Today marks the first week in my training plan that a five mile run is not considered a “long run.” I celebrated by mapping a 5 mile route through the middle and east part of Golden Gate Park, a part I rarely visit, because somehow, I always end up bumping around Sharon Meadow like a pinball, confused and a little lost.
This time, I still found myself in Sharon Meadow, however, it looked familiar. I remembered, from some previous time in Sharon Meadow, how there is a walking path to the tennis courts that connects both John F Kennedy Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. I felt a sense of direction (in other words, I knew that John F Kennedy Drive was parallel to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and that I had to go, generally, right, to get back to where I was heading). I eventually found my way to the path I initially planned.
Most of what I saw on today’s run was something different, as it was a different route for me to take on foot (normal methods for going this way involve two-four wheels). I was surprised by the beauty of the botanical gardens, how it felt like I was on a tropical island. The Rose Garden was so beautiful with the sprinklers spewing generous mists out of perfectly pruned paths. Stow Lake becomes a retiree’s mall walk during the morning. Sharon Meadow is where several folks who camp in GG Park overnight convene before moving on for the day. This entire side of the park seems to be where the serious, fast runners hang out.
Somewhere near Stow Lake, I took the photo below. Never knew this sculpture existed. The time flew by, and, before I knew it, I was back to where I started. The beauty of increasing mileage, and doing it outside (i.e., not on a treadmill), is most definitely in the exploration. Before I know it, I’m going to know Golden Gate Park like the back of my hand, and that will be an accomplishment I’ll be very proud of!