On my run I am stopped dead in my tracks when the path disappears due to flood waters. While my dog doesn’t seem to mind, I need to find an alternate course. After attempting to scale some logs, jump some rocks, weave through prickly bushes, I finally concede and backtrack my way to a fork that takes us up to higher ground.
This is precisely why I love trail running. Every single time you are out on a trail, it is different. Today there is flooding where yesterday it was a wide open beach to traverse.
One day the silence feels deep and total and another day the squirrels and robins regale with me song. One day the sound of a passing train drifts through the trees while another I almost step in bear poop and remember that I am here, in the wild.
Depending on my mood, one day I might be blasting ‘Inner Ninja‘ as I karate chop my way through a single-track, evading roots, leaping stones and feeling fierce, while the next day calls for nature as my playlist as I keep a slow, steady pace on a wide open trail.
Trail running sometimes brings close encounters. I’ve seen coyotes, bears, sea otters (on land!), eagles, heron, salmon, owls, turtles and squatters. Usually the sightings are far enough away to be majestic rather than frightening though the occasional run-in with evil-out-to-get-me ducks where my dog hides behind my legs does give me pause at my overall safety. Truly though, I feel more threatened on the road with speeding traffic and crazy bikers seemingly wanting desperately to play Bumper Runners.
Getting out is sometimes hard. Even knowing it will feel great, sometimes excuses come too easy. On this day, the flooded trail one, I go only because I need 30 minutes in nature to continue the 30X30 Nature Challenge. Coffee and errands seem far superior than getting drenched and muddy but I set my run at 30 minutes, a quick 15 minutes in and out so that I can get to that caffeine soon please!
Only a funny thing happens at the 15 minute mark. I do not want to turn around. The rain is falling and I am soaking but also feeling fabulous. No side stitch, legs feel good, music is pumping, the forest radiating deep and vast shades of green and so I keep on going. An hour later I am home, headed for a hot shower.
Though I double my intended time, my errands still get done as I now have a pep in my step not there before. Coffee not even required. (Though always welcome!)