For some of us it’s hard to stop focusing on how fast we can run, on how to improve our times. I’ve certainly fallen into this trap before and I’m sure I will again, but right now (partly because I’ve been forced into it), I’m in a period of running for the sheer enjoyment.
My plan for the upcoming London Marathon was always to just enjoy it with no focus on times, but that wasn’t my intention with other races this year. However, a calf muscle issue has slowed me down in my training and plans, so when it came to this past weekend’s Miles for Music I could not race.
As I had already registered and would be there to support my club, I decided to run the 8 miles I had planned as part of the race (I wasn’t sure I could do 8 yet, but I was hopeful I would be able to).
I carried my phone with the intention of taking pictures as I ran (I recently received the Hansnap which worked out extremely well).
It was hard to stop running at 8 miles. I felt good, but also knew that I shouldn’t be pushing my luck.
I had such a good time I started to think about what runs might be good for running for fun. There are courses with great views, but sometimes it’s not about that, and the crowd support (this was a great thing on Sunday), or just the number of runners will come into the equation – several times I had conversations with other runners on the course as we ran together.
Potentially a good course for a fun run (perhaps apart from some of the earlier parts) is the Newport 10k on May 14th. This might be another “forced” fun run for me as it’s 3 weeks after London, but that won’t be so bad. There is a pretty decent level of crowd support, a large field of runners, and the views of Manhattan as you head towards the finish. (I am an official blog partner of the Newport 10k, but have run this race for many years and my assessment has not been influenced by this).
From other races I have run in recent years, the Clinton 15k is a scenic event, but you can end up lonely on the course.
I would imagine a Cherry Blossom race, such as the Newark one would be good, although I have not taken part in that.
For me the Highland Park 5k is one of these events. Always people cheering the runners on, and a nice course, but it could be said I am biased – it probably helps that I live there.
What other races in NJ are just great to be a part of because of the atmosphere, or any other reason?