Thursday, June 12, 2014

I heart trail running

When I was on my university's cross country team, our coach sometimes had us do a workout he called "Pigs and Farmers."  We ran to a nearby wooded area that was crisscrossed by trails.  The woodlot was forested enough that it was hard to see people on the trails, but clear enough that you could run easily. The rules were simple.  A couple people started as farmers and the rest were pigs.  Once a pig got caught by a farmer, he or she became a farmer, until there were only farmers left.  You had to run the entire time, but you could jog along a trail until a farmer saw you, and then you would sprint, attempting to elude them.  It was trail running before trail running became popular.

Recently I drove to the ski area to run on a trail that winds its way to the top of the mountain.  It has some steep sections, gaining about 2400 feet of elevation in 3.8 miles.  "I'll run for 10 minutes and then walk if it's too hard," I bargained with myself, setting off into the woods.  Nearly half an hour later I was still running, gaining ground steadily through green forest and open flowery meadows.  Finally I ran into snow and turned around and ran back down the mountain.

After decades of running, pounding the pavement doesn't appeal to me.  I no longer care about speed work or running races.  But I can't pass by a trail winding its way into the forest without thinking, I wonder what it would be like to run there?

The view from the trail I ran on (except this picture was taken in the fall)

3 comments:

  1. Running until you hit the snow line on that trail....and at that elevation....is great trail running!

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  2. Yes, trail running is fun. But I prefer hiking, seeing the scenery at a slower pace. Plus, when I run it seems I'm always tripping over something!

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  3. Nice knees sexy

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