This past weekend I was scheduled to run my second long run in the marathon training, 10 miles. The plan was to run 5 miles with my friend and then I'd do another 5 after that, similar to what I did last week splitting up 8 miles. However, she couldn't make it, so I was stuck running solo the entire 10. Rats. I've done this before, but these distances are still not commonplace for me and I'll take any help I can get. Oh well, gotta role with it and be flexible.
I was already in my car when I found out we wouldn't be running together. Instead of going home, where I'd be tempted to go all the way into the house, down the hallway and back to my bed, I decided to drive out to Miami Whitewater where there is a 9 mile loop. I could just go and not have to think. But I couldn't remember what exit to get off and ended up all the way in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. I am slightly familiar with the area because we've gone karting out there a number of times. And after driving all that way, I was determined to run somewhere. So I got off the exit, parked in downtown Lawrenceburg, and started to go.
I didn't take any of these pictures - they are all from the city's website.
I think I parked on this street. Kind of "old American town" looking with wide streets and 2-story storefronts.
Turns out Lawrenceburg isn't all that big. Today, it is where the casino is - Hollywood Casino (formerly Argosy) and it seems more like an industrial area, with an old-looking, run-down residential town stuck in the middle. I know it is historic. Abraham Lincoln gave a speech (pre-inauguration) along the river, and I'm sure there are plenty of other interesting historic things to learn. I was really struggling to run anywhere. On the main road, the sidewalk ended. Going the other way was the same. I desparately looked at the high school and saw a small stadium, but no track... how was I going to get 10 miles out of this??
At one point I ran over this bridge, in a tiny little park outside the recreation center.
After 3 agonizing miles of having to think way too hard about where to go, I ran towards the river and eventually came to the back side of the casino. There was a staircase that went up a big hill (the levee). And there was a lightpost-lined sidewalk! This could be promising!
The casino is the building in the background. The stairs were at the end of the sidewalk. The river is to the right.
I ran along this, hoping and hoping it wouldn't end. It was curving, so I couldn't see how far it would go. I was heading toward the powerplant and was pretty certain it would end there.
You can see the lightposts on the right - that is the trail.
But it didn't end! After the power plant was the beginning of the Dearborn Recreation Trail, which goes all the way to Arora, though I didn't know this at the time. Yay! I could just run and enjoy the day now.
So I ran along this trail. Some parts were pretty, other parts – i.e. running by the powerplant – were...uh...different. The massive powerline towers buzzed as I ran under them, and I could hear what sounded like big moving machinery from inside the powerplant.
Here are some shots of the Ohio.
I saw a lot of families and walkers and bikers, but no serious cyclists. I guess because the entire trail is only probably 8 miles round trip from Arora to Lawrenceburg and back. While running across a bridge, I noticed a lot of fishing boats below me. I wondered wether my stomping across the bridge scared the fish. A fisherman yelled up to me and I quote: "Ain't no one chasin' you, you can stop runnin' now!" Not the first time I've heard a variation of this joke. This seems to be a popular one made by people who think it's crazy to run for fun.
I turned around when I was at 6 miles. Running back to the start put me at 9, and then back to my car put me exactly at 10. Perfect!
This picture is looking up from the river at the clock tower near the start near the casino.
Wouldn't ever go out there again to run, but I'm glad I found the trail. Made it worthwhile and it was a nice change of scenery!