Running a New Route

Happy Tuesday, friends! I think it’s official that I will probably no longer be posting on Mondays. I’ve tried two weeks in a row and it’s just not happening!

I have lots of long run-goodness to chat about, but before that, let’s recap this past weekend. It was perfect! I could have stood it to be a bit cooler, but regardless, it felt like fall and I was thrilled!

Friday night, as you know, was Pizza Night! Adam was on dessert, leaving me to make the pizza, so I opted for something simple, and used ingredients we already had in the fridge. A pepperoni & sausage mozzarella pizza it was! Perfectly easy, not overdone, and delicious. The night before we did a recipe my mother in law showed us…parmesan peppers…so I wanted to show those real quick as well. This is obviously before they’ve been cooked, but once they’ve cooked for ~15 minutes, they’re so good and flavorful!

parmesam peppers

Saturday morning I woke up and did my long run which I’ll come to in just a bit! So stay with me. When I got back, we into Little Rock to the Hillcrest ‘neighborhood’ to check out the Hillcrest Harvest Festival. We thought it was going to be just a little thing, with a few booths here or there, but it turned out to be huge and tons of people! It’s so nice to see so many people taking advantage of local activities and supporting so many local businesses at the same time! Adam and I are all about buying local, so we loved seeing which vendors were at the festival, and finding lots of new ones we’ll be supporting in the future! We walked around, mingled, made a few purchases, and before we knew it we were covered in sweat and decided to head back.

hillcrest harvest festival

arkansas fall

hillcrest arkansas harvest fall festival

livnativ.com

Saturday night was deemed date night since we had a coupon we had been itching to use, so we got all fancied up, went to dinner, and came home to our power being out the rest of the night. An exciting evening if you ask me :)

Sunday we went to church, and later that afternoon I had a last minute photo shoot with the cutest 8th grade girl for her yearbook. Not only is she a cheerleader and plays volleyball, but she’s also student body president. In 8th grade. I mean, really? I was nowhere NEAR that cool in 8th grade! I didn’t know even know “cool” was allowed in 8th grade! Can’t wait to finish those pics up tonight!

fall outfit with boots

When I came home, Adam and Truckee were waiting for me on the front porch. The best sight to pull up to :)

Running a New Route: Why It’s Helpful For Your Training

Saturday morning, I woke up and knew it was time for my long run. Except, I wasn’t exactly feeling in the mood to run FIVE, 2-mile laps around the lake. Yuck. I can barely handle making the lake trail into a 6 miler, let alone 9-10. So, I decided to change things up and see if that wouldn’t put a pep in my step! Best. Idea. Ever

I drove out to Big Dam Bridge and the river, and decided I would split up my run into 3 segments to make it not feel as daunting. Since I was running solo, I knew it would be a constant mind-game and fight against boredom. I decided I would do ~4 across the bridge and down and back both sides and back to my car, then ~4 out the opposite direction towards downtown LR and through Burns Park, then the last ~1.5 back on the bridge to finish it up. Worked like a charm!

I ate three Clif Shot Bloks before I started, then had 2 after the first segment, then the last 1 right before the last segment, and plenty of water of course. It was cool enough when I started that my long sleeve shirt, shorts, and compression socks were the perfect outfit, but by the end it was more than toasty! I was super impressed though with my Brooks shirt because it did its wicking job so well that I never noticed feeling overly hot or cool from sweat! Unfortunately, since I had my sleeves rolled up most of the time, only my forearms got any sun…just the tan-line I was hoping for to close out summertime.

My pace was pretty good, I was proud of it and was excited at how GOOD I felt the whole time. Amazing what hydrating and fueling DURING your run can do! After that terrible 8-miler I did a few weeks ago without anything, whew, I’ll never do that again. I stayed in the low 9:00′s the whole time, and just wanted to feel comfortable but still challenged the whole time. Still trying to remind myself that I’m not training for a 5K right now, and that I probably am not able to do a half in the 8′s yet so I need to keep that in mind! I think if I can improve my overall pace just a hair, I’ll be right on target to sub-2 my next half, especially once you add in the race day adrenaline. Plus on race day, I’ll be trying harder. Obvs.

Here were the splits, only because I’m a running nerd and always like reading this stuff.

Mile 1- 8:57, Mile 2- 9:26, Mile 3- 9:06, Mile 4- 9:20, Mile 5- 9:15, Mile 6- 9:14, Mile 7- 9:15, Mile 8- 9:24, Mile 9- 9:31, last .25 – 2:02

running at big dam bridge little rock

My iPhone pictures don’t do it justice, but running alongside the Arkansas River on the River Trail, is gorgeous and SO nice! Little Rock has definitely done a great job making safe and scenic trails!

