Off The Beaten Path

On Saturday I needed to run three miles in order to complete my mileage requirement for the week, according to the marathon training plan I’m following. I haven’t done any real hill work in ages, so I decided to go to Percy Warner park near downtown Nashville. I haven’t been there in more than a year and I’d forgotten how much I’ve missed that place. The hills for me are lung burners but on race day I’m always glad I made myself do them. Also, the change of scenery is a nice break from the green way I run during the work week.

The area of park I run in has three main courses, a 1.6 mile, a 5.8 mile, and an 11.2 mile. I didn’t like the idea of running the 1.6 twice, so I went up 1.5 miles of the 5.8 course, then turned around and ran back down. I say I went “up” because the first three miles of that course is called “three mile hill.” It’s wonderfully awful, especially after being away from it for so long.

I decided not to worry about my time. I set my I-pod to shuffle without needing to play up-tempo songs from “Pam’s Marathon Mix.” As I slowly made my 1.5 mile assent, I enjoyed scenery like this:

A section of flat road at the beginning of Three Mile Hill. Isn’t it pretty?

At the exact moment I shot this, James Taylor’s “Country Road” was playing on my I-pod. How cool is that?

I plan to train at Percy Warner Park at least a few times a month. I’m looking forward to seeing the vibrant fall colors.

What’s your favorite outdoor workout spot? And if you live in Nashville, I’d be grateful for your suggestions for other scenic running routes. I have a long six months ahead of me and I’ll need a little variety!

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