Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting the itch again

No, I'm not referring to any fungus-induced itch to which athletes may be prone.  Thank goodness!  It's a different itch that I know athletes like me often experience during lulls in activity...between training plans...

The itch to move.

I have not been sedentary this summer.  I have played kickball on two leagues.  Now I'm starting a season of dodge ball and broomball.  The hubby and I have gone on a few short runs, and I've been walking a lot on my lunch hours.

But between a recent head cold, a busy activity schedule, and the unusually hot weather we've been having in Michigan, I have not be biking or running as much as I would like.  When I remain in that state for too long, I start to get the itch.  The nagging desire to use my muscles, get my heart rate up, and make my lungs work.

I feel antsy.  I want to take an hour off work just to go for a run, even though that's not possible.  I spent 45 minutes this morning researching new races coming up this fall and discovered that a new running store opened in town this year.

I want to get moving.

On the bright side, I know that will be happening in the near future.  In August, I will be doing the Color Run and the Grand Rapids Mud Run.  In September, I'll be doing the Warrior Dash in GR. And now I'm thinking about adding a Zombie Dash in October and a winter trail half at Yankee Springs to my goals - something to get me out in the woods this fall.  Yeah!

So, I hope to see you all out there again soon.  I've got an itch to scratch, and the only cure is more fitness!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Park Finder App - Northeast Park

I have a cool free app on my phone called Oh, Ranger! Park Finder (itunes store / website).  It allows you to search for national, state, and local parks in an area and filter your search based on the activities that you want the parks to have (bicycling, hiking, camping, climbing, tennis, etc.).

I used the app to find a park near my office today.  Northeast Park in Kentwood, MI is less than 10 minutes away.  It is not much to look at when you arrive in the parking lot.  There is a play ground and a baseball diamond with a paved bike/walking path.  But if you start walking that path, you quickly discover off-shoot loops of boardwalk, dirt paths, and more natural areas that explore this marshy city land.

I don't think many people walk through here.  I didn't see another human during my lunch hour stroll, and the wildlife was fully moved in until I started clomping down the boardwalks.  I spotted wild turkeys and froze for a few minutes letting a deer try to figure out what I was.

I was able to explore the surprising length of trails in under an hour and walked about 2 miles total.

I love learning about little gems of nature like this to escape to.  I feel most like I'm doing what I was made for when I'm on a trail in the woods.  I don't know exactly why, but I love it.

I will certainly be using Oh, Ranger! to explore more parks in my own town and when I travel.  So much fun!