Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Few Views From an Iowa Trail

Yesterday after taking Livie to Kindergarten, I decided I'd get my exercise outside, instead of in the gym. I made this decision for a couple reasons.

1.) It was a clear, sunny day, not too windy, not bitterly cold - a good day to get outside and enjoy some natural vitamin D, fresh air, and the unusual lack of ice (!!) in January in eastern Iowa.

2.) My gym is being renovated. Sure, it's still in use, but the number of machines that are currently "in service" has been greatly reduced, and they're kinda in unusual spots, clumped together, and as of last Thursday, I couldn't see the TVs from any of the cardio machines I'd normally use . . . plus, the work is kinda loud - so what's the point of being stuck inside on a treadmill, right? Sure, it'll be worth it once the renovations are complete, but now it's just kind of a hassle.

So off to the park I went. I think it was about 27°F (with a windchill of 15°F) by the time I headed out. (It ended up being close to a "balmy" 50°F, cloudless, and really breezy by later in the day!) There are a number of trails/paths throughout the numerous parks in the Cedar Rapids area. Some trails are like sidewalks, made of asphalt or concrete. But others are more gravel-like, made of crushed limestone. This is what the paths are made of at the park near my house.

I headed out for about 30 minutes of (mostly) walking and running, so as to not cause my plantar fasciitis to flair up. It was kind of hard, keeping it an "easy" workout, because it felt good being outside running. Especially in new running shoes. But every time I started pushing myself too hard, too soon, my left heel would remind me, "You're being the hare, not the tortoise!" and I'd back off.

I think I may have gone a little too fast, a little too long, because after today's workout, my left heel is nagging me a bit. I've been doing the stretches the physical therapist recommended, and they're helping (especially with the right foot), but the little bit of pain in the left that's not completely going away is a good reminder to take it easy, like the PT recommended.

Anyway, I took my camera with me (it fits perfectly in the back pocket of my running jacket), so I'd have an "excuse" to take it easy on my heels . . . and to have it in case I wanted to take photos. And of course, I took photos. Nothing great, but you get the idea of what it looks like here in east central Iowa during an unusually warm, dry January.

Here are some of the photos I took: 
Farm land - this field was corn in 2011, but has been soybeans before. Now, a lot of this land is being developed for homes. Those mounds of dirt in the background are located approximately where they're starting to build.

Livie likes these kinds of holes in trees because she likes to imagine what (if any) creatures call these holes "home." I took this photo for her. When I showed it to her after Kindergarten, she started telling me how it's "Jumpy Squirrel's" home.

This is the crushed limestone the paths are made of. Usually these paths are nice to run on. As you can see, there are bike tracks, human track, and dog tracks - it looks "smushy," like there's a bit of "give," right? Well, during the unusually warm part of the days, it is, but then we get freezing temps at night. So this path was hard as a rock during my morning jaunt, the tracks having frozen like that overnight.

Some Pac Man-like grafitti under an overpass.

Blue skies!! No clouds!! Woo hoo! Unusual in Iowa this time of year! Usually it's more overcast (and gloomy).

Just about to go around the bend and into the wooded area just behind the farmland. It's nice to take this path in the spring and summer with the green foliage. My allergies, however, don't appreciate it too much.


Jill said...

I'm right there with Livie on imagining what's in those tree holes. Great pictures. I hope you left foot feels better soon.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Looks like a nice place for a run! HOpe your PF continues to heal.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

What a beautiful day! So glad you were able to get out and enjoy, Sonya! :)

TexWisGirl said...

nice shadows on the trail. :)

Sandy said...

Looked liked a perfect day to be out and about in nature- despite your allergies. I hope you a speedy recovery on your left foot! =)

Teresa said...

The midwest seems to be getting decent weather lately.

No snow is good news!

Lovely pics!

Randy said...

Nothing compares to a good walk outside! Lovely shots too.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

You took some beautiful pics as you exercised there...It is better than the gym, if it were fixed

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