Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Near Perfect Fall Run


This morning I headed over to Centennial Park for a relaxing 5 miler.  The run turned out to be near perfect.  The only hitch, I had some more knee pain towards the end.  I went out with only my hat, sunglasses, water bottle/holder, and my phone.  Without a watch I wasn’t able to really do intervals.  I simply ran when I wanted and walked when I wanted.  Trying fro around 2/1.  More often than not, I stopped for a picture instead of a walk. 

Location:  Centennial Park is a 325 acre regional Park in Howard County, MD, Just north of the planned community of Columbia.  The park is used for a variety of events from the free summer concert series “Sunset Serenades” to church services and sporting events.  The park consists of several play areas, picnic pavilions, an outdoor stage, several tennis and basketball courts, and a nearly 2.5 miles paved trail all surrounding a lake. 

Route:  I chose this route for many reasons.  It’s a favorite local sport for running.  The scenery is awesome with waterfowl, people watching, gorgeous lake views, several bridges, and a dike.  The trail is about 10 foot wide, paved, with a wide variety of elevations.  If you like short and steep hills, this place is for you.

The Experience:  The weather was perfect for a mid-morning fall run.  Temperatures were in the low 60’s with a slight breeze and sunny skies.  I snapped a before photo (sorry for the blurriness, I had it the setting on macro).  There were many people out and about on this wonderful morning.  Right off the bat, I saw a group of people sitting on the outdoor stage in what I thought was a yoga pose.  I came around the bend to find some flyers for Falun Dafa, a Chinese meditative practice, similar to yoga.  I haven’t looked into yet but the flier looks promising. 

I continued on and crossed paths with many people doing wide variety of activities.  From fellow runners and walkers to fisherman, photographers, and families teaching little ones how to ride a bike. Everyone was out and enjoying the cool breezes and warm penetrating sunlight.  The path was fairly crowded and at times I felt as if I was navigating through a crowded race. 

I mainly focused the run on photographs today.  The run itself was slow and steady with punctuated impromptu stops for photos.  When I wasn’t capturing the souls of others in digital format, I simply enjoyed the rhythm of running.  Feeling the sun’s radiation penetrate my being, and listening to the sounds of nature.  It was quite meditative in itself.  Towards the last mile or so, I did notice some slight discomfort in my left knee. The same place it’s bothered me in the last two races. I need to spend more time with the foam roller and stretching. 

Now for the photos.  I’ve begun using my Smugmug account again and have all the photos from today at A Near Perfect Run, if you’d like to see them all.  Feel free to check out my other photos.  I haven’t been using Smugmug in awhile so there isn’t anything recent other than todays.  Enjoy!

View from the boat house.

Looking out from the dike.

Fall trees

A quiet break in the crowd.

A new endevor?

Practicing Falun Dafa.  I thought this was yoga at first.

Fall leaves.

Feet don't fail me now.

Why wouldn't I stop for views like this?

Fall Fishin'

Runners World "Rave Run" contender?

Doesn't look much different than before I ran.


Jeanette K. said...

Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing :) Went on a beautiful fall run this weekend and couldn't believe how spectacular the weather was in St. Louis.

Kim said...

I used to live right up the road from Centennial, but at the time I still went up and ran at Fleet Feet everyday... LOL. I do love Columbia's parks and try to get my group down there at least once a year.

Lacey Sue said...

Beyond gorgeous!!!! Beautiful weather, and a beautiful view! Love it!