Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Indianapolis City Running

I'm posting this on Tuesday rather than the usual Monday because I was flying back to Kansas from Indianapolis yesterday. Indianapolis is a nice city...nice and flat that is. Coming from Kansas, I've seen flat (though Eastern Kansas where I reside is actually quite hilly). But Indy is seriously flat. And seriously flat means seriously fast running.

My friend and co-worker, Marisa and I have been going to Indianapolis for the past few years for a late Summer trade show. In our wanderings around the city, we've found that Indianapolis has a couple of places found where the running is great. The first is in a neighborhood called Broad Ripple (near Butler University). It is an interesting place where almost every house is actually a business. A creek runs through the neighborhood, and a nice trail crosses it as well. The only potential issue I saw with the place is that the trail is so popular with bicycles, runners, and walkers, that there really did seem to be a slight danger of collision.

Indianapolis bills itself as a bicycle friendly town. And it really is. I can't recall being in the center of a city and seeing so many places devoted to bicycling. And with cycling being highlighted, running benefits as well. I spent two mornings running with the lightning fast Chris Ford, who had driven in to meet us, and to hang out with a friend, Christine, while Marisa and I worked.

Chris and I ran in the early a.m. in the second great running area along the canals and river near Lucas Oil Field and the Convention Center. As I mentioned, the runs were flat and fast. We were able to cover a good amount of ground as we set off and circumnavigated the Indiana State Capitol Building. We then cruised through Purdue and U of I's Indianapolis campus to the river. The river is pretty with bridges crossing it every few blocks. Early in the morning there wasn't any traffic to speak of. Along and above the far shoreline, we ran by a wall built of huge slabs of cut stone. It was really kind of magnificent. We also ran by a pedestrian bridge that has a lot of nice sculptures on it, and then by the Indians (minor league) Victory Field. We ended the run on the last day with a run through the native botanical garden that flanks two museums across the street from the hotel complex where we stayed. All in all, Indianapolis really puts on a good show for cyclists and runners.

Before heading to Indy, I did a mid week training run with my other running buddy, Eric. We are planning to do an 8.5 mile race on trails next week, so we've been trying to get in 1-2 runs on the trails each week. The run was interesting. Since it was pretty dark when we started, we ran out on the levee, then back on the trails. I'm not a fan of spiders, so I made him run ahead (and I'm glad I did, because he ran face first into one or two really good webs). I feel pretty fit for the race this weekend. I'll have a report in my next post.

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