Sometimes a change in scenery can push your motivation to a new level. On my recent trip to Kentucky this Average Running Joe took in the new sites and the motivation grew. The shear beauty of the environment was enough just to make me keep running.
I think it is important to have fun while you run. Not every run should be about training -- sometimes getting caught up in the moment is enough. Breathing new air, hearing new sounds, feeling new ground... all things that can supercharge your run.
Now Kentucky certainly is different then Michigan. I mentioned new ground, but how about new heights? I have a new appreciation for Hill work. The path I chose (not pre-mapped) ended up being a very steep climb one way, which meant downhill the other. Not necessarily easier coming down. I have to admit the environment really helped me move forward up the hills -- waiting to see what was over the next plateau.
What I wasn't ready for was the humidity. On Sunday I awoke at 6am for the 12 mile run -- at that time it was 84 and humid. Humidity and uphill running usually do not make a good pair, but this was all new! My personality really enjoys new places, people and experiences which can really make running fun. Sometimes you can combine all three things by entering a new race in a new place. Sometimes all it takes is just a new place.
Upon this journey in Kentucky, I encountered new landscape that can take your breath away. At the same time I should have been more prepared. Better hydration, better post run cooling and oh yeah mace. For about a half a mile a small dog chased me and honestly I was scared. I should have known better. You never know what you can encounter on any run let alone a strange place. This being more of a farmland atmosphere, it is probably common that people don't put leashes or fence in their dog. Talk about speedwork!
Within the next few weeks I will put together some essentials to bring for a long run so please check back. In the meantime if you need a quick pick me up, drive to a place you have never run and just hit the road and enjoy the view. Below are a few snap shots, enjoy and let me know about your new place to run.