One: My Favourite Place To Run
Toronto is sliced down the middle (down the right, really) by the Don River. Tucked between the river and the Don Valley Parkway winds the Don Valley Trail. It's paved, well-maintained, and I love it. I love it because it's a little less of a harsh environment to run than along sidewalks. There's no stoplights to slow down my pace and very few places where it crosses a road at all. It's got a couple entrances placed perfectly for me to create a route that's almost exactly 5km, but is long enough for distance runs for the weekends too.
The Don Valley Trail is also a challenge. Because it's a valley in the middle of the city, there's an altitude shift of about 100ft, represented in the longest most tiring hills I have ever met as a runner. I can maintain a running pace up these hills, but barely, so they present a strengthening challenge, both mentally and physically.
Also, the Don Valley Trail has skittish rabbits that will sometimes run along the path with you. What's not to love?
Two: New Running ShoesThis was long overdue. Last Saturday, I bought a new pair of running shoes.
My old running shoes, on the left, were five years old and at least half a size to big. I'd bought them on clearance while in university, hated them, and bought my first pair of proper (read, expensive) running shoes from the Running Room just a few months later. I turned back to them two years ago when Mocha dug her teeth into those proper running shoes and destroyed them. Because of my lack of consistency with running and any kind of working out, I never felt like I could justify replacing them, even though I knew they were all wrong for my feet.
This time around, I told myself that it doesn't matter if I stop running next week, or the week after. I might not remain consistent, but at least I'll have these shoes for the next time my legs want to run. And, who knows: maybe they'll be encouragement enough to keep at it.
Three: My PowerSong
I use Nike's running app. It's a lovely little app that tracks my distance and my time. Every mile, it breaks in through my music and tells me what mile I'm at, how long I've been running, and what my average pace is. Sometimes, this is even enough to encourage me to run faster.
The app has a feature called a 'PowerSong'. You can set the app to play one particular song when you tell it to. The idea is to pick the kind of song that gets the bounce back into your feet for the moment you need a little extra umph to get you going or keep you going. I don't actually use the feature, (I hate having to look at my phone to do anything while I'm running) but I definitely have a PowerSong.
I can't get enough. It's such a happy song, one of those songs that makes me so grateful for the important things. I'm sure I looked like a complete idiot on my run yesterday when it came on, running with the goofiest grin plastered on my face.
Do you have a 'PowerSong'?