Exciting Firsts: Trail Running and Our Anniversary!

Hi all! Hope you had a fabulous weekend! I know I did — it was our first anniversary. And we celebrated with my most favorite summer activity.

No, not running. Beach day! :)

(…DEFINITELY not running. It’s already too flippin’ hot for me, and I hate it!)


I can’t believe it’s been a year already, especially when I think of everything that has happened since we met last June! Of course, when it comes to my training, now that I’m living in an entirely different area I have to develop new running routes. Especially since I start officially training for the New York City Marathon in a week. Gulp.

Whether or not I’m ready for another marathon training cycle is an entirely different topic. But that’s another story for another time. ;)

So last weekend, Todd took me to the nearest park, where I discovered trail running for the first time. I’ve been lucky enough to live within a 1-2 mile radius of several (paved) bike/running paths and parks at any given time, and they’ve definitely become my preferred running routes. I developed a routine where, even without my Garmin, I knew EXACTLY how far I’d gone — from my apartment to a particular mailbox in town was one mile, then from there to a certain tree at the park was two, etc.

I still get to run in my favorite park from time to time when I have a break in between piano lessons (and, yes, sometimes I do pack a ShowerPill wipe and show up to these kids’ houses without showering, not even gonna lie, haha) but now that I have another round of marathon training looming over me, I’m nervous about finding running routes in my new town where I can log my almost daily runs…and, more importantly, my long runs.

So I was excited to see that there’s a beautiful park not too far from where I live now.


…but I think we were both surprised to learn just how, well, unpaved it was! There are some paved paths, but for the most part, it’s all trails. Which I’ve never run on before. So we gave it a try and ran aimlessly around the park for an hour or so.

And I do mean aimlessly. Todd had no idea where he was going — because for some strange reason, he never actually runs at this park — and I sure as hell didn’t know where I was going. So let’s just say we got lost in the woods for awhile…and even the conveniently-located trail maps couldn’t help us find our way out.


As a side note, I have absolutely NO sense of direction in general, and I can only imagine how many desperate calls Todd will be getting from me in the coming months: “I’m lost, come pick me up…” ;)

It was a little strange running in the woods, and having to stop to walk up some steep inclines that I’m sure were meant for hiking. But at the same time, I found it kind of exciting (Todd hated it, haha). There were even parts of the trail that, apparently, aren’t meant for running. So, sadly, we were not invited to go there. :(


It was kind of a pain to try to navigate over tree branches and rocks and giant gaping holes in the ground, and we definitely couldn’t maintain our pace on such uneven terrain (my sneakers were slipping all over the place), but the trees provided lots of shade and not having any clue where we were going definitely kept things interesting. Plus, there were streams and ponds and trees and wildlife (deer, mostly), and I’ve found that I’m a person who needs the visual distractions when I’m out running…logging 15 or 18 or 20 miles through residential neighborhoods tends to make me want to kill myself.


I definitely enjoyed running on trails as a change of pace (and scenery), but, of course, it doesn’t exactly solve my problem in terms of finding enjoyable long training run routes — but luckily, there are a bunch of other parks in the area for us to explore. I know I’ll develop a new routine and (eventually) find my way around. It’ll just take time. :)

Who has trail running tips for me?!

Do you find that trail running shoes make a difference?

What’s your favorite place to run?





  1. Happy first year anniversary! I like trail running because it normally involves more shade and pretty views. The downside? It also normally involves more hills : /

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Stacie! YES, I would totally agree. It was a HOT, sunny day, and being under so many trees felt heavenly. I would also agree on the hills…I typically avoid those at all costs, haha. :)

  2. happy anniversary! First, I totally have the shirt that Todd is wearing ;)
    Second, I have been to that park but never ran there, lol
    I like to run at the Manasquan reservoir in Howell for my “trail runs”. Not really stumpy, just a 5 mile loop of dirt and gravel path. I don’t own special shoes either, since I don’t even go there once a week, sometimes only once a month.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Kim! Haha, I’ll bet we all have a lot of the same shirts, LOL. Thanks for the tip! I’m desperate to vary my scenery since I’ll be training for another freakin’ marathon (can you tell how excited I am to start tackling long runs again?) That’s what I was thinking, too — I don’t want to invest in special shoes if this isn’t something I’ll be doing regularly. I guess we’ll see!

  3. Happy Anniversary! As I have said many times before, you two are so cute. THe pictures in the park are amazing. Why are runners (of all people) discriminated against? Usually it is bikers, but runners? Why? Odd!

    • Jennifer says:

      Haha, aw, thanks Amy! That’s exactly what I said! I thought the sign was hilarious, not gonna lie…but I was also confused as to why it was there in the first place, made no sense!

  4. Happy anniversary!!

    I have never run on a trail in my life, so I definitely don’t have any tips. I bet the shade on the trail will be awesome this summer!

    My favorite place to run is at the beach…. but not on the sand :) Too hard!

  5. Happy anniversary to the cutest couple in the blogosphere! (You know I had to throw that out there because I think ya’ll are just too darn cute).

    I love trail running but I think my trails might be a little different then the ones you were describing. There is a trail along the river that I often run on that I have to be very careful of though because of the tree roots and what not but most of my trails are actually running and biking trails and are generally safe.
    Love that picture of you with the No Runners beyond this point sign!

  6. Sounds like a fun adventure as a couple!! I totally would have freaked if I were by myself though haha! Btw, LOVE your runDisney Bondi Band!

  7. Happy anniversary! I don’t do trail running but there aren’t really any unpaved trails where I live. I don’t think it’d be a good fit either. I’d need to pay attention and my fear is I’d roll an ankle.

  8. Happy anniversary! Good luck with finding long running routes! I’m having a similar issue myself. I haven’t just moved, but with having to hit 20 miles in a training run, my 5 mile path isn’t going to cut it.

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