By now you, and probably every member of your immediate family and all your Facebook friends, knew Wednesday was National Running Day. Or Global Running Day, depending on whose marketing collateral you saw. Every day is running day for the strange people known as runners, but it is nice to share the love of our sport, right?
I printed off a couple bibs for Bowie and I. We ended up running on pavement rather than trail. (SHOCKER! I don’t run on pavement! I really try to avoid that!) I thought maybe I would be less likely to have that weird itchy leg thing if we kept away from bugs and plants. The paved trail is pretty wide, so I didn’t have plants brushing my legs (until we did the actual trail section) and I didn’t notice any bugs gnawing on it. We did use a new industrial-strength bug spray so maybe that helped as well.
We parked at the Lawrence Arboretum, which my kids really love. There is a little paved loop there, small ponds and even a wood yoga platform. Bowie and I started with the loop there and headed out of the park on the paved trail that goes out to Clinton Lake. The paved trail actually ends at Sanders Mound. The trail there was actually runnable!!! So we did an up-and-down on the hill.
After a quick picture break at the summit, we headed back down and out to the paved trail. The sunset was really beautiful and it was just getting dusky when we finished up.
The downside of running paved trail beyond the pounding my legs take is the lack of wildlife. I really like spotting deer and rabbits on my run! I also find myself getting lost in my run when the scenery is constantly changing. Paved trails just seem to not hold my interest, which makes me tend to concentrate on every random twinge (OMG? Is that an injury??) and how hard my lungs are working.
Trail running requires your focus because if you stop paying attention – you will fall down. Paved trails will let you zone out more. So I guess, depending on the type of runner you are, beyond you would prefer the easier terrain and not falling down! I have told my kids that everyone falls down at some point trail running. It happens even when you are paying attention. For me, the reward outweighs the risk. J
Can you think of any pros and cons for trail versus pavement? They really are two different beasts, right? I know a lot of runners tend to fall into one camp. I have to admit that I will run both, race-wise. But for training, I am 95% trail. It just seems to keep me injury-free. (And heals the soul!)