Walking and running in your hometown in the age of pandemics

See your hometown; walking and running in the age of pandemics…

We’ve been mostly homebound for the past seven weeks, and many of us are wondering how do we stay active and maintain some semblance of fitness in this new age. My spouse and I are blessed living just a block from a scenic walking and cycling trail and we’re determined to use that on most days.

Using your feet to walk, jog or run also allows you to get up-close and personal with your hometown or nearby destinations. For travelers who walk or run, it’s a great way to see your state or the western US. With this column, I decided to talk to a couple of my favorite Stockton walking and running gurus.

Author’s grandkids, L to R, Hunter, Jessica and Jack, on a hike around
Shima Tract in N. Stockton (yes, photo is a couple years old…)

Ralph Womack, age 71, provides perspective of a former non-runner who started later in life but, with determination, became a regular runner. He relates, “back 20-some years ago, I knew I was not getting enough exercise. I had run in boot camp but never really liked it. The difference later in life was that I decided to go above being “determined” to get more exercise to being “committed” to doing something about it. I would say for sure that determination, commitment and consistency (D.C.C.) made the difference, and it was fine to start with small, achievable goals.

First, I measured a one-mile loop from my home and back; then each day I would slowly run until I had to walk. Then I would walk until ready to run again. It became a challenge to then run a little further each day; I eventually could slowly run the whole loop without walking.

Some of Ralph Womack’s running pals on the Calaveras Bike Trail.

I wanted to have something to work toward so I picked out the 5k Asparagus Run (then at Oak Grove Park) and began to work on the same method to now stretch my run out to two miles, later to three. Then I ran my first 5k and it felt great to have the goal, work toward that goal and then accomplishing it.

This experience that got me hooked, kept me running regularly and why I still run today. It was also the enjoyment of running and its benefits that came to mind when I was a board member at the Emergency Food Bank, suggesting that we put together a 5k run as a fundraiser. The annual Run and Walk Against Hunger was born” (author’s note: Ralph was the event’s founder)!  

“This would also be a great goal for anyone to try training and then entering in the Run Against Hunger, Thanksgiving morning, or other run (once the current restrictions are lifted of course). However, do not wait for an organized run to get started. I run from my home these days and simply do a loop to get my distance in. Speaking of distance, I can easily keep my distance from others in the wide open, fresh air of my own neighborhood. Run, walk or run/walk but remember, DCC”!

Runners head east and west on Weber Avenue for the annual Run and Walk Against Hunger, help each Thanksgiving morning as a fun and fundraiser for Emergency Food Bank.
Ralph Womack takes a sunset run along Shima Tract in Stockton.

Tony Vice, Owner of Fleet Feet in Stockton, Modesto and Brentwood, is one of the area’s most outspoken walking and running advocates. Vice shared, “luckily, our state government has blessed running and walking while observing social distancing practices. Outdoor activities naturally allow us to create space among each other. Be a friendly steward of our streets and trails; offer a friendly hello or give a wave while you distance.

Now is the time to get started on that healthy, active lifestyle journey. It’s a simple as making a plan around your shelter in place day – work from home duties, distance learning and so on. If you’re new to running/walking, start by just going around your block. Add a little more distance as you feel stronger – and I promise you, you will. Experienced runners know the drill.

Walkers, runners at a recent Resolution Run, held annually by Fleet Feet Stockton.

Everyone can track their distance and/or time using phone apps or wearable tracking devices. These keep you accountable since your running/walking buddy can’t be around. Make sure to join a social media group to share your adventures. We’ve started a Running is NOT Cancelled group on our Facebook page (fleetfeetsmb); post your workouts, pictures and comments about your day. It’s a fun way to distance meet new people, so when orders are lifted we can start doing this together in groups”.

Fleet Feet Stockton offers curbside pick-up or home-delivery as well as ‘virtual fittings’, offering clients gait analysis and Q&A through the video function on one’s cell phone, staff then recommends proper gear.

Favorite walking or running routes in Stockton/San Joaquin should logically start from your home. Other choices may be more distant, like the running trails along the Calaveras River between University of the Pacific and Brookside, the Bear Creek Trail, the Joan Darrah Promenade along Stockton‘s Deep Water Channel, neighborhood loops around some of Stockton’s lakeside communities, nearby Delta levee access such as Shima Tract at the west end of Hammer Lane, or quiet roads in the vineyards to the north and east of Stockton.

Elijah Dennison and grandfather take a walk in the Quail Lakes neighborhood.

For more Stockton walking and running inspiration, including a self-guided downtown walking tour and six running/cycling routes, see Visit Stockton’s website, visitstockton.org.

Contact Tim, tviall@msn.com; find archive at recordnet.com/travelblogHappy travels in the west!

This entry was posted in Central California, Northern California, Stockton/San Joaquin County and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives