The thing about long runs is they are long. They take up a lot of one’s precious free time. And sometimes, you can think of a million other things you’d rather be doing than trotting along city streets, dripping in sweat, wearing a weird-looking fuel belt on your day off.
But, as us runners all know, once you get out there, it all pays off.
Last night I had one of those runs. The very fact I waited until Sunday night to get in my 16-kilometre long run tells you I was procrastinating. I made Mark decide whether he wanted to hang out with me in the morning or at night, and he chose morning.
I’m glad he did. We went to the Queen Square Farmer’s Market on a beautiful Sunday morning. Ate Pad Thai from the market for lunch. Bought some smelly candles, strolled down through Saint John’s south end and traipsed around Tin Can Beach (“People come down here to be discreet. Watch your step,” my husband, ever the local he is, warned me.)
We came back home and did some chores. I made some blueberry muffins (with fresh New Brunswick berries) and some granola bars. We read the newspapers. Dreamed up our next home reno projects. Mark fired up the barbecue. Oh Sundays, why don’t you ever last?
At about 6:30 p.m. I knew it was time to change in my running clothes. Always the first step. I tossed some dates in my fuel belt and some electrolyte mix in my water bottles. Garmin and iPod ready. Head out the door. I still wasn’t really feeling it.
But then it was like a switch went off. I found my long, slow distance pace (known as LSD). I fell into the rhythm, and I started thinking happy thoughts. My plan was to run from my place to the Irving Nature Park and back, but I decided to try something a little different. I ran by Martello Tower and through Fundy Heights. You can see and smell the ocean here. As I passed Seaside Park, I veered in, curious to check out the remains of a rickety lookout that my colleague had written about recently. I ran down a path toward the water, and was rewarded with an awesome view. It was low tide and the water was gently rolling up on sandy beaches. One of of the many faces of the fickle Bay of Fundy.
From there, I ran along a trail that I once jogged with a friend. The air was so sweet. I eventually looped back up with the road leading to the Nature Park and finished my run as intended. But my jaunt off-course reminded me how fun it can be to explore uncharted territory and get a work-out in at the same time.