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).