Chilly and soggy, but gorgeous run

Yesterday Lucy and I were stuck at the house, without our run because of nonstop rain once again. This morning when we both woke, although it was in the 50s, the sun was shinning and there was barely a cloud in the sky.

I definitely wanted to make use of this rare sunshine . . . .

Lucy and I got in the car and headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt for my morning therapy, our outdoor getaway in nature. When we arrived in the parking lot there was only two cars, far less than I have ever seen. That should have been a sign of what was ahead of us, but we were there and I needed to run.

We were left with the option of only going to the left because the path was pretty wet and under water to the right of our entrance way off of the PetSmart parking lot.

Instead of hearing the crunch of leaves as we ran, the only sound was the rushing of water, the slosh of the leaves as we made contact with them and birds chirping.

There were a few areas where Lucy and I ran across small puddles of water. There were other areas where we had to cross deeper puddles that were the length of the path. Lucy was very hesitant at first, due to her not being a fan of the water, but as we kept on going she became a pro, often times leading the way.

With the wind, it was a rather cool run, which kept our pace at a rather decent speed.

On our way back, near the bridge at the start of the path, there was a tree in the middle of the path that wasn’t there when we begun. It was a rather large tree trunk. I sure hope it fell when no one was around. It just goes to show just how much it has rained the past couple of weeks, everything is so saturated.

We ran a total of 2.28 miles today. I wanted to increase our distance every day this week, but as we  neared our usual area the path was really flooded and I didn’t want to run in squishy shoes all the way back to our starting point.

Tomorrow, the goal is to go at least 2.5 miles, that is if there is no rain and the path is a little dryer.

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I love the serenity of the Greenbelt. My mind and soul is always refreshed once we are done with our run.

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I decided to look up some information about the path that Lucy and I have grown to love over the last few months.

When the Riverfront Park and The Boatyard was developed, the linear path became a reality in the 1970s. In 1989, a master plan was created for the path, which includes a trail that extends along the Reedy Creek and the Holston River, connecting the east and west side of Kingsport.

Now the path begins at The Exchange Place on the east end of Kingsport and ends on the west side along the Battle of Kingsport on the banks of the Holston River.

The length of the trail is 8-miles long. Looks like Lucy and I have some exploring to do, some increased distances to achieve.

This tidbit of information I think is pretty neat: the Greenbelt was featured in Southern Living, received recognition from the White House, as well as statewide recreation awards. No wonder it is an active path with all generations of every exercise.

Check out http://www.kingsportgreenbelt.com for more information.

After we returned back home, I had an interview with LaVerne about a bike ride she is putting together from Tucson to Phoenix, more than 85 miles long. As our conversation went on, I connected with this woman who began bike riding when she was 40 years old . . . . 12 years ago.

She told me it’s the “Freedom of cycling . . . It’s something about the quiteness and the freedom . . . You feel alive.” LaVerne said the connection with nature also draws her in while riding her bike.

I can completely relate. I feel rejuvanated when Lucy and I are done running. I know that sounds strange, but it’s so true. That connection with nature is also another big draw for me. As I run, I breathe in that fresh air, while hearing the sounds of nature. I start to feel part of nature as we are passing through on that wonderful path.

I am thankful I found a passion, a healthy passion at that.

Until next time. . .

 

Frozen

This morning Jason woke me up as the sun was rising, so we could see more of Kingsport covered in snow. He’s so good to me, on his day off he woke up much earlier than on the days he works, just so I could see the sunrise.

It was beautiful, oranges filled the sky as the sun slowly made its way up. I don’t know if it was the sunrise that made me smile, or that the sun was actually making an appearance today.

IMG_1025After driving downtown, Jason took me to one of my favorite spots, the Kingsport Greenbelt.

One of the ducks was laying in the snow, which instantly made me cold. IMG_1033

Every time I see and hear the ducks it takes me back to when I lived on the farm in Illinois. Mom had a duck, pure white, named Matilda. It used to lay on the pool cover in the winter and talk to Mom all the time. So Mom, you consumed my thoughts this  morning, you were with me as I watched the ducks do their thing.

Shortly after I spotted the first duck on the bank, I heard quite a few more chatting as the swam. A cluster slowly made its way down to where I was standing, sinking in the snow.

