Up until this past weekend, my training has primairly focused on running on the treadmill at the gym. The main reason for this has been due to the weather, but now that the weather is finally getting nicer (almost too nice – it felt like we skipped Spring today with our high of 87 degrees here in Northern Virginia), its time to start taking some of my training runs outside.
Although running outside is much more realistic in preparing for a race due to the terrain and weather conditions, I was initially thinking I wouldn’t want to complete too many training runs outside. Its much easier to be more consistent and predictable on the treadmill. However, I’m finding running outside to much more enjoyable than I initially thought it would be. When Preston trained for the 2013 Disney World Marathon, he often complained that his runs at the gym were boring because he didn’t have anything to look at and enjoy. I always rebutted his complaints with “There are TVs to watch at the gym.” However, I’m finding greater appreciation for his complaints now that I’ve completed two training runs outside.
Both Saturday and yesterday we completed five mile runs on the Mount Vernon Trail. We’ve used Gravelly Point Park as our starting and ending points, which has allowed us to thoroughly enjoy views of the airplanes taking off and landing at the airport. Its amazing how close the trail is to the beginning of the runway and how low the airplanes get to points of the trail. At one point as we were running just south of the park along the runway, an airplane got so low to us that I was afraid that it would hit us! Too bad I didn’t already have my phone out to capture that moment!
With the peak bloom of the Cherry Blossoms having finally occurred today, we got to enjoy especially magical views of the blossoms during yesterday evening’s run.
After these last two runs, I have a much greater appreciation for why running outside can be more enjoyable than treadmill running. Although the heat and humidity of DC summers will make it impossible to complete all of my runs in the coming months outside, I’m very much looking forward to taking in more views of the DC area outside as I further prepare myself for my first half marathon.