Friday, September 15, 2006

Just like Lewis & Clark

One of the things I like best about being a runner is exploring a new city on foot. Unfortunately, when I'm not training for a race, this luxury goes by the wayside. However, this summer's marathon training got me out for a fantastic long run on a recent trip to Louisville.

The Louisville Riverwalk runs 6.3 miles from downtown Louisville to Shawnee Park on the city's West End. The trail runs adjacent to the river for a bit, and then passes by working railroad tracks, through wooded areas, past parks and a golf course, and eventually ends up at Shawnee Park (which itself has a 1.3 mile running loop around its grounds). Along the path are various lists of river-related trivia embedded in the asphalt, which help take a runners' mind off the many miles stretching out before her. I wound up running just under 16 miles in perfect weather.

What struck me the most was that is was not very crowded, unlike the trails here in the D.C. area. On the way out, I could count on one hand the number of people I saw along the trail (which was, quite frankly, a little unnerving for a female running along). And, of the runners I saw along the trail, there were no other women. It wasn't until I got to Shawnee Park that I saw a woman running (with a male running partner). She caught sight of me, and began clapping, saying, "Yeah! A woman running! I like to see that!" It made me wonder if it was such an odd sight for a woman to be running in Lousiville.

Fortunately, on my way back towards downtown, I saw several female runners. I think most of them were with the Leukemia Society Team in Training group, but it was good to see them out there nonetheless.

All in all, it was a fantastic place for a run, and it cemented my love of running in Louisville (the scenic loop in Cherokee Park is a close second). However, it also made me grateful for the strength and diversity of the running community here in D.C.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Practice Makes Perfect

It's interesting- the more you run, the better you become at it, as is the case with most things. But with Pilates, the more you do it, the harder it gets. Therin lies the paradox (has anyone read Prep? I've been looking for a reason to use that last line. Need to remove it from my head and pass it on to you).
I guess the thing is, when you do Pilates, you learn how to do it better, and you focus on different things. You learn new skills so that you advance. Hmmmm...
I've been telling Harry lately that the more he practices something, the better he will get. Usually he believes everything I say. If he doesn't, he matter-of-factly says "Mommy Do It." He doesn't get hung up on the fact that he can't, say, wipe his face with a napkin (even though he can). But, Harry does get excited when he perseveres and succeeds. "I did it!" he says with a sparkle in his eye.
I suppose, as with Pilates, life will get harder. I was thinking Pilates was the exception to the rule, but I suppose not. I just never thought about it.
While watching a Baby Einstein DVD a few years ago, I realized a Solar System is named such because the planets revolved around the sun. My brother-in-law, a science teacher, was appalled that I didn't already know this. Perhaps I did, but it doesn't come up in my day to day pharmaceutical research.
Another thing I learned today, while watching Franklin, is that sometimes people get mad at you, but that doesn't mean they like you any less. I'll ignore the fact that this may indeed change as we age. I will pretend that it is true: everything we need to know in life, we learned in kindergarten.