It’s the New York Times…and let’s be honest most of what they put out is absolutely worth the read, at least to check out what’s going on…and when this one came across about two of the things that are incredibly relevant then I figured it would be cool to pass on! First off, out West…a previous location of which I resided, there are numerous Native American reservations, and the locations of which they live are sometimes absolutely exquisite! The southwestern half of Colorado is an absolute Gem, and one that if you have not experienced, then you need to go see the four corners monument! Second, they talk about the benefits, and experiences of running on said reservations with the locals, and how much it can impact their health and lifestyle! It’s a read…but absolutely well worth it! Keep running man!
Half of us have grown up here in South Florida, and once you cross the halfway Jacksonville border headed into the southern half of the state there is an amazing thing that comes over you…no it’s not the absolutely wonderful warmth that is always present and feels especially nice when it’s December and January everywhere else and high 70s down there!…No…it’s something called Humidity! Holy crap does it hit you like a brick wall when you’re not ready for it!
Coming down to the wonderful tropics during the winter is an especially interesting time. Running outside during the winter above Orlando gives you this wonderful sense of dryness and opens up your oxygen valves quite nicely.
Then…when you get to Ft Lauderdale or Miami Beach that oxygen feels like it’s being sucked into the air heated up and then given extra weight that you just can’t pass through your lungs! It’s like up North sucking it through an open container and then down south you are sucking it through a straw with bristles in it!!!
Look…love the temperature…love the ability that you don’t have to wear any long sleeve or pants any day that you are down there and the thought of wearing gloves and a ski hat out there is essentially non-existent save days when the locals feel that 65 in the morning might be a bit chilly…but man oh man does that brick wall of humidity make it somewhat impossible some days…
Look, any beach run can just be absolutely amazing, and if you get it right, there is always some really cool views along the way. But Pensacola Beach has some unique ones at that, and to start things off here, let’s stop calling something it’s not, and head right for the throat…Pensacola Beach is located in a part of Florida so aptly named…The Redneck Riviera…which adds a lot to the “scenery.”
Man…where do you start here? Well…let’s start on the far west side. Beautiful homes! Get over the bridge from Gulf Breeze, where most of the local yokels live and work, and you head right into the weirdly shaped Pensacola Beach! West side equals Cash! Some absolutely exquisite properties that only someone owning Amazon or Google would try to purchase for their eighth beach home. Then you start coming into town as we head east…right starting near the ginormous water tower with the towns name on it!
Right into the heart of what I would call Touristville! Hotels galore…restaurants serving some great fried fish on the bay side…surf shops…towel shops…sandals shops…you name it! Because remember…Rednecks do forget stuff every now and then…and if you ever were doubting…there’s enough alcohol to sweat off in that morning run to light yourself on fire! Most of the ones on the beach will literally have chairs set up right there so you can plop yourself in the chair…with drink in hand…and don’t have to move!
Keep heading east and you’ll hit some more of those stilt houses that are so accustomed to every beach town out there…and some have been there for quite some time…by the paint and car ports you see. A few RV parks, and smaller homes will come up as well (everyone goes to the beach…not just the rich and rented).
Oh…and don’t forget the Blue Angels! Those jokers fly right by the water tower area, up up and away!
Whether you’re going to run on the beach, or on the well paved sidewalks or non-traveled side roads, there are plenty of places to get your move on. Just watch out for Bubba…he may not see you while he’s carrying his cooler of Bud back to his pick-up. Grab yourself a sweet tea when your done with some lemon and some fried shrimp and oysters from Red Fish Blue Fish. Trust me. Now let’s get our tan on.
Do you live in the Happiest place on the planet? Well apparently 300+ million people don’t…but the happy neighbors to the North do! It’s interesting here…there are zero!…yes…zero warm weather countries on this list! What does that say? Who knows. But if you travel just within the US and notice the major places that are “healthy and happy” it’s always Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Minnesota. This kind of falls in line with this National Geographic study showing the happiest countries. So be cold…be happy? Huh…
Living near one does give a little bias here, but I am a huge proponent of green space and greenways. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t leave near, or commute near one during the many years running. So when you come across a good one…you’ve got to share it!
This one literally just jumped out at me! Having worked and stayed in so many places in the Columbus, GA area over the years…I’d never even heard of nor thought to look for this specific trail. It really is back tucked away, and heads really towards the outskirts of town…which is the best part! Sometimes you just gotta get away!
Don’t get me wrong…Columbus has one of the best, if not the best Riverwalk greenways in the entire southeast..save for another post later…but this one aptly named the Fall Line Trace is just awesome! Don’t know why it’s called that…don’t really care too much…just know this…it goes right from Downtown Columbus (literally connected from one end at the Riverwalk Greenway I discussed earlier…all the way for 11 miles…yes…11 miles to the suburbs of Columbus way up to the Northeast! You could almost do an entire marathon just on this greenway alone, and never have to touch a single piece of car asphalt!
