Adventures of a River Rat


Today was the best run I have had in a LONG time.  Maybe even the best run ever.  It wasn’t my fastest run, or the farthest, but it was by far the most fun!

Meg has become my running muse.  Not only has she become a running machine, but she also knows so many awesome routes to run! 

Today we ran the course from the James River 10K Scramble. 

 image

As you can tell from the description below, this is not your typical 10K:

“The start is on Brown’s Island. Go under the Manchester Bridge and head east on the canal walk to 14th Street. Go right and across the river on 14th Street over the Mayo Island Bridge. Make a right on the Floodwall walkway and continue up the floodwall (where the best views are of downtown and the river) and under the Manchester Bridge. Here you will have to climb a series of very steep steps on the side of the old Manchester Bridge.  The runners will go up the stairs and across the bridge over the railroad tracks to the back-side of the new SunTrust Building and go under the Lee Bridge along Riverside Drive and go up to the 22nd Street pedestrian bridge and back to the river. Continue west along the gravel road to the James River Visitors Center.  Return on a series of trails back to the "dryway". Cross the "dryway" by rock hopping across the dry river bed to Belle Isle. Go up a steep trail and along the top of Belle Isle heading east and back down a major hill and then back across the footbridge to Tredegar Street and back east to finish on Brown’s Island.” (Source)

Here is a picture of the VERY STEEP STEPS :)  I had no idea how steep they were as I was climbing up!!!

(Source)

This is how the rock hopping should have looked, but the river was so high that we couldn’t find a way across.

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We eventually found a foot bridge, and climbed a small mountain of rocks to the top :)  My buns got a great workout from all of the climbing today 🙂

Once across the river we were on Belle Isle.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. 

We visited a few historical markers along the way, and of course, I had to stop to read the signs.  I am my father’s daughter 😉

These rapids are appropriately named Hollywood Rapids.  Can you see Hollywood Cemetery on top of the river bank???   

We then sprinted across the suspension bridge back to our car, and drank loads of cold H2O.

Our total time out running today was 1 hour, 20 minutes.  We spent 53:05 of those minutes actually running, and the rest of the time was spent climbing steps, ramps, and rock mountains, reading historical makers, contemplating the best way across the river, and redirecting ourselves after being slightly lost at certain points.  It was a wonderful adventure! 🙂

I can truly say that I have finally reignited my relationship with running.  I think it’s important to point out that I didn’t do this on my own.  It took asking a friend for help.

Here are some important lessons I have learned this week:

1) Ask a friend for help in reaching your goals.

Whether it’s asking a friend to go on a long run with you, or asking their opinion of group classes at the gym, good friends will provide you with the support you need.  Working out with a buddy means that you have to stick to the agreed upon schedule, and can’t keep putting it off.  It also means you will have more fun!!!

2) Research alternatives for familiar routines.

For me, running had become a monotonous chore due to the fact that there are very few routes near my house that are conducive to  longer runs.  Looking up race routes provided me with new (and adventurous!) running paths that took away boredom and added excitement. 

Keeping it fresh means you won’t get bored.  Try a new running route, a new class at the gym, or buy a new workout DVD.  Constantly switch up your routine to avoid monotony.   

3)  Celebrate your successes!!!!  

There is a certain high that comes with accomplishment.  After running almost nine miles on Monday, I was feeling rather proud of myself!  I couldn’t wait to get back out on the road!!!

4) Have fun!!!

You do not have to set records every time you strap on your running shoes.  Exercise should be enjoyable!  Do you enjoy tennis or riding bikes?  How about swimming laps at the pool?  There is no law that says in order to call it a workout you have to spend 45 minutes on a treadmill people watching.  The important thing is that you move.  Do what you enjoy!  You will be more likely to stick with it!  :) 

I can’t help but feel great about my workouts this week.  I’ve run about 17 miles total, and have worked out every single day since Saturday.  The endorphins are running strong!  I feel great!

I think I’ll go for a short 3 mile run tomorrow and do some ab work  ;)  Now I’m off to finish my Chelsea Handler book that has me CRACKING UP!!!

How do you keep your workout routines fresh and exciting???

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Adventures of a River Rat

  1. Alicia

    I am willing my shin and foot to heal so I can begin running again because of this post. It makes me miss running!!!!

    What marathon are you planning on training for?

    • Don’t rush your injuries!!! You don’t want to end up in worse shape than you are now! I think I may train for the November Suntrust half marathon. We’ll see how that goes. I’m not 100% sure I am ready for a marathon. Have you run one before?

  2. Wow, what a fun and crazy run!!! Your running enthusiasm is totally contagious, and I love the lessons you shared!

    When my workout routine starts to feel a bit stale, I find a new running route because it makes me feel like I’m “exploring.” 😉

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