I can’t even express how much better my long run was having done it on a new route, or at least a route I haven’t run in a couple months! The whole time I felt refreshed, was able to distract myself and enjoy the scenery, passed tons of other people running or biking, and felt accomplished after each segment which gave me the motivation to keep going. Plus, I worked some different muscles going up and down the steep inclines on the bridge! My hip-flexors were screaming the rest of the day, so a good foam-rolling session felt aaaaamazing!

running at big dam bridge

So, recap:

Running a new route is a GREAT idea because:

1. A new route = new scenery = less boredom and more enjoyment

2. A new route = new elevations = more muscles worked than usual = more bang for your buck. (especially beneficial considering you don’t know for sure what the roads will be like at your actual race…so running different “earth’s” will help those leg muscles adapt!)

3. A new route = you see a different group of people, and are motivated to keep up!

4. A new route = motivation to keep going = when you’re not running the same ‘ole, same ‘ole you are more likely to “explore” and WANT to keep running

5. A new route = CHANGE! = change is a good thing, and changing up your routes will help keep you from getting burned out!

6. A new route = fun = a happy runner = in a good mood the rest of the day = happy wife happy husband

Do you find that running a new route re-energizes you? What is one of your favorite places to run? Did you have a beautiful fall weekend as well??

I’ll be back later tonight or tomorrow with this week’s meal planning! It’s a short 4 day menu this time, since this weekend is a little different. Check back! Also, be sure and check out my last review on the app, React Mobile.

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Comments

  1. says

    New routes always make my runs more enjoyable! This weekend I ran a brand new START to my normal long run route, and it literally FLEW by! I need to do this more often! I’ve thought about driving, even if it’s just like 5 minutes out, for my long runs to switch it up.

    • Sweet Miles says

      Ashley- Good idea!!! I think by switching up the start of your long run you can totally change the entire feel of the run! Such a good idea!!

    • Sweet Miles says

      Mandie Marie- The river trail is peaceful indeed! I was in the BEST mood the rest of the day! Haha I love that you window shop mid-run..what a great idea!!

    • Sweet Miles says

      Jenn- I agree! I hate having to driving somewhere first, but sometimes it’s nice :) I need to take better advantage of the neighborhoods around me! Talk about an easy way to mix up a route!

  2. says

    I’ve been loving trying out new routes on my long runs and exploring new-to-me neighborhoods! I always figure the trail will loop around to a main road eventually and get me back home! My old routes were getting boring so I knew for my long runs I would need to explore and I’m glad I do.

    I don’t eat anything during my long runs (I’m just starting to do them to train for a half marathon at the end of October), but am learning that I probably need to. At mile 7 or so of my 10 I was starving. Where do you get your shot blocks and what exactly are they??
    Kristine @ Pink Cupcake Runs recently posted…Half Marathon Training: Week OneMy Profile

    • Sweet Miles says

      Kristine- Yes! Exploring new neighborhoods is so much fun! Sometimes you find places you never would if you were just driving around! I started the same way, but once I started consuming some mid-run nutrition I felt way better and stronger throughout the entirety of the run! I buy my Clif Shot Bloks at Kroger..but you can get them at any running store! They taste like gummy bears, but they’re just a little chewy block of potassium, and sugar, and electrolyte stuff to keep your body happy while you run! When you do a long run you burn so many calories so quickly and by replacing some of those lost calories throughout the run you won’t feel as weak! Go to Clif’s website and check them out! Gu is also great, but I have a hard time stomaching that while I run! I have always had a hard time getting enough potassium in me so my feet cramp up a lot when I run, so shot bloks help stave off any cramps mid-run!

  3. says

    So funny reading this because I just did the same thing yesterday. I had a 10-miler planned and I ran a new route. It was fun to discover new places in Atlanta that I hadn’t seen before and kept me from falling over.

    I think I need to try some gu or gels. I was exhausted at the end and am wondering if I would feel better if I popped a few of these suckers.

    Beautiful weekend you guys had :).

    • Sweet Miles says

      Sara- You would definitely feel better if you consumed some sort of nutrition mid-run! I like to eat a couple clif shot bloks right before a long run, then eat one every ~3 miles or so! If I don’t keep my potassium and electrolytes up I tend to get weak really fast!

  4. says

    New routes are either really good for me or really bad. The other day I took a new route, and I ended up thinking I was done wayyy ahead of time. Yesterday, I ended up taking a new route and doing a different workout, and I ended up staying out way longer than expected because I was having a blast! I love when switching it up really works!
    Katherine recently posted…Together Tuesdays: Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin!My Profile

  5. says

    i love taking new running routes- especially on my long runs! So refreshing, and also helps avoid that mental mile ticker “oh, the red barn, I’m at 1.5……yellow house, I’m at 4.2…….stop sign I’m at 4.9″ :)

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