Cardio…I don’t do that. Well at least I didn’t think I did. Growing up I had no idea how much running I did between soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, and tennis. I personally thought track and cross country seemed pointless; why in the world would you run with nothing to chase? Little did I know I ran an average of 6 miles per soccer game, and that didn’t include every practice that was followed by practice for another sport.
I became obsessed with trying to constantly improve and be the best at every sport I was introduced to. Then came high school, where my competitive nature really flourished. I wanted to be the best; however, when I didn’t have the necessary skills my speed helped me out. If they couldn’t catch me they couldn’t show me they were better.
Eventually the glory faded and my fellow teammates and colleagues became as skilled, if not way better, than me. That’s when I realized I had to find the true meaning of sports, because I had to be honest with myself — there is no national major women’s soccer league here in the U.S.
I resorted to activities I could partake in on my own or in small groups. Running finally topped the cake. We all know running releases endorphins, but I seriously couldn’t be happier than when I run, no matter the weather or how tired I am. My mother, father, husband, and everyone around me can tell I’m happier when I am running.
I now live in the Adirondack Mountains and it’s a runner's paradise. There are plenty of trails, mountains, and routes to run in every town, and my personal favorites include some amazing views and environments.
Trails of Simplicity
Easy runs usually start at my house and continue on numerous backroads throughout town. We really live in, what I would call, one of the safest places in the world. I am never worried, as everywhere I turn there is a familiar face or friendly stranger. Lake Placid is a quaint place and the routes are endless. One of my pet peeves is running loops; I prefer to start and end in the same location but never turn around on the course. Lake Placid’s streets and layout make this extremely possible.
Mirror Lake is probably the most traveled running path in the entire Adirondacks. The 2.7 mile long trail circles Mirror Lake and passes through Main Street, so you can plan your next stop after a beautiful run. Perhaps a small shopping spree or drinks and food with friends to refuel.
There are also a lot of trails off road that are beautiful, including Henry’s Woods and Heaven Hill. These trails are family and dog friendly, so if you're trying to tire out your kids and dogs with a family run, these two locations come highly recommended. They are beautiful, easily accessible, and wonderfully maintained trails.
Intermediate runs are usually 6 to 12 miles, as my days are usually quite busy. One option for this run is to follow the course used for both the Ironman and the Lake Placid Half and Full marathons. The route is 13.1 miles of extraordinary views. It's partially a loop, but the views make it worth it. I am the type of runner who usually needs music, but for many races you are not allowed to use headphones (safety issue, of course). The views are a huge reason why I can tolerate running in the Adirondacks, even when I don’t have my music. There is always something to look forward to around each bend in the road.
Run for the Hills
I have to say that anything over 13 miles is not something I partake in often, if ever. There are a plethora of trails and views to chase in this mileage range, though. If you want to be very ambitious, you can join the club of amazing people who actually run the mountains. Yes, I did say run. There are people who run to a summit and then run back down the mountain. I can’t say I’ve tried this tactic in my running yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
Running in Lake Placid may cause the following side effects: excessive motivation, pure happiness, pure joy, feeling overconfident, singing and dancing out of control, extreme thirst for our local craft beverages, starvation for our farm-to-table cuisine, a possible permanent relocation to the Adirondacks, a feeling of belonging, and many more overly positive side effects!
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