Running Around Lake Monona

Our condo in Madison overlooks Lake Monona, the smaller of the 2 lakes that flanks the city making it an isthmus. Even before I took running seriously almost 3 years ago, whenever I am at the patio or the porch a catch a glimpse of the charming lake I would actually wish that I could run around it one day. Three days ago, I crossed it off my wish list because it came true.

The funny thing was, it was unplanned. I was already having a running burn-out and the thought of doing 12 miles again on my old route to the arboretum bored me. So I dilly-dallied the whole morning, looking for things to do to postpone my long run, until I decided to just try a new route. I was going to run to Tom’s golf course which was situated in Monona City, then probably turn around and go back to Madison after 3-4 miles.

After reaching mile 4, I could see the Madison’s Capitol building across from the lake. I mentally calculated that to complete the circle would be approximately 12 miles or a little less. Although I was nervous because I have yet to venture 1/4 of this route, I’ve never been or seen there before and that I didn’t know where to cross the beltway, I decided to go for it. Despite a twinge in my right knee, and a tight muscles on the side of left shin, I was actually feeling good. Most of it was due to the lovely, cool weather. Running was almost effortless that Sunday.

The route around Lake Monona will probably be one of my favorites. Half of it are on quiet neighborhood streets, 3/4 of it afforded me a view of the lovely lake. The beltway in connecting both cities didn’t really have a pedestrian crossing BUT a bike trail. I can see myself doing it again. My run around the lake was a total of 11.45 miles, I actually had to add a little more than a half mile to complete 12 miles.

I am now thinking of running around the twice bigger Lake Mendota too but we’ll see. I have already read something about it being not too scenic and being exposed to 55mph – only advanced runners and mad dogs run in it. But then again, never say never.

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