Little things like this make a street runner happy.
So the trail itself follows an old rail road line and they…as you are starting to see in a lot of places around the south…decided to pave it, and allow folks to work off those morning waffle house breakfasts. All in all…if you’re down there…check it out…it’s a nice break from the every day grind of the downtown area, and even the somewhat busy riverwalk area. Thanks Columbus for the nice surprise!
Fall Line Trace Website and Trail Map Link
So apparently living in the Deep South with the exception of Austin and the retirement communities of Florida is so bad that it is not considered a “Happy” place to live…Well I love it! Boulder is pretty great though…
Everyone…well…just about everyone thinks of Colorado, and they go… “Oh Yeah! Denver! Awesome running town!” or “Boulder! Killer mountains, and right there by the college, and Boulder Running Company and Boulder Bolder!” or “Rocky Mountain High! Awesome! Vail, Aspen, Trail Runs, Sweet!” That’s what you get when you say you have lived and ran heavily in Colorado. Now having traveled the state extensively for a number of years…there is a hidden gem on the other side. No, I am not talking about “that” other side where you meet the big guy up in the sky. On the actual…other side…of the mountains.
It’s literally called the Western Slope! Because…well…it’s the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains! It’s the piece of land where the mountains come down, and plains and wind hewed topography now meet. It’s actually a weather man and geologists dream as to seeing how weather and rocks can be impacted over millions of years to form these incredible Mesas sloping down to the floor. At that floor now is lush green soil which can grow just about anything!
All throughout this area are incredible trails and paths, and walkways..because…well…it’s still one of the healthiest states in the country! They have to compete with Salt Lake and Denver as being healthy. Many of the ski-folks live and work in Grand Junction, Montrose, Fruita and Delta and drive down south to Telluride or east to Aspen to take part in their snow sports (snowmobiling huge up on the flats of the Mesas).
There are incredible local running and sports shops to help you out with local trails and locations, because trust me…some are a little weird as to where they are located. One of them starts right on the other side of the highway…because the highway hugs the mesa so tight…but there’s no exit, so you have to go through a neighborhood…backtrack under the highway…make a left…and then follow it up to the trailhead…with only a dirt path to make you feel like you’re going the right way. Got it? Awesome! See you out there! Trust me. Find it…because these views and experiences are flat out killer!
It’s beautiful…it’s accessible…and it’s just perfect for runners and athletes alike to enjoy the wonders of the mountain regions without all the crowds and snow and mountain traffic that can ensnarl that Eisenhower tunnel. Enjoy the Western Slope of Colorado and all it has to offer…they have good food too!
Man oh man! There is so much to say about running in this town that I may have to do two versions of this running locale. Savannah is just incredible. First off, because let’s just get away from the food, people, atmostsphere, and all the sideline stuff that just make this city pretty much the coolest place in the southeast, let’s just focus on the runs.
So…let’s say your staying downtown. Near the river…or near SCAD (arts school…watch out for people art in the squares). Now…you want to run near the river or in the squares? Because you have the choice! They’re both right there and can both give you incredible views and distractions.
Now…if you do pick the river…I highly recommend you get across the cobblestoned street to the river walk so you don’t trip and fall. Just sayin.
The squares are magical! Magical? Well…you get it. Each one has it’s own meaning and history and statues or monuments or buildings or people or turnarounds. You could spend miles going through all of them!
Now…for the biggest square of all..head over for a long run to Forsyth Park! All the way up and all the way down! It’s an incredible run taking in all that the park has to offer on this huge rectangle right in the middle of the historic part of the city.
You know what? Let’s stop there…and just focus on downtown, and we can bring up the other neighborhoods another time…cause while your out exploring these areas…look out for ghouls and ghosts and girl scouts. You’ll understand when you get there. Drink some tea while you’re at it.
This headline from the guardian just made me laugh this morning, but truth be told it’s a pretty interesting thought. Overall it’s just an article highlighting the ever increasing popularity of the running community in Shanghai, which for all intensive purposes looks like a beautiful modern city set in this large country. Having some neighbors from Shanghai, it’s neat to talk with them about what they miss or what it’s like over there.
From a running perspective, I mean you can’t really beat it! It’s basically like running in New York! You’ve got all these neighborhoods and parks and cultural areas because of all the western influence that was brought way back when. To hear there is a growing runners community makes perfect sense…now…get rid of the smog!
“Smart Tracks and ‘smog jogs’: the rapid rise of Shanghai’s running clubs” – The Guardian
Ultimately that’s where I laughed at the headline and started to picture an elite athlete running through the city, pacing a good time, and then all of a sudden bending down on both knees hacking up a lung, sounding like a smoker of thirty years. I know it’s not at all like that, but political cartoons are meant to over emphasize a point…so that picture in my head did the same!
China…land of mystery…Shanghai…smog jog! Doesn’t quite sound right…but try running in 100% humidity in the south during the summer and see what you think. Might be our version of the smog jog.