I completed my 25th half marathon since I started running in 2003 last weekend in Columbus. I essentially took a month of from running in September due to a severely sprained ankle, so when I did half marathon #24 in Cleveland at the beginning of the month, my conditioning level wasn’t prepared for the hills and the humidity. Two weeks later, the conditions in Columbus were much better, and I took 20 minutes off my personal worst time that I registered in Cleveland. Still, I was 15 minutes slower than my first half of 2013, which was back in April. No more major races this year, just fun races. I’m going to slowly build my mileage back up, but I plan to just enjoy the last few holiday-themed races left in 2013.
Team G member Casie gave her permission to post the following musings about one of our parks in Troy, Ohio. The Hobart Urban Nature Preserve is my favorite place to run in Troy, but prior to reading Casie’s post, I had not put much thought into how cool the park really is.
My Central Park
There’s a little park in the middle of my town that you’d blow by if you didn’t know it was there. Even driving by it, with large sign explaining the contents behind the stone wall, you’ll only see a long stone drive. Hidden and secluded is just fine by me.
It’s off the beaten path that I go in the early morning. A gravel path winding through suburbia’s undeveloped prairies that has been overgrown by wild flowers and trees and grasses. The plat houses built in the 1960′s outline the area but seem to fade into the distance when I hear the crunching of stones between the divots in my shoes.
Deer live here among rabbits and frogs and butterflies. There is a man made pond/lake in the middle where the mist hangs in the morning and the serenade of frogs is enchanting.
Sprinkled in amongst the scenery are large sculptures that the local artists and politicians placed for the non-outdoorsy types. At first, I frowned at seeing these massive iron metal works,but Mother Nature is taking them over and hiding them nicely under the canopy of her cloak.
Something happens to me when I’m here. My brain resets. It’s the combination of crunching gravel, running, nature, and the feeling of escaping. I feel free and happy here. I’m usually with my friends, at least one anyway, and while we chat about life’s happenings, I’m soaking up this place. It’s my little oasis. My little Central Park.