In the ever-elusive quest to find a means of exercise that I
don’t find repellant, I tried running along Chicago’s lakefront trail
On the surface, it sounds nice: Eight miles of paved running
path along Chicago’s lakefront with breathtaking vistas of the city skyline.
Here’s what it looks like.
See? Isn’t that nice?
In reality, the lakefront running path should be called the
Lakefront running/dog-walking/biking/speed-skating Lane of Terror.
Here’s what it actually looks like:
See? Isn’t that horrible?
Remember in grade school when you jumped rope? Two kids
would be looping the rope round and round and you’d have to time it just right,
dash into the looping rope and begin hopping up and down with split-second
That’s what it feels like just getting on to the pathway. Dogs
and speed skaters and competitive bicyclists are all whizzing by in different
directions. You have to time it just right and dash right in to get swooped up
in the maelstrom.
I made it onto the path and began my slow trot-trot-trotting
Keep in mind that the running path is hardly wider than a
I heard a sonic boom behind me as several Tour de France contenders blazed by with
the warning, “On your left!!!”
My heart was still pounding when roller-bladers
whizzed past which left hardly any room for the guy on his bike pulling a
toddler in the kiddy-trailer attached. Dogs on leashes complicated the matter.
Trot-trot-trot . . .
I couldn’t wait to get off the damn running path.
I veered off onto a nice, regular sidewalk. If I had brought money
with me, a taxi would have been hailed.
There are some really beautiful, wooded pathways that
meander through the bird sanctuary near my place. I’ve mapped out a two-mile
route through there that I’ve been using.
True, the paths through the bird sanctuary aren’t really
meant for running.
They’re for bird-nerds.
But let’s be honest about my running.
Trot-trot-trot. . .
Birdwatchers ambling along will probably pass me by.