Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Pretty Place To Run

The route I run begins here and soon enters a wooded area.

I love the curves in the trail and of course the shade provided by the trees.

At the fork in the trail, I turn left. The slope up to the fork is VERY steep and slows me down for sure.

Here's another uphill challenge.

I like this long downward slope more than I can say.

We're approaching the pond up ahead on the right.

When I pass this bench, I've completed the first mile of my run.

The North Pointe facility sits beyond the pond.

***********The trail has lots of these yellow flowers along its edges.

I've passed the pond and now I'm heading down the trail that leads to the facility sign at the entrance on Willowbrook Road.

At the sign, I turn around and retrace my steps back to the pond.

I run around the other side of the pond this time.

From this higher angle we can see how the water runs from this reservoir down a few levels to the pond below.

Doesn't this look inviting? It's a shame that I have never taken the time to just sit.

************At this point, the water has nearly reached its lowest level.

At what appears to be the end of the trail, I turn left and soon reach the two mile mark.
The third mile of my run takes me through the wooded area again on the same trail I used during mile one.

*************I've often considered how nice this spot would be for a picnic.

After my run, I can't wait to slip into the pool. Swimming lengths of the pool is heavenly after the long run.

**************Here's a close look at the lock laces.
Please drop down to the narrative below.

I truly enjoy running outside at North Pointe. My favorite part of the trails that criss-cross the acres surrounding the North Pointe Health and Wellness facility weaves through the woods and is lined with wildflowers in pleasing purples and yelling yellows. I invite you to come with me on a three-mile run through the prairie landscape of Northern Illinois. Much of the recreational trail is paved with blacktop while other sections offer a firm crushed limestone surface.

To get to these trails, I drive to North Pointe. Once I'm in the locker room, I don my running clothes and shoes. I've equipped my running shoes with lace locks (available at so I don't have to tie and untie my shoe laces everytime I put them on or take them off. I simply slide my shoes on over my socks, pull up on the tongue of each shoe and I'm ready to go.

I head from the locker room up the stairs to one of the elliptical trainers where I spend a few minutes getting my arms and legs into an exercise mood. After five minutes or so, I head back downstairs and out the front door of the facility. I walk along the sidewalk that parallels the front of the building and across the parking lot to the beginning of the three-mile route. I take a deep breath, tell myself to relax and enjoy the experience and then I push off from a walk to a run.

Thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoyed the sights along the way.


Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

wonderful place to be among the nature & clean fresh peaceful! where are the people?

Shaddy said...

LENORE: Shhhhhhh! They're all working out inside on the machines which is fine with me. I rarely see anyone else out on the trails. I guess they like the air conditioning!! They choose to hang out with the machines over breathing fresh air and enjoying nature. To each....

Natasha said...

This is so inspiring. And beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us! I'm hoping that by moving along vicariously with you I get some physical benefit from it as well! You are VERY impressive.

Shaddy said...

NATASHA: Sharing these photos and experiences are great fun for me. Knowing you like them too makes the pleasure doubly grand.

You do burn more calories when you're inspired than when you're bored. That's my theory anyway and I'm sticking to it.

Annie said...

WOW!! This trail is absolutely beautiful! Problem is if I sat, I would never get up!! I have added some jogging to my walking routine. I have some questions about upping my length of time to a run. I will email them to you for some advice. Thanks for sharing these pictures!!

Shaddy said...

ANNIE: I responded to your e-mail. Gradually increasing the distance and time that you jog is the best way.

Week 1 run half a mile each workout.
Week 2 run three quarters of a mile each workout.
Week 3 run a mile each workout.

That's just a sample plan. You can adjust it to suit your own fitness level.

Keep increasing the distance until you reach your goal.

Try to make it fun. If it's not at least a bit of fun, it's hard to get out the door.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I felt like I was running right beside you. Thanks for that! These are great shots, now I can picture you as you run the path. Next time pack a sack lunch and enjoy that lonely bench for a few moments.

Shaddy said...

DAYNER: It was great having you at my side as I ran. I appreciate your suggestion regarding having lunch on the bench, but I doubt that'll happen until I'm about 80years old. Presently, I'm too hyper. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful Shaddy. One, because we get to see your route and get to hear how you feel about what you're seeing. I love that. And two, it's just cool to see everything at North Pointe done! I saw it a zillion times as it was being built, as you know, but haven't been back since. I love that you're loving and getting so much benefit from something hubby & company created and built. I'm going to send links to these posts to the designers if it's ok with you? I think they would love to hear how much you love it. I know they'd be very impressed with you my dear.