When school got out a couple of weeks ago, the plan was to shift my focus on running and start an official training schedule for the half marathon in September. Well...things weren't going as planned. I was still finding a hard time fitting in running on a regular basis with my work schedule. This seemed odd, since one would think with more free time it would be easier to find the time. In hindsight, I realize now wasn't so much finding the time, but getting mentally in the right place. I just wasn't as excited about running as I was before, but couldn't figure out why.
Like many other things in life, it turns out a change was what was needed to give me a jump start. I had gotten new shoes, started my blog, but still that spark was missing. But then I found it, the inspiration that I needed...a change of venue.
After running in the Morton Arboretum 10K a month ago, I thought maybe it would be nice to go there and run my long runs occasionally. The thought remained in the back of my mind and resurfaced last Sunday when I ran seven miles in my neighborhood in the heat. The run was tough...I struggled to get through the last couple of miles. I thought about how I would doing this every week, all summer and realized it was going to get old fast. The shade in my subdivision is non existent. And this is the same for all the subdivisions around me. The scenery is all the same too...houses, cars, houses, cars. But then, as if it was a sign, I got an invitation in the mail to become a member of the Morton Arboretum at a reduced price. So I decided to sign up and give it try...BEST DECISION EVER!
I used to be a member of the Arboretum a long time ago, but it wasn't until I ran there for the first time Friday that I remembered how much I love that place. It was so beautiful and quiet, I actually ran the first mile with no music...I just listened to the wind blowing through the trees and the birds singing. It was wonderful. It was just what I needed to get me motivated again.
Since the Arboretum is on my way home from work, the plan is to stop there after work three days a week and run. I also will probaby do some of my Sunday long runs there as well, as I can't imagine running in the hot urban jungle when I can run in the peaceful woods. The only disadvantage is that it will be a 40 minute drive to get there from my house, but I think it will be worth it.
If you are in the Chicago area, you should definitely check out the Morton Aboretum. Not only can you run there, you can also bike and hike, or simply take a drive through: mortonarb.org