I run for fitness, but also because it just feels awesome. When I do it often enough it feels like I could run forever with very little effort. I don’t always do it regularly though. When I tried to run more often a few years ago I had issues with tightness that led to frequent injuries after running. So I’ve added plenty of stretching my training plan. So far this has worked and since we got a jetted tub in our new house, my tightness and soreness has been almost completely under control. About a year ago I decided that I wanted to work up to being able to run a marathon. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, when 40 passed me by I thought I had missed my opportunity, but I’ve found that with just a little more work (and care) I can do many of the things I did before I turned 40 even though I’m now over 50. At this point I don’t think I’ll need to think about slowing down until I pass 70. I guess we’ll see.
Favorite running spots in San Diego.
Mission/Pacific Beach. I work in Point Loma so it is easy for me to do a Mission/Pacific Beach run before or after work. In the winter I prefer the evening as I’m able to see the sunset during my run. I have a 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10 mile course that are easy to remember here. If I add in Mission Bay I can make the run as long as I would like. I prefer to start at Mission Beach or Crown Point Park because there is less traffic to deal with on the way in and out, than Pacific Beach, and there is plenty of parking. I run from Belmont Park to the restrooms just past Grand Avenue and back for a 3+ mile run (actually around 3.15 miles). I continue to the end of the running path where the path meets Law Street/Ocean Blvd and back for a 4.25 mile run, and I add in the little stretch to the end of the beach and back to the Mission Beach.
The Harbor. The harbor is a flat run, like running at the beach, but the atmosphere is much different. I love the harbor because I sail there, have done a couple harbor cruise/concerts there, and there are lots of memories of walks, dinners, and events with friends and family to think about as I run there. The scenery is also great. Some of the best views of the San Diego skyline can be seen from Harbor Island. Running along the harbor is also nice because you don’t have to cross very many roads, and the sidewalks are wide and in good shape.
Lake Murray (actually part of Mission Trails Regional Park) – I also enjoy running at Lake Murray (or walking the dog). It is closer to home, so it is a good place for me to run on the weekends and later on summer evenings. The trail is wide and level, there are usually quite a few walkers/runners/bikers on the trail which makes it more interesting. I usually start by parking along Baltimore drive as it is closer to my house than the parking lot and faster. If you’ve never walked, bike, or ran at Lake Murray be aware that you can’t get all the way around the reservoir. There is a gate at the Dam and you have to turn around. If you run from the parking lot to the dam gate it is 3.2 miles one way. The full run will be useful as I get closer to running a half marathon, but I usually run between 3-5 miles when not training for a longer run.
Balboa Park. This is a great place to run, both because it is a peaceful and beautiful place, but also because it has both flat running areas and plenty of hills if you want them. I have run here several times, but need to make this a more regular running location!
Ocean Beach Bike trail. This trail starts at the Ocean Beach, dogs beach and will take you to the Mission Valley North road, by the time you reach that road you are at 6.25 miles and have only crossed one street. To that point it is flat, but it is easy to add a big hill to the run at that point by running up Bachman Place to Hillcrest, from there you can run back toward downtown and the harbor, or you can head further east and find your way to North Park. I like this route when training for San Diego area half marathons because they all seem to head up a hill similar to this at some point.
Although I’ve been running for a few years in San Diego, I know I’ve just scratched the surface. I’m looking forward to finding more terrific places to run. Coronado and Mission Trails Regional Park are a couple places I would like to run through/around. If I run out of ideas I can always go to MapMyRun.com, there are over 2000 routes (some may be nearly the same) listed for San Diego. Pick an area and see the routes for that area. I looked today and found an interesting route that appears to go by many of the museums and attractions in Balboa Park. I need to add that area to my, “on the way home” run list.
Other posts and pages on running.