This is an activity I can very honestly say that I plan to do for the rest of my life.
I resisted the temptation of regularly running on trails for a LONG time. For years I saw it as something that I would do “later in life.” I would imagine myself in my 40s, 50s and 60s, going for long runs through the woods for hours and hours either by myself or with a good friend. Stopping along the way to have a picnic or take a nap by a creek. It wasn’t for NOW, it was for LATER. Something to look forward to. I honestly didn’t think I could be the kind of runner I wanted to be out on the roads if I was also running on the trails. It was like if I were to commit to one, that meant NOT committing to the other. What in the world was I thinking? Silly, silly me.
I do not see it that way anymore. At. All.
How can I be my whole, truest self if I am ignoring a part of me? If I am postponing something that my heart is calling me to? Every single time I have run on the trails I have felt so at peace. So happy. So grateful be there. In love. Why not do more of it!?
Running on the trails is making me a better overall runner. Without a doubt. Over the last couple of months I’ve been getting out in the woods about once a week for 10-12 miles, sometimes by myself and sometimes with my buddies, and I can tell that this kind of running is balancing me out and strengthening me in more ways than one. Different muscles are being recruited and utilized for stability and balance. My mind is being engaged in a whole new way. I find myself inspired and rejuvenated when I’m out on the trails. It fits into my Boston training perfectly as “active recovery” and is helping me press an internal reset button each and every week.
I crave my time in the woods and look forward to getting out there every week. And I am loving every second of it.
Trail running holds a very special place in my heart. A place that I can tell is going to grow and grow as time goes on. Deep inside, I think I’ve known this for a long time but only recently am I really just opening myself up to it. I am so thankful to have found a way to change my perspective about when and how to spend more time on the trails. To see now that spending time running out on the trails can not only fit into my training, but that it can BENEFIT and actually become an essential part of my training in so many ways as well.
Do you love trail running like I do? Do you incorporate both trail and road running into your training schedule? If you live in the DC area, where are your favorite trails to run on and explore? Favorite trail races around here?