Last week I talked about why I’ve mostly switched to trail running, so it was a nice surprise to turn the page in my running log/journal this morning to find this motivational entry.
I especially like this line: “Science says you’ll do better with trees, big ones, if you can find them.” I thought about that a lot today as a friend and I did almost 9 miles at a local park filled with lots of tall pines. It’s a 3ish mile trail loop, so during our three times around, we had time to ponder our surroundings.
There is a lot of different terrain at this park – – low lying open sky marshes, sandy paths, and woods. It is such a different feeling to run through the section with the tall trees that block out the sky and realize how small we are as humans. As you run, you have to make a concerted effort to look up to see the branches, as they’re so tall you really only see the trunks. (Just don’t look up too long, those same trees like to snare you with their roots!)
For example of the different landscape, here’s a couple pics I took a month ago in the same park after a big snow – I didn’t take any pictures today – it would’ve looked totally different since it was sunny and 55 degrees and the snow was all gone.
While having company on my run today probably helped a bit, I have noticed that 9 miles in the woods goes by much faster than 9 miles on the road – even when in reality the overall time is much slower. You’re distracted by nature, scenery, watching your footing and letting your worries disappear. My last few long runs have been on the road due to weather impacting the trails and after 6 miles I was done both physically and mentally. Today, other than a little sock-rubbing issue, I was feeling fine and probably could’ve kept going had we not needed to get home for other stuff.
Since this trail marathon isn’t going to run itself, I’m so glad the weather is (mostly) getting nicer so I can get out on the trails more. It’s been difficult between snow and flooding – we did hit a lot of mud today and some icy patches where the sun never reaches the ground. But, spring is around the corner!