I run the loop a couple of times a week and I must admit I love it. In fact, the loop was one of the reasons I moved to Houston.
You see, I've been a slow, but dedicated runner for years. It's my way to de-stress, forget about errands and move all my thoughts to the back burner. All I think about when I run is the beat of the music from my iPod and my goal of finishing the 5K.
But in order to make the running enjoyable, I have to "like" the path I run on --otherwise, it's torture and reminds me of gym class. Plus, it's got be safe, have a good running surface, and it's got to be pretty.
Yes, I know the last one is a little lame, but you have to admit that it's much nicer to run with trees or water around, compared to a concrete industrial track.
BEST PLACES TO RUN IN HOUSTON
When I lived in Memphis, I ran along the Mississippi, and when I lived in Tampa, I ran along the bay on Bayshore. So when I moved to Houston, the first thing I needed to find was my running spot.
Surprisingly, Houston has a bunch of great running places. But three are my favorite. The first is, of course, Memorial Park. I love knowing exactly how far I'm running and knowing the end is just around the corner.
Then there's the Buffalo Bayou. The trail is gorgeous and unpredictible. There are even shady spots which make it perfect for running on those super hot Houston summer days. But of course, there are times when it smells like...well, it smells like bayou - if you know what I mean. It's also pretty scary when the sun goes down.
My final favorite trail is the one by the zoo. I don't even know what this one is called, but it's a nice relaxing run.
But if you don't like these, there is also this website that lists a bunch Houston jogging paths.
RUNNING IN CIRCLES FOR 2009
Right now I run the loop once and then treat myself to Starbucks on the way home. But I'm thinking for 2009, I should challenge myself. I'm going to try to run the loop not just once, but twice. Maybe not every time, but on the days when I actually have an entire morning free.
So to do that, I spent the day pumping up my iPod with music to keep me motivated the whole time -- because you know, nothing is more boring than running in circles in silence. Somehow, the music takes the pain away.
So what's on my iPod? Well, it's a little bit electic, but here it is:
First loop around:
4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake
I Don't Want to be in Love (dance version) - Good Charlotte
Shake It - Metro Station
Take My Hand - Simple Plan
Bad Girlfriend - Theory of a Deadman
Cold Hard B**tch - Jet
Are you going to be my Girl - Jet
Second loop around:
The Hand That Feeds - Nine Inch Nails
Snakes on a Plane - Cobra Starship
Faster Kill Pussycat - Oakenfold
He's a Pirate - Klaus Badelt & Tiesto remix techno version
Truly Madly Deeply - Cascada
Misery Business - Paramore
Bleed it Out - Linkin Park
Emergency songs (just in case I run slower than usual):
Stoned in Love - Chicane
Sandstorm - Darude
Another Girl Another Planet - Blink 182