"Why I Run" by Annie Truax

While my pace and distance logged may have changed since I first started considering myself a "runner" years ago, running has always been a constant for me, a way of pushing thru life’s curveballs. 

Upon graduating from college in 2010, a bright-eyed, optimistic post-grad ready to take on my first apartment and my first "real" job, I was also fortunate enough to experience my first real heartache! Fortunate in the sense that, rather than wallowing in self-pity, somehow I decided this setback was the perfect opportunity to put the "1/2 Marathon Training Guide" I'd flipped past in SELF magazine to the test. I signed up for my first half-marathon (the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon) and used training as a distraction to keep me focused on moving upward and onward. 

Places to Run in the Baltimore Area

Have you ever wondered about the best places for a run or walk in the Baltimore area?  Or maybe you are just bored with your usual run. Here are a few places to run near each of our stores to change up the routine.

Charm City Run Annapolis (Anne Arundal County)

B&A Trail– This trail is flat and fast with water fountains every few miles.  Running Distance (Out and Back) 0-26 miles (more if you use it to connect to the BWI Trail)

Quiet Waters Park–. With its wooded trails and beautiful grounds makes it one of the favorites in the area.  A big plus is the big playground for the kids afterwards if you running buddy is a little one.  Running Distance – 6 mile loop

Kinder Park Farm — While most of the route is paved, there are several places throughout the park to duck into the woods and run along the dirt trails used by Arch Bishop Spalding’s Cross Country Team.  This park also has a couple of water fountains, bathrooms, and two playgrounds. Running Distance3-5 mile loop

USNA -–Almost half of the route is run along the water and is beautiful in all weather, so much so that it seems too special not to share with a running buddy.  Things to remember – No Headphones Allowed and You must have your ID with you. Running Distance 4mile loop

Charm City Run McHenry Row (Baltimore City)


Inner Harbor Run – Start from Charm City Run McHenry Row and head down the promenade towards the Science Center and Aquarium.  You can run the promenade and docks all the way to Canton and back for any distance from 1-15 miles.

Fort McHenry Run – Start at Charm City Run McHenry Row and run to the entrance of Fort McHenry.  It’s a mile from the store with a mile loop around the Fort.  It’s a great way to see the water and city.  Water fountains and bathrooms are at the park. Running Distance3-5 Miles

Patterson Park – A challenging loop with hills to get a great workout.  The loop makes it convenient to your car and allows you to vary the distance. Running Distance 1-6 Miles

Charm City Run Bel Air  (Harford County)

Ma & Pa Trail – The MA & PA Trail is a walking, running & bicycle trail/pathlocated on portions of the former Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad corridor in Bel Air and Forest Hill, Maryland.  The MA & PA Trail is 3.3 miles long from Edgeley Grove in Fallston to Williams St. in the Town of Bel Air. The Forest Hill segment is 1.75 miles long.

Susquehanna State Park – Susquehanna State Park contains over 15 miles of marked and maintained trails; ideal for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, equestrians and nature lovers. The terrain varies throughout the river valley. The different trails have ratings ranging from easy to difficult.

Charm City Run Columbia (Howard County)

Lake Elkhorn – Located right near our Columbia store, this 37-acre lake, in the village of Owen Brown, was built by the Columbia Association in 1974 with a watershed of about 2,500 acres.  The path around Lake Elkhorn is 2 miles.  There are also connecting trails to add on to the distance around the lake. Running Distance 2 miles and up

Patapsco Valley State Park – The park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery.  They have 170 miles of trails, with 70 of those miles identified as maintained trails.  A great place to get away from it all and walk, hike or run. Park includes both technical trails and paved paths. All distances available.

Centennial Park – This park makes up 325 of Howard County's 7,000+ acre scenic park system. It features a 2.4-mile paved pathway that circles the lake as well as the 7.3-miles of interconnecting paved pathway that links to surrounding neighborhoods. These trails are great for walking, riding, or biking, and make for a perfectly serene place for some exercise. 

Charm City Run Timonium (Baltimore County)

NCR Trail -The Northern Central Railroad Trail (NCRT) extends 20 miles, stretching from Ashland Road in the Hunt Valley area to the state line. The trail is 10 feet wide with a stone dust surface. The most popular activities on the trail are hiking, jogging, bicycle riding and horseback riding. Out and back trail allows for any distance from 1 mile to 40 miles.

Loch Raven Reservoir – This weekend running spot provides paved road and off-road running north of Towson.  Park at the corner of Morgan Mill Road and Loch Raven Drive to enjoy beautiful scenery on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  You will see many runners on the road as well as on the extensive hiking trails throughout the woods. On weekends Loch Raven Drive between Morgan Mill Road and Providence Road is closed to cars to allow use by pedestrians.  Please note that it is not safe to run during the week as traffic is heavy with commuters.  You can walk/run 1-30 miles along this route.


Shoe of the Week: Saucony Redeemer

The Saucony Redemmer is now available here at Charm City Run. While flexibility and runnability remain as headlining Saucony attributes, the Redeemer adds outstanding stability and ride support to this sneaker’s features. Plush cushioning provides the underfoot with compressing materials between the foot and the running surface to deliver more impact protection through the use of PWRGRID+. This adds 20% more cushioning as well as fluid transition maintenance from the heel to toe for a smooth ride. The Redeemer provides those looking for a shoe tailored for support and stability with a greater level of motion control as it is designed with an 8mm. offset for those with severe pronation. The sneaker also features Injection Blown Rubber, which is liquid molded rubber allowing for higher consistency and durability. Add an ISOFIT upper for a sock-like fit and the Saucony Redeemer is a great combination of comfort and support for both road and track surfaces.

Pronation Suitability: Severe pronation

Women’s Specs: Weight: 11.5 oz.; Heel Stack Height: 21mm.; Forefoot Stack Height: 21mm.

Men’s Specs: Weight: 12.9 oz.; Heel Stack Height: 29mm.; Forefoot Stack Height: 21mm.

"Why I Run" by Jeff Burger

As a Charm City Run Training coach, Charm City has asked me to contribute to their training website blog.  So, this is the first of what I hope will be many installments.  In my attempt to keep you reading, I think I have to tell you a little bit about myself.  Most of this is not an attempt to brag about my running, but it is more an illustration of what training properly can do for you and to illustrate how personal running can and has to be.  And, because I think blogging has to be somewhat personal, I will get to how running has changed my life.  I have been a long distance runner since about 2005.  I got into long distance running by accident, which is to say my wife (girlfriend at the time) invited me for a long run and, like most men, I figured it would be easy, so I went along.  A few miles in, I threw up….several times.  After several years of running sporadically, I reluctantly agreed to go for a 7-miler with a friend.  At the conclusion of this run, I experienced the “runner’s high” for the first time in my life.  Within a year of this run, I signed up for and completed my first half marathon and my first marathon.  I’ve run races ranging in distance from 5k to 50k (31 miles).  I’ve begun and finished five marathons, bettering my time by more than 35 minutes and now have a PR of 2:53:19.  Like most runners, I know all of my PR’s…but, let’s face it, marathons are sexy and most people care about marathons, so I will spare you the boredom of my other race times.