Monday, March 23, 2015

My Trail

I wouldn't say I'm a particularly outdoorsy person. I don't particularly enjoy camping or hiking. Bugs of all kinds are my nemesis. I like flora and fauna just fine, but seeing a rare flower doesn't send me into raptures. Basically, I like the outdoors just fine, but I also like the indoors. We have a very comfortable home, and I enjoy spending time there.

My trail
That being said; this winter really made me miss my trail. My trail is about a mile from my house, and goes farther than I have yet to run in either direction. My trail has beautiful shady trees in the summer, and lovely fall foliage. My trail is quiet and peaceful. Running on my trail gives me a chance to process things in a way I can't when running on a treadmill, or laps at the track, or even around our neighborhood.

I love the fact that I could round a bend in the trail, and see a family of deer just hanging out together. I love the way it smells like green things. I love the feeling of being the only person in the world, when there's no one else around me. I can hear myself breathing, and the birds singing, but everything else is silence.

A run on my trail feels shorter, because I'm looking around me, and appreciating my surroundings, not focusing on the miles creeping by. I've stopped on more than one run, just to admire my surroundings.

I'm so lucky to live so close to such a great place to run, but this winter showed me one thing I hadn't realized: the trail isn't plowed in the winter. Instead of my lovely, easy runs of spring, summer and fall, my first post-snow run was a nightmare. I had to dramatically alter my stride, to pick my feet up out of the snow with each step. Rather than gliding along effortlessly, I was slogging through on a surface that was maddeningly slippery, yet sticky. I quickly found myself leaving the trail and heading back for the sidewalk. Though not as picturesque, I decided that running loops of my neighborhood was easier and safer than attempting to run on the thick snow carpet of the trail. Too bad I don't have cross-country skis!

Now that winter is (almost) behind us, I'm getting back onto my trail for runs, and I absolutely love it! On a run at dusk last week I ran into my first deer of the spring (almost literally). It's exciting to see the changes taking place, as the snow melts, and the green comes back into the world. As the weather continues to improve, I plan to do as much running on my trail as possible. For some reason, I never get bored out there. I can't wait to see what the trail has in store for me this year!

Since we're talking so much about running, here's the tally so far: I'm at 85.2 miles for the year. I'm definitely behind where I'd like to be, but weather and illness had to be accommodated. I think I might be able to make it to 100 miles by the end of the month, but I'm not going to stress out about it. I know I'll be able to get out more and run further as the weather continues to improve. It's been a slow start to my resolution, but I know I've got 500 miles in me this year!

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