One word came to mind when I drove up to Riverside Park in downtown Neenah – “Wow!” It really proved why I am writing this blog and why I wanted to explore different trails around the Fox Cities – there are so many places I didn’t know existed. It’s definitely a great place to bring your kids in the summer; the play set was packed to its max. There were so many cute benches everywhere that it made me think about coming back to have a romantic night with my boyfriend and watch the sunset. Not to mention, the weather was 80 and sunny, and the smell of lilacs was enough for me to never want to leave! But, I went there for one reason, and that reason was to have a good work out.
Since I haven’t been running for that long (I took a break during the school year), I was told that it’s better to think of your run in minutes rather than miles. Even though I’m not a beginning runner, I took a long break, so I may as well be. I have been told a downfall for beginning runners is to think of your run in miles because that can set you up for failure. So, I am working up to that 5 mile run, but right now I am just trying to go 20 or 30 minutes. If you are slow at first, don’t be discouraged. No matter how fast you run, every mile burns about 100 calories. And even if you don’t make it to a few miles, you’ve got to start somewhere! Rome wasn’t built in a day.
My run was easier this time too because I recently invested in some new shoes (Asics have been my brand of choice for a while now). A good pair of running shoes should last about 500 miles and anything longer than that can increase your risk of injury. My old shoes, love them, needed to be replaced. A good pair of shoes that are comfortable and supportive can make your run more enjoyable and less painful. This will most likely increase the chance that you’ll keep your running routine because it will seem like less of a chore and more like pleasure.
Since Riverside Park was only about 20 minutes away from my house, I will probably start going there more often! I even got to see a helicopter land in Lake Winnebago while I was running, which I had never seen before. Riverside Park is also just adjacent from Kimberly Point park, a little place where you can swim and enjoy the view. For information on Riverside Park and other parks & trails in Neenah, click here. At the bottom, there is a link for “List of Parks & Facilities” which lists all 367 acres of park land in Neenah. I bet you’ll find a place you didn’t know existed!
—By Sara Stein