Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

Archive for the tag “Winterthur in Bloom”

Daily Chase: Vol. 40

You might have been tempted to think that my #chasing42runstreak was in jeopardy based on the lapse in Daily Chase information, but you can let out a collective sigh of relief. The streak is still in play, and more importantly, my legs are fully recovered after my epic GDR adventure. Lord knows my quads were shredded after 40,000 feet of elevation change, but I feel like I’ve bounced back nicely 🙂

Chasing42 Log: 20160325-20160401

Run: My legs were feeling much fresher this week, and I was able to incorporate some more tempo and speed work back into the mix. It was also spring break at the University of Delaware, so I had a bit more flexibility in my running schedule, which meant I was able to spend a bit of time taking in the early spring blooms at Winterthur. All-in-all, it was a great running week and I’m looking forward to the 36-mile Brandywine End-to-End on April 9th!

Such vibrant colors, even this early in the season! The daffodils filling out the "clouds" on the hill in the background are amazing :)

Such vibrant colors, even this early in the season! The daffodils filling out the “clouds” on the hill in the background are amazing 🙂

Thought: The debate between workout approaches seems to be never-ending, with some folks extolling the benefits of hill work to cover strength and speed, and others focusing on specificity. The physiological evidence might be mixed, but the mental evidence seems to be pretty clear for me. Even if I could benefit the most from focusing on one time of workout and one surface, the reality is that I would still need to mix things up. The variety is as much about mental stimulation for me as it is about the physical benefits. I’ve perhaps fallen into the ultra-bug trap a bit too much lately, and found it hard to justify shorter races when a training run will suffice. However, I am hoping to be more mindful this spring and summer of the mental benefits of pinning on a bib for overall training readiness. Distances from the 5K to the marathon each offer me different challenges, and will ultimately benefit my ultra efforts. If the path #chasing42 was straight, it wouldn’t be much fun, right? 🙂

Winterthur: It’s a Magical Place!

Not only did I question whether or not Delaware was an actual state prior to moving here, but I certainly would have never heard of Winterthur Museum, Gardens, and Library if it wasn’t for the beautiful epicurean’s career field and her new amazing position at said library. You learn very fast when moving to Northern Delaware that the name Dupont carries quite a bit of weight in these parts! The Dupont family had a significant influence economically, socially, and politically in the area, as evidenced by the Dupont plant right down the round, and the plethora of streets, parks, and schools named after various members of the Dupont family. One such member of the Dupont family was Henry Francis Dupont. Unlike many of his other more industry-oriented family members, H.F.’s interests were more focused on horticulture and decorative arts.

A playful note in the Enchanted Woods!

A playful note in the Enchanted Woods!

Gates near the reflecting pool (and former family pool).

Grates near the reflecting pool (and former family pool).

More specifically, he became fascinated with antique American decorative arts and soon amassed the single largest collection of American antiques in the world. Even before his interest in antiques took hold, his green thumb guided many of his life decisions. He honed his craft, and on the grounds of his estate, created an amazing, sprawling, multi-dimensional naturalistic garden and landscaping masterpiece. That estate was Winterthur, named after the town in Switzerland where the family originated. Henry Francis donated the main mansion and estate as a museum in 1951 and continued to live in a smaller building on the estate until his passing in 1969. His legacy can be seen in vivid color as you explore the 60 acres of naturalistic gardens and the remainder of the massive nearly 1000 acre estate. Visitors travel from around the world to explore the massive collection of decorative arts, conduct research in the library collection, and explore the beautiful grounds.

Winterthur 3

The entire estate is incredibly visitor friendly, and accessible, regardless of your background knowledge of antiques or horticulture. Miles and miles of trails traverse the estate and allow for seemingly endless exploration. Very early on in my time in Delaware, I made it a point to explore Winterthur on foot, as I was there almost daily. Although the trails, both paved and unpaved, are intended to allow greater access to the grounds, they also present a unique opportunity for an early morning or later afternoon run of unprecedented beauty. There is something in bloom at any given time, and the diversity of plant and animal life creates a truly special environment.

It's hard not to stop and photograph everything!

It’s hard not to stop and photograph everything!

I’ve now been in Delaware for a little over two months, and have spent countless hours on the trails throughout the estate. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the beauty around you and I always seem to find something new and unique with each additional run on the grounds. The estate happens to be right next to Brandywine Creek State Park as well (look for more in a future post), and it’s even an easy run home if I don’t feel like driving. As with the rest of the region, there is no shortage of hills, but the well-maintained trails simply can’t be beat and there are even several cafes on site in case you want a bite to eat when you are done. There is no question that I am lucky to have access to such an incredibly resource, and I am looking forward to many more runs and explorations to come! #chasing42

The diverse landscapes are simply incredible!

The diverse landscapes are simply incredible!

Did I mention the goats and flock of specially bred sheep?!

Oh, and did I mention the goats and flock of specially bred sheep?!

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