Monday, September 28, 2009

Spice Up your Running

There are times in any sport no matter how much you love it, training can become stale. Running is no exception to this. We find ourselves running the same loops day in and day out. I know I can run the river loop by my house during the day, at night, with one eye, or probably even with both eyes closed. I personally have found the best way to bring excitement to my running is to add an element of adventure! Run some place new. The beauty of running is the fact that you can cover tons of ground and see things that would take someone walking hours to see. You can also travel places that cars and motor vehicles are not allowed. These are five of my favorite places to run in Spokane that offer a small element of adventure.

Riverside state park

There is much more to Riverside State Park then the Bowl and pitcher campground. Most people venture across the bridge but don’t branch out and cover many of the other amazing trails that wind throughout this massive park. A good starting point for your next run is the little dirt parking lot by the 7-mile horse stables. From here you can run the classic trail in the park “Little Vietnam” (honestly it’s quite Jungle like at times). This trail is a flat single track trail that winds along following the Spokane River. On hot summer days the dense vegetation on this route shades you from the hot rays of the sun.Even less traveled than little Vietnam is the single track trail system just south of deep creek. From the dirt parking lot at the 7 mile Bridge head west out seven mile road. After traveling about 50 meters past the centennial trail heading to 9mile, you will notice a post(trail 25) marking the trail on the right hand side of the road. Trail 25 is a very shaded run and is also a great run on hot summer days. All the trails in this area connect back up with each other, so feel free to pick small side trails. It does not matter what time of year you run these trails they are always a joy to run.

Indian painted rocks

Most residents in Spokane have visited Indian painted rocks at some point in their lives, But most people have missed out on the most beautiful and scenic part (the top). Located right next to the bathrooms you will notice a small single track trail, this is known as the “valley trail”. Pace your self at the start of this run because the trail does not stay in the valley for long. Eventually you will come upon two locations where this trail splits, stay left both times(if you are looking for a real monster of a climb take the first right, you will find yourself on top of rattle snake ridge in a little over an hour). Though challenging this run is very rewarding. Remember what goes up must come down. After running on top of this small mountain, and taking in its scenic views, you will hit a paved road and can either follow that down the hill, or follow the trail that crosses the road. Once at the bottom you take the traditional Indian painted rocks trail following the little Spokane River back to the car.

Dishman hills

Out in the Spokane valley is a large park (450 acres) named Dishman Hills. Located in this park is skull rock, which can be found in the enchanted Ravine. To get there you must first travel through camp Caro. Starting to sound like a treasure hunt? Ok sadly there is no buried treasure at Dishman Hills (I am still looking), but there are miles of well maintained and well marked trails. This Forest is scattered with granite rock outcroppings, and small ponds. If you explore around a little you will find small bridges, and many worth while viewpoints of the Spokane Valley.

Rim Rock

If you look west from SFCC you will notice a large ridgeline, which stands tall above the city. At the top of this ridge runs a road named Rim Rock. Just recently this road was gated off to cars, and incorporated into Palisades Park. If you want a simple run that has amazing views of Spokane and the surrounding area, park at the gate and run out and back on the road. The road is very flat, is dirt and soft on your joints, and is also smooth lacking rocks and roots that you may trip over running on trails. From this road you can also run many trails that take you deeper into Palisades Park, a natural wetlands (I promise you won’t get your feet wet). This park is also connected to Indian canyon, which boasts a small canyon with a scenic waterfall at the end of the canyon. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit this waterfall. Most years the falls dries up by late summer, so don’t procrastinate your visit.

Liberty lake County Park

Its parks like this that make me love the Spokane area. You really are not that far from town, and yet you feel as if you could get lost way out in the wilderness. Liberty lake County Park located on the south end of Liberty Lake offers miles of scenic running. Near the top of this trail system is a small waterfall, and there are plenty of places to stop and just enjoy the view. If you have never been to this park it is time to make a visit.

So next time you are dreading going out for a run, hop in your car and drive somewhere new. You may be surprised how much running in a new location can spice up your training that has become slightly dull.


Steve said...

Hey Hosh,

Great post. Thanks for all the tips. I too enjoying runnign in new areas and will set a goal to try each and every one of these out. Always fun to try new places.

Matt said...

thanks for the post on these great places! I took greg to Lil V a few weeks ago, he dug it!! Its the best late in year when very over grown! Trails are the way to go, easy to get lost in the scenery, alot of great things to listen too, as long and dont have Ipod on!

Michael W. Bergquist said...

Thanks for the post and I also enjoyed reading yours. I have "lost touch" with the whole training and racing scene, so it's nice to start working back into it. I feel compelled to ask if you'd take me on those favorite runs you have listed as I've been seeking the adventure you describe for the daily runs. I've done that out here, but in my current condition, I need to keep things as interesting as possible. On the other hand, I'm not so sure you'd want me holding you up as slow as I've gotten.

Anyhow, thanks again for the posts. I'm going to have to look up those results.


Michael W. Bergquist said...

Also, I was curious to know if you are going to do the Spokane 5-miler this Sunday. I hear it's got a lot more talent this year than any other year. That might be fun for you ... having some competition to stretch you out and make you want to train a little harder :0)

jessithompson said...

Loved this, Hosh. Thanks for sharing it for the newsletter.

Ben Greenfield said...

I'm going to increase my cookie consumption by 10% per week after Clearwater. Does that count as base?