Buick and MapMyFitness are launching a nationwide “Runs Worth the Drive Challenge” beginning June 26 to help fellow runners find, record and share favorite routes. Challenge participants must log 5 miles of running per week, for six weeks- no problem, right?! Weekly prizes will be awarded and participants who accomplish the goal will be entered into a grand prize drawing for an all-expense paid trip to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half-Marathon in Phoenix, Arizona!!! SIGN ME UP!!!
A few weeks ago, Buick offered to lend me a 2014 Buick Verano to drive for a week to my favorite running spots while mapping my routes on MapMyFitness.com and I happily said, “YES PLEASE!” As my injury is on the mend and I’ve just been approved to run again, the timing is perfection, and I was very thrilled to have a brand spanking beautiful new car to do just that!
My very first run after over 4 months off, all trails at Redwood Regional Park in Moraga, California. I love, love, love running at Redwood and my first run back was a bit of an exception to that rule as it was downright HARD! Trying to pace my breathing while focusing on the uneven surfaces while looking at my watch thinking, “Wow, you sure are slow!” Nevertheless, when I finished that very brief run, I felt happy, determined, and oh so ecstatic to be back running again!
While Redwood is a challenging run, no matter what trail you choose, it is beautiful and serene and while it is a bit of a drive to get to, it is 100% totally worth it! I always start at Canyon Meadow, follow the Stream Trail, then head back down on the Bridle Trail to the parking lot. Short runs for me right now but I am really looking forward to tackling this same route at least once a week- the hills pay the bills! (You can find my route here.)
Driving the Verano is a lot of fun! So much so that it was hard for me to concentrate on driving at first as all I wanted to do was play with all the buttons and features! Fantastic XM Radio, plus the talking navigation complete with dashboard screen display! The all leather interior felt so luxurious and it is actually resistant against the effects of sweat, sun, sunscreen and bug sprays! Pretty much ideal for our next adventure…
For Father’s Day weekend, we drove VeeVee (that’s what the kids named her- aren’t all cars girls?) all they way up to Anderson Valley, camped at Hendy Woods, and had a fabulous time enjoying the gorgeous scenery and nearby kid-friendly wineries and farms. As soon as we arrived to our campsite and unloaded the car, the kids demanded that we lower the seats and let them play in the trunk (which is pretty big for a sedan- fits both kids no problem!) and out of the sunroof. Of course we complied, and they blasted KidzBop on XM while I went for a brief run.
Hendy Woods has a lot of different routes to take and I just a nice little one mile loop near Big Hendy Grove. (You can find my Hendy Woods running route here.)
On Father’s Day, as a family, we followed another path and hiked all the way to the Navarro River- the landscape at Hendy is beyond pretty! From the forest to the meadow to the water, we walked and talked and breathed in the the natural beauty around us and had an absolutely great time together! About a 2 hour drive from Oakland- 100% worth it and we WILL be back!
Due to my injury, I’m not able to run consecutive days right now (or I would have taken VeeVee, aka The Verano, to run EVERY DAY, EVERY WHERE!) so after a day of recovery, we drove the hour down to Vasona Park in Los Gatos where I met up with my BFF Josh. We took the kids to the play structure, rode the carousel, took a ride on the train and as the kids played, I ran… having done a 5K here earlier this year, I already knew how pretty the location is and I happily ran through the grass and around the park completing just a few happy miles– very much a definite post-injury victory!
Unfortunately, when my week with VeeVee was up, I had to return the car- they didn’t forget to pick it up like I hoped. I got back into my current car and really missed the comfort and power of the Verano in comparison and REALLY missed that sunroof; however, I am beyond thankful to have had the opportunity to test it out and now know exactly what to look for in our next vehicle! While I refused to let hubby drive her, the Verano really worked well for our entire family of four and we enjoyed every minute with VeeVee!
Click here to learn more and to join the Buick “Runs Worth the Drive Challenge”– registration opens today and the challenge begins June 26- all your runs & routes can be recorded online as well as via the MapMyFitness mobile apps available on iOS and Android.
Thanks again to the awesome folks at Buick, good luck to you on the challenge and Happy Running! I’ll see you out there!!!