That’s me, Eric Gore, when I was 17 years old back in 1972. I’ve been a distance runner since I was a teen at R.L. Turner high school in Carrollton, Texas. Today, at nearly 65, while quite a bit heavier than what you see here in the picture, I still enjoy the mind and fitness therapy of heading out for a good run; even after all these years!
My favorite running path takes me around a good chunk of East Texas’ Cedar Creek Lake in the nearby town of Gun Barrel City about 75 miles east of Dallas. Gun Barrel City is a small, but fast- growing lakeside community comprised of full-time residents and a ton of weekenders; many of whom later, become full-time; like me. (For more info about the lake and the city, you can check out my recent article here.)
Distance running has steadily grown in popularity over the past 25 years in large part due to the baby-boomer generation recognizing the importance of healthy living and the ever-increasing number of sanctioned and/or other charity 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon events in cities and towns large and small. My favorite time to run Cedar Creek Lake is in the morning but sometimes I can really get into a cool sunset outing.
I especially enjoy the lakeside views along my 10k running path which, by the way, is the equivalent to 6.2 miles. My path takes me through three established lakeside neighborhoods including Mantle Manners, Eastwood Isle and Southwind Estates. The route is fully paved and because these neighborhoods are older and more established, there are plenty of tall East Texas trees for much needed shade when running on a hot summer day.
Hank, Jr., my Best Bloodhound Friend (BBF), enjoys running occasionally with me when I’m on a shorter 5k (3.1 miles) training route. It’s nice to have the company and since my route is through three secluded neighborhoods, there’s little traffic to get in our way, even on weekends. Check out my recent article here if you’re interested in exploring lake life possibilities with your ‘best-friend’.
With the growing popularity of distance running, there’s now an infinite variety of choices when it comes to running shoes, running socks, all-weather attire, wearable GPS and Step Tracking devices, mobile phone arm bands, hydration belts and many other running accessories. For serious runners, making sure you have the right shoes for your track and weather conditions and running level is essential to ensuring a runner’s best long-term results. Also, wearing a GPS or Step Tracking band enables you to easily monitor your progress. And, with a GPS you get the added benefit of mapping your course.
I’m one of those runners who likes to listen to workout music while I’m running so having a mobile phone arm band is a must for me. Recently, I just started listening to a 2017 Top 100 Runner’s Trance Dance album that I downloaded to my Apple iPhone X. It’s a two hour DJ mix of non-stop 125 to 150 beats per minute electronic music so it keeps me in step with a consistent rhythm. (Sometimes I’ll shed the earbuds so Hank, Jr. can enjoy the music also.)
I suppose people could say distance running is not a particularly productive activity; just running and not actually producing a result, like mowing your lawn or picking up liter on the street. But, for me, besides the physical fitness that distance running provides, it’s also good therapy and great source of inner creativity. (I thought about writing this LakeHouseLifer blog the other day while on a run.)
Running is a year-round activity for me and millions of other Americans. Here in East Texas, we enjoy running during all four seasons and my favorite time is in the fall. After Labor Day, the lake starts to calm down from all the summer activities as the trees turn to Autumn in late September. By October, the air gets clearer with less humidity and the temperatures begin to steadily decline.
This year, I plan to run the Tyler, Texas Half Marathon on December 2nd, so I’m training for it as I write this article. I’m currently averaging about 18 miles per week and this will steadily increase as I get closer to race date. Tyler is about an hour further east from Cedar Creek Lake and is well known for their Tyler rose festival each year. Early December East Texas temps are usually in the 60 degrees range so It’s usually still comfortable weather for running.
As I post topics in this LakeHouseLifer blog every week, I’ll try to keep you updated on my preparation for the Half-Marathon and pass along some lessons learned over the years. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about distance running and whether you see this as a benefit for yourself. I’d love to hear from you!