sunday, it wasn’t too crowded! Highly suggest it! There are other great hikes in Santa Cruz but this one is easy to get to, easy to find, and fairly flat for the first few miles (a plus in my beginner runner’s book).
So, went for run (jog) # 2 today! Wanted to go to Huntington, but on the way decided to stop by seal beach to see if it was a good spot to run, a little closer to home. Well, as you can tell by my route I had a little trouble finding a good place to go. I like HB because it’s a straight, paved path right next to the beach that goes on for a while. Seal beach doesn’t really have that, so I ended up walking a bit and then just running on the sidewalks in the neighborhood right next to the beach! Which was actually just fine. It was pretty, and flat, and fairly empty which I liked. The houses were amazing! I want to move there! haha yeah right.
It was really hard at first but got easier at the end. I ran four 5 minute intervals, walking 2 minutes (more in the first one because I was kind of lost in a parking lot) between. The last interval I did 6 minutes just to make myself. Then I did a 1 minute sprint! I wanted to do one more, but then I was over it. Walked back to my car and stopped to do some stretching on some grass in a mini park. Overall, it was a good run. Unfortunately, now I am starting to feel the familiar ache of the runner’s nemesis, SHIN SPLINTS! GRRRRR I HATE SHIN SPLINTS! So I am icing, stretching, and relaxing.
I really need to find somewhere to run closer to home. I live in a pretty sketchy neighborhood and don’t feel comfortable running around here by myself really. I know myself and when it’s crunch time (aka I’m working 40 + hours and doing school full time! Soon! I don’t want it to come back!) I won’t have the time/energy/motivation to drive 20 minutes each way for a run. I guess I do need to get out of my comfort zone, but also I don’t want to run in the hood. There I said it. So til next time, I’ll be icing my shins and drinking lots of water! It’s freaking hot!
I did it! I went to HB and ran for the first time in over a year! I was actually better than I thought! Pretty slow (obviously) but I ran for over 7 minutes without stopping right off the bat! That’s pretty good for me, when I started running a few years ago I started with the run one minute, walk one minute plan. Today I ran for 7, walked 2, ran 5, walked 3, ran 5, and then walked back to my car. Didn’t make it into the water for a swim because there was a big rip tide and the lifeguards kept running into the water to haul people out.
My legs are super sore, but I feel great! I got that runners high and I feel really strong and proud. I might be slow, but hey, for me this counts as a win!