Since I moved to Atlanta in September, I’ve been a bit lazy about exploring. Mostly because I’m navigationally challenged, so I figure even if I get lost, as long as I stick close to home eventually I’ll wander onto my street.
I live in Grant Park, so, as you might guess, I tend to run in Grant Park. It’s a nice combination of incline and flat road, with enough variation in scenery that it keeps boredom at bay but not so large that you it swallows you up. But when I was almost taken out by a gaggle of overexcited third-graders standing outside Zoo Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, I figured it might be time to branch out a little bit.
Sad that it took a bunch of 10-year-olds to change my running world. In the past two weeks, I’ve done two runs each in Freedom Park and at Piedmont Park, and I’m mad at myself for not having expanded my running horizons sooner.* Both offer a great change of scenery and terrain, not to mention a look at different types of people I wouldn’t necessarily encounter in Grant Park. I have to drive or take the MARTA to get to the parks, but it’s worth it – I’m finding myself more motivated and excited to go on my runs.
I’m not going to give up running in Grant Park – it is still the closest to me – but it’s nice to know there are other nearby spots to break a sweat and shake things up a little bit.
What are your favorite parks to go running? Are there any I absolutely need to check out? While your at it, vote for your favorite park in Atlanta at Best of the Big A.
*One caveat: While the Piedmont Park Dog Park might be my new favorite place, I was so distracted that I had to stop mid-run to revel in the cuteness. So I had to cut that part out of my route. On the bright side, I’ve decided that when I finish a run in Piedmont, my new reward to myself will be a visit to the dog park.