Home > Out and About > The Road to World Conquest: A better path

The Road to World Conquest: A better path

I’ve always felt like the treadmill was cheating.

Sure, it does a pretty good job of simulating a walk, jog, or run. But it does so inside the comfy confines of a gym. In my gym, at the YMCA, I can jog while watching TV.

Cheating.

When I was a kid, my strength was cross-country running. I loved getting out and making my way around the neighborhood, through wooded trails and down limestone roads. I’ve never quite warmed to treadmills.

So, today, while I spent the third day of my long weekend at my desk, I decided that 1) I couldn’t go another day without a decent workout and 2) I wanted something real. I’ve been in Huntsville since January, nearly six months, and I’ve never really checked out public running courses. I hit Google and found that there’s a cross-country course less than a mile from my apartment, running around the town’s municipal golf course off Airport Road.

I got in two miles – a mix of running and walking (I am in no condition to take that thing on at a steady run yet) – and I loved it, despite the heat. Plenty of shady spots. Some nifty terrain changes. Even an obstacle to avoid here and there.

The downsides:

* Can’t take the dog with me. He would really benefit from the exercise, but the path gets pretty narrow at times. It’s probably best for all concerned that pets aren’t permitted.
* The mosquitoes. Must remember the repellent next time.
* My shoes. I need to follow Catherine’s advice and get a decent pair of shoes designed for running. I’ve got sneakers, but they’re just not appropriate for the terrain.

The upsides:

* I’m burning calories from running, jogging, walking, and just being out in the heat, which I think does more for me than a stroll on the treadmill.
* I don’t have to drive as far. The closest Y is a few miles distant.
* It’s not as crowded. I like the relative solitude of the course.

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