Sunday, January 24, 2016

Adventures in Travel

   I've been in Memphis for the past few days for work. It's always interesting to try to train while traveling. Generally speaking, the only thing I can do is run while I'm away. Sure - most of the hotels I stay in have pools but they're too small to actually do any swimming. And forget about cycling. That's way too much of a hassle. So - running it is.
   I did a few runs on the treadmill for the sake of time, but I really wanted to take my Saturday long run outdoors. A quick internet search showed Shelby Farms Park was only about 10 minutes away. In theory, they had a few miles of greenways. Sweet! I bundled up for the 25 degree weather and was on my way!
   I found the park easily thanks to the GIANT signs they had along the road. Pretty hard to miss these things.

   While the signs outside of the park were great, I was a little lost once I got in. I think this is because there was some construction going on. I figured I'd drive around until I found a greenway and then just run from there. It didn't take me too long before I found a little parking area right near a trail. Great! Unfortunately, when I pulled in, almost every parking space was surrounded by broken glass from previous car break-ins. Not cool.

Never a good sign when broken glass is everywhere.

   I pulled into the parking area and wondered if going for a run here was really a good idea. Sure, this was a park, but was it a park where normal people went to exercise? Or was it a place where junkies hung out to get their fix? I had no clue. The broken glass definitely didn't make me feel like this place was 100% safe. But I noticed several people who were running by, and none of them looked like axe-murderers (one was pushing a stroller). As I stated, it was 25 degrees out with a wind chill of stupid cold, so if the hard core runners were out here, it was probably a good place to run, right? So, I got out of my car and headed down the greenway.
   And I'm glad I did! It was a nicely paved trail of a three mile loop. Well, I'm assuming it was a loop - I didn't actually go around it. I tried, but the signs weren't exactly clear as to where I was to go once I got to the campgrounds, so I kind of made up my own route and then double-backed a few times to get in a little over six miles. It wasn't as tree-lined as our Nashville greenways are, but it had a few pretty spots. I've heard there are also some off-road trails in this park, but I couldn't find them. Maybe the next time I'm in town. 

   If you're ever visiting the Memphis area, and need a place to run - check out Shelby Farms Park. They also have a dog park, horseback riding and BUFFALO!  No, I didn't see any buffalo and yes, I'm bummed about it. Maybe next time. See you soon, Memphis!


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