Sunday, July 1, 2007
Saginaw County Rail Trail
Ah, sweet recovery. Here are my stats: 38 miles this week. 15 mile long run. Average pace (include stops) 10:20 minutes/mile. Average heart rate 148 beats/minute. Almost no knee pain. Nice and nearly back to my pre-injury stats.
Dave, my brother, and Lauren, my sister-in-law, came up from Ohio for a visit (good to see you!) and Dave had the idea to track down the local rails-to-trails system. Rails to trails are genuinely good ideas. Basically, the idea is that you take nicely level and groomed, but abandoned, railroads and turn them into paths for recreation. Think active communities where it is pleasant and convenient to move about by human power. Especially after moving back from Oregon to Michigan, its really struck me how car oriented this area is. I like running--I don't like running while dodging traffic.
To our pleasant surprise, the very newly completed Saginaw Valley Rail Trail is antithetical to the car oriented nature of most city planning. By that, I mean its a very nice place to run. It consists of a 9 mile stretch of pavement that goes from Saginaw to St. Charles. An equestrian trail runs parallel, although this trail was little more than a newly mowed path a few feet from the paved pedestrian path. The northern parking lot was pretty full although most people on the path seemed to be biking with a handful of rollerbladers. Dave, Lauren, and I were the only runners. Along the northern 3 mile section that we ran, trees provided excellent shade and we even discovered a very new looking restroom with a Gatorade vending machine after 3 miles--a runner's dream!
Anyway, I picked up Elliott and Casey to finish my long run for the day later in the afternoon, but it was great to have company for part of the day's run.