There’s a park in our neighborhood. It’s a beautiful park off the road in a grove of trees with a killer playground. At least it looks killer from the road.
I’ve never stopped at the park but I’ve jogged by it at least 60 times. It’s on my longer running routes around our neighborhood (longer means 5-8 miles). Toward the end of marathon training when all my runs were over 5 miles I ran past the park four times a week. Each time I ran past I thought, That looks like a really cool park. I should take Evie there sometime, maybe this afternoon.
This afternoon turned in tomorrow, later when it’s not so hot or after I run these errands. We still had never been, until this morning.
I was four and a half miles into my six mile run and the park came into view.
I should take E to the park this afternoon.
No. Because I’ll get busy and I never will. I’m not gonna wait I’m gonna take her to the park RIGHT NOW.
I veered the jogging stroller down the sidewalk and made a beeline for the infant swings.
Just as I suspected, it is a KILLER playground. A huge pavillion with picnic tables is in the center with three different play areas surrounding it, one designed just for toddlers! I can see many an afternoon spent eating lunch at the picnic tables watching E play. What a great thing to have so close to our house!
Why have I not stopped at the park before? I’m not entirely sure but I think it was mainly because during training I didn’t want to be interrupted. During marathon training each individual run was important and had a purpose. The runs were all about the running. It’s all I would think about. How’s my form? What’s my heart rate? That little pain in my left knee, should I be worried? Can I push myself a little harder?
At no time did I ever think, I’ll just stop in the middle of this run to check out this cool park!
In a way, I’m glad marathon training is over. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. I will do it again, soon. But honestly post-marathon running is more fun. Now I run not because I HAVE to but instead because I WANT to. While on morning runs I now spend more time looking at the scenery, waving at the other joggers, listening to the birds and talking to E. I don’t dread my morning excursion, I look forward to it.
Today a new tradition was born. We will stop at the park again, likely the next time I go running…which is tomorrow.