Today, we're kicking off a new feature called HerKentucky Story. We've asked friends, writers, and fellow bloggers to tell their stories about Kentucky life. Today's story comes from Krissie Bentley, coordinator of LexRunLadies, a group of Lexington-based women runners.
You can keep up with Krissie on Twitter (@krissieb) or on her blog, My Radical Commitment. If you'd like to learn more about LexRunLadies, you can visit their website, Twitter (@lexrunladies), or their Facebook Group. , You can also email them here.
You know those people you see in your neighborhood? Those people who lace up their shoes, pack on their water packs, and run with blatant disregard for precipitation, temperature, or condition of sidewalks?
Yeah. I am one of those people.
I admit that I started running to lose weight, but that’s not why I still run. I keep running because of what running has given me. Not only do I pay more attention to my body and the changing of the seasons, I pay more attention to where I live, work, and play.
|Sunrise in Midway|
I have learned so much about Lexington and surrounding areas because I spend so much time on foot. When I run downtown, I find shops and restaurants that I return to when I’m clean and dry. I smell food and coffee as I run by restaurants that I return to at the end of my run. I like to explore areas on foot that I’m not familiar with and areas I know well. I pay more attention when I’m moving a little more slowly. Things look different when I’m not behind the wheel of a car.
Lexington also has an impressive trail system, including the Legacy Trail and the Brighton Rail Trail. Many of the roads in the Lexington area are lightly traveled and also fun to run. The area around Keeneland is one of my favorite places to run, not only because of the challenge of the course but also because I never know who I’ll come in contact with.
|I ran across these guys in the area surrounding Keeneland.|
Being a part of the running community has introduced me to new places to run outside of Lexington as well. Midway is a beautiful place to run. I have met up with friends to run their familiar routes in Louisville. I love to run the trails at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg. Because I am on the lookout for new places to run, I am frequently finding new places to explore.
|From the top of a hill on a Shaker Village Trail|
The running community in the Lexington area is thriving. I coordinate LexRunLadies and we are often out and about. I have met so many friends through this running group. I am frequently amazed at how strong and quick I can connect with someone while we’re out for a run. It seems like so many personal barriers just come down when we are running. The support, encouragement, and challenges I have felt from this community have changed the way I view myself and my strengths.
|LexRunLadies at the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon, March 2012|
We welcome and encourage anyone – ladies and dudes, as we call them – from the absolute beginner to the multiple marathoner. We meet at various locations in and around Lexington. You’ll find encouragement, feedback and answers to all sorts of questions, even the embarrassing ones. If you have ever thought about wanting to run and are interested in support, please reach out to us.