Bailey's Favorite Run
Written by Bailey Blake, Program Coordinator
With the cooler temperatures FINALLY making their way to St. Louis, I’ve been enjoying my outdoor runs quite a bit more! I’ve lived in my neighborhood for about two and a half years now, and one of the main things I love about it is that there are so many routes I can take to make up almost any distance for a run. My favorite loop is a 5-mile course that offers plenty of hills, good sidewalks, and huge trees to give me some shade. I even get to pass by a Girls on the Run site! Let’s start!
Once I leave my house, I walk to the end of my driveway and turn right. I get to enjoy about a tenth of a mile of flat road. Then, I go straight up a GIANT hill. It’s definitely enough to get my blood pumping, and it’s almost enough to make this run my least favorite instead of my favorite. Just when I think I want to turn around and head home, the road flattens out. Phew! I continue to follow this road and even go a bit downhill as I complete my first mile.
Again with the straight uphill thing… why do I do this to myself?? What goes up must come down, right? That definitely holds true, but man, it seems like it really doesn’t happen for a while. I follow this uphill for a long time. It starts off easier than the first big hill because I’ve got some momentum going from the downhill finish to mile 1, and I’m already warmed up.
About ¾ of the way through this mile, I pass Green Trails Elementary!! I always think about the GOTR team there and even though I haven’t met them, they help inspire me to keep going! During my runs, I frequently think about all of our GOTR girls and coaches – they work so hard to achieve their goals, it makes me want to work harder!
Ahhhhh…. Completely flat! Thank goodness. Mile 3 is always my fastest mile during this loop by about 20 seconds. I’m a huge fitness data nerd (my dogs each have a Fitbark that I track daily) and LOVE comparing my splits run to run with my Fitbit watch.
Throughout this mile, I feel great. This is really where I start to settle in and feel like I could run forever. There are a lot of big, old trees along this street, and they are an absolute dream in the summer. They provide shade and they’re also really pretty. Mile 3 rocks. I also start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel like I’m almost back home!
This mile takes me on a long stretch of Ladue Road. It can be a little intimidating to run here because it’s pretty busy, but the road is wide and that gives me a sense of peace. I try to focus on my facial expression during this mile so the drivers that pass me don’t think something is wrong with me. I also want them to think I’m moving faster than I really am. At this point, I’m running toward Parkway Central Middle and High School. I have the option of going straight home and ending this run at a little over 4 miles… or I can find a way to add a bit more distance!
The end is near! I like to throw in a few laps on the Parkway Central HS track, if it’s not occupied. I try to finish my runs fast, and being on a flat track is a great way for me to get some speed work in. After I reach my desired distance on the track, I have a quarter mile cool down jog back to my front door!
Thanks for joining me on my favorite run!