IMG_1034Part of Reedy Creek was frozen on the Greenbelt this morning, which only reminded me just how cold it was outside. It was really pretty to see snow around the creek and on the trees. Another beautiful moment created by this Winter Storm Leon.

IMG_1026  IMG_1027  IMG_1030  IMG_1031 IMG_1028Since we don’t have boots and I was only wearing my running shoes, my toes started to get really cold. I took a few more pictures before heading back to Jason’s warm car.

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I’m glad Jason woke us up early so we could see more of the snow that swept through the area yesterday. That same quietness that I heard last night, surrounded me again as I stood by the creek this morning. As the sun made its way through the trees, the white glistened, promising a beautiful day. A spray of snow started to sweep off the trees as the sun began to melt what accumulated on the branch, creating another beautiful sight to see.

I’m glad Jason and I moved to the mountains and got to experience the seasons this year. The fall was absolutely breathtaking with the change of colors and the winter, well I still don’t know how to put into words the beauty that it holds, that white coverage.

When we arrived back home, Jason’s car said -2 . . . yep this Florida girl had enough of the cold for a couple of hours. I think I might just admire the view from the windows of our warm home for a little bit.

My own little adventure

Today while Jason was at work I decided to head out and find my own adventure, which occurred along the Kingsport Greenbelt.

IMAG1864Right from the beginning I was taken back by the beauty along this trail, which runs eight miles along the Holston River and Reedy Creek in Kingsport, TN.

I have to admit I stopped quite a few times, so I could really take in the beauty, sounds and smells of the area. Of course this was accompanied by many, many photographs.

To think this is just minutes from our apartment . . .

IMAG1866There is something about nature that cures all while centering you again. Three hours along this trail and more than six miles of walking, I came out as relaxed as one I could possibly be . . . which made it all worth while.

IMAG1880Today marks 26 days since we arrived in TN . . . and I have to admit yesterday it hit me hard . . . I miss my family. When we lived in Fort Myers, I spent most of my days off with Mom while Jason was at work.  Today in an effort to get myself out of a funk I explored some more of our new home, I took a step into nature.   As I made my way along the trail and found beautiful spots, I sent some of the photographs to Mom, which made it feel like she was with me. I thought of her often as I walked the trail, only because I could envison us running together or going for an early morning walk.

A great thing about this trail was I spotted many benches that were in good locations to sit and take in the surroundings while resting.

IMAG1873Another great thing about the trail was it was covered well with vegetation, which kept me cool as I walked and walked and walked.

Although there were many other people of all ages walking, biking, running and walking their dogs, it was an incredibly  peaceful journey down the path and across ocassional bridges. The birds chirping, the sound of water making its way down the river and creek made me forget about everything as my steps continued.

A smile was constantly on my face, it just would not go away . . .

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IMAG1875I mean really, how could you be in a bad mood or let the stress overcome you while you are walking along a trail witnessing this kind of beauty?

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My favorite part of the walk was when I began to hear the water . . . I knew it was cascading down rocks.

IMAG1886I followed a little trail up the hill, which only led me to more water and beauty.

IMAG1887And more . . .

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IMAG1900I finally turned around and  was led back to the bottom where the sound of the water continued to have its soothing rhythm . . .

I decided this was a great place to stop and sit on the bench as my thoughts cleared a little more and the smile became wider.

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IMAG1905I followed the trail all the way to the end and then turned around and started my journey back towards where I started.

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This Kingsport Greenbelt is a perfect place for me to run. I am very excited that I finally stumbled upon this trail, I will definitely use it a few times a week.

Although I made it back to my starting point, my feet kept going . . .

IMAG1934As I began to hear the wonderful sound of quacking and splashing . . .

IMAG1918There were ducks everywhere . . .

IMAG1921Even a mamma and her little ones . . .

IMAG1936And many, many more . . .

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IMAG1942Today was amazing. The weather was perfect, the people I passed along the trail were friendly and I got an incredible workout. That is one of the best things about exercising outside, you do not realize how many miles or how much time has passed because it is not located directly in front of you.

On the other hand, the trail provided great signs that let you know how many miles you traveled.

My legs are definitely feeling the miles I put on them today.

What a breath of fresh air to get lost along a trail for so many hours. I cannot wait until I find another location to explore on my own.