Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Pounding the pavement has almost completely lost its appeal to me.
I am hooked on trails. Outdoors and fitness are in my DNA and since front door to trailhead is at tops only 20 minutes away, I often hear the trail calling me out. While the run may start in isolation the trail draws others too. Trail runners emerge as small herds without warning. A quick nod and "hey" and they are gone. I resonate with this culture.
Unpredictable simplicity is at the heart of running trails. Good shoes, some dirt and a little strategically placed poly, and you are good to go. Because trail conditions, forces of nature and seasons ensure a dynamic experience, I keep coming back.
Running on the roads is straight ahead linear training. Pace can change but you are for the most part running a line. Muscles slip into their familiar zone.
Trail running can at times be linear yet without warning becomes a dance with the wolves – rocks, roots, downed trees and unleashed dogs...which I truly don't mind. Short climbs precede steep rocky drops which morph to tight turns and sudden changes in pace. It is linear and lateral, slow then fast. Without question it works more muscles and requires more mental acuity than skimming the asphalt. Eyes are always darting to find the best path.
It makes me feel like a kid and I welcome that. Trail running is my new recess.