Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forest Park St. Louis Run(s)

I've run the same routes over and over and over again. Street routes in my neighborhood, the trail from East Peoria to Morton, the Rock Island Trail, Grandview Drive, Springdale Cemetery, the Peoria Riverfront and even before the trail 'official opened' in Peoria Heights, I was running that too. Trails are so much better than roads, because you don't have to contend with ass-munch drivers who don't pay attention (I've been nearly run over more times than I can count), garbage cans, yard waste or other things left on the sidewalk blocking my path. However, on trails, being a girl, bathrooms are few and far between, if any at all and it's hard to keep hydrated, especially with longer runs. And, last, running the same routes and trails gets very mundane. Especially if you've trained for more than a few races.
Me at the start of our 8 mile run at Forest Park

So, this weekend, I was beyond excited to head down to the S-T-L and take in a run. They have this place, it's called Forest Park and it's in the heart of downtown St. Louis and it is a runner's haven. It's a running/biking trail, two paths parallel to each other, one for runners and one for bikers and it makes about a 6 mile loop of the entire park. It's fan-freaking-tastic! The only traffic you contend with is other runners and/or bikers if you choose to run on the bike trail, which many do. I kept it to the running trail. It's so peaceful and beautiful with a very good mix of sun and shade, awesome downtown skylines and great greenery. In fact, you pass a fishing lake, the mounted police horse pasture (and it doesn't stink), a golf course, the Science Museum and even the St. Louis Zoo, yes, all of this in one glorious park.

I love the little waterway with the city in the background

It's amazing and that is why you see HUNDREDS of runners, walkers and bikers on the trail. I came across people who were just there to cheer on the runners and even vendors. But, they were vendors that cater to the running community. The local running store was there, offering both water and Gatorade to everyone (and he was there both Saturday and Sunday) and other companies offering electrolyte enhanced H2O.

It was such a joy running in Forest Park, that on Saturday, I did an extra 2 miles in the pouring rain (and even saw a Team RC member on the trail) and even though Sunday was supposed to be a rest day, I couldn't pass up the chance to run there again and went back out for a quick 6 miles.As you can see the pictures below even after 8 miles, 2 of which is driving rain, I was still feeling great and all smiles!

1 comment:

  1. a)Forest Park is awesome!
    b)Nothing wrong with slowing the pace and doing enjoyable slow runs.
    c)looking forward to trying body combat, hope I can do it.
    d)Bloomington-Normal has a great trail with rest stops through some and doggie water fountains. Centennial Trail, I believe about 25miles. I ran there most weeks for my long run when training for my half last year. I don't find their runners to be as friendly as in one says hi, and when I would say hi, some looked at me like I so crazy.