I was reminded tonight of one of the best things about running - how it offers such amazing opportunities to stumble upon unexpected beauty.
It was a lovely evening so I decided to run to and from the chiropractic clinic where I had an appointment. I'd never run there before and didn't have a lot of time so I took the most direct route across the city in order to avoid getting lost. (Dartmouth is an old city that straddles a series lakes so even the most "direct" route often involves a series of twists and turns.) After my treatment, I had more time to explore so decided to take a different, more interesting route back to my apartment.
Immediately after leaving the clinic, I saw a path through some trees that I hadn't noticed before and followed it to see where it would take me. I was delighted to discover it lead to an unexpectedly beautiful park that stretches for several kilometres along a nearby lake. I say "unexpectedly beautiful" because the park is surrounded by high density housing, strip malls, and car dealerships that makes it invisible from the roads closest to it. Despite having driven by it dozens of times in the past few years, I had no idea it existed.
Buoyed by my discovery, I veered even further from the direct route home and headed in the general direction of my favourite running paths along Lakes Banook and MicMac. Unfortunately, getting where I wanted to go meant climbing a rather challenging hill, but the view of Lake MicMac from the top was more than worth the effort.
I spent the remainder of the run being grateful - for living in such a beautiful place, for spring, and for being able to run.
A last look back before I turned to run the final leg to my apartment got me thinking about how wonderful it's going to be to finish my marathon training sessions this summer with a quick swim in Lake Banook. I can hardly wait.