Around the corner from me is the Manasquan Reservoir. It’s a beauitful 5 mile loop in a mostly wooded area. It’s well maintained, safe, and a nice place to run. Last year when I was a new, struggling runner, I put many a loop from the reservoir on my weekly miles. The run has its advantages; it’s close to my house, for starters. But it also has disadvantages. If you take it in the recommended direction, the last mile has a wicked hill. There’s also a sunny stretch at mile 1.5 and 2.5 that can get blazing hot. Then, there’s the joy of repetition. I have struggled with many a mile in that loop, and I’m officially done with running it.
This year I’ve discovered the beauty of the boards, or the boardwalk run for you non New Jerseyans. I don’t know why I shied away from the boards last year – maybe it was fear of running in public, who knows. (Actually that was probably it) I was also put off by running in a linear fashion, rather than a loop.
I’ve now grown to love running on the boards. The ocean is a beautiful place to run, and the boards are comfortable. I vary the towns I run in, but often end up on the same route. Every time I venture in to a new town, it feels new and different. Today I wandered off the boards and into the beautiful town of Spring Lake. It felt like a vacation run! Everything was pristine and smelled clean. It felt like a resort with smells I wasn’t familiar with. It was invigorating and pepped my step where I really needed a boost (damn humidity killed me today!).
So go out and enjoy a new place or a new activity for that matter. Tomorrow I’m going to an open ocean swim to change things up a bit. Training for anything, especially a marathon, can get so boring and repetitive. Variety is the spice of life!