Some people think Illinois is flat and boring but I find special beauty in the country roads, prairies, corn fields, and big blue sky. Lucky for me, I live where the suburban roads of Chicago meet the country roads of Kane County so I get the best of both the town and country … thus the name of this blog. And if you read my blog on a somewhat regular basis, you know that I’ve signed up to run the Naperville Marathon with my daughter this coming November. It’ll be my sixth marathon so I know the road of blood, sweat and tears that awaits me as I train to run 26.2 miles. Today I want to show you pictures from the country roads of Kane County where I do a lot of my running and marathon training.
This dirt country road is one of my favorites to run on. There’s no traffic to speak of, you can hear the birds singing, and the scenery is so simple and pretty. I love breathing the fresh air out here away from the traffic.
I love some of the shabby barns around these parts. You can find them in a range of colors from red to brown to white to gray … even blue. In my opinion, the more rustic and chippy they are, the more beautiful they become.
When I’m on my 8th, 9th, or 10th mile or more and feeling frayed around the edges, I appreciate pretty details like this country lamp and horse ornament. Focusing on the beauty around me takes my mind off my tired legs and aching shoulders.
Here’s another statuesque white chippy barn with a light blue roof. You’ll notice the road is paved here because I turned a corner. One word of advice I’d like to give to anyone thinking about running long distance. Dirt and gravel country roads are softer for your feet and knees, but an asphalt street is softer than a cement sidewalk. So I avoid running on sidewalks when I can to save a little wear and tear on the body.
I just love this little rustic outbuilding. If I think this building is so cute with its severely peeling paint, why don’t I think my house looks good with peeling paint? These are the philosophical questions you ponder while running for miles on end by yourself.
At the end of the day, I’m always glad I went for a run. Especially a run down a country road. I try not to make excuses to not run because that never makes me feel good. To motivate myself when I’m feeling lazy, I just make myself get out the door and run just one mile. Usually by the end of that mile I’m ready and willing to keep going. And when I have scenery like this to enjoy, I come home feeling inspired … albeit tired.