Running to the Park(s)

Today’s run ended up being a delightful run.
But things didn’t start well.
My next race is scheduled a few weeks from now. The race is a 10K plus 2 miler (about 8 miles or so). I signed up for both races in one day because I needed a distance challenge. In addition I will get another fancy medal to add to my collection (I need to catch up to my husband!!!).
This weekend had my longest run on the schedule (10 miles). Unfortunately I did as little preparation as possible for today’s run. My nutrition has been poor this weekend (some wine may have been involved) and I got very little sleep last night due to staying late at a friend’s house.
I almost bailed out of today’s run.  I forced on my running gear and made it out the door before I could change my mind. I started the course I mapped out in advance. Thoughts of defeat still stirred in my head. About a mile into the run I decided to change the scope of the run. I allowed myself to take all the time I needed to complete the 10 miles.  I came up with the idea to make a photo journal of all the parks that I pass by on my run. This made the run have more of a purpose than  “just a run”. I was able to complete all ten miles and I wasn’t ashamed of my time.
Below is journey through the parks I stopped at this morning.

The run begins through the tree shaded path by Fleet Peoples Park. I apologize that I have no photos of this park but picture if you will the sound of dogs running freely in the background as you are running along the tree lined trail.

After a couple of miles, it is time for a bathroom break and water stop at Phelps Park.

Phelps also has one of these handy book exchanges like the one in Baldwin Park.

The path continues through a neighborhood with tree lined streets and very expensive houses that are very interesting architecture wise. Kraft Azalea Gardens lies along a lake across the street from some of these houses.

Soon after Azaela Gardens I get to run by one of my favorite homes Casa Feliz. I sometimes fantasize about living in this home or some other James Gamble Rogers creation.

Next stop on the run is central Florida’s famous Park Avenue and Central Park. It looks like there will be a Orlando Philharmonic performance later in the day.

I cross a busy Fairbanks Avenue to continue my run through the prestigious Rollins College.

In the distance you will see tennis courts and a volleyball court (or what some of us volleyball players might refer to as a kitty litter court – nasty sand that looks like a litterbox).

After running through Rollins I follow Lake Virginia around into a neighborhood that takes me to Pennsylvania Avenue. On Pennsylvania Avenue is a hidden back entrance to the lovely and free Mead Gardens.

Running once again through residential Winter Park leads me to Blue Jacket Park. Every weekend you can see any sport you can think of being played here.

Finally I reached my 10 mile goal. I take a short walk and end up relaxing to a cool breeze in Harbor Park located in Baldwin Park.

Note: Many of these running routes I discovered from running with my running group last year. The group was great to help with motivation and to meet some cool people. I ended up sort of “dropping out” of the group after my last half-marathon because my body disagreed with the 4:00 am and earlier wake up times.

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