Friday, May 4, 2012
Back to that trail...One of the reasons I love it so much is that it frees my mind from the math of running. My pavement running is all about maintaining prescribed paces and making times and distances. I determine whether it was a good run by whether or not I hit and maintained my paces over the distance. Oh sure, I have moments of, "Wow, look at that sunrise!" even on the pavement. And some days I even stop to take a quick picture. But most of the time, I'm pretty serious about the task at hand.
On the trail, I allow all of that to go away. Mostly because if I didn't, I'd be sorely disappointed in my performance. I have YET to find a trail that doesn't somehow manage to start by going uphill. What are the odds? I always end up in more a "hike in, run out" position. But it's OK. My mind opens up to everything around me. It's liberating and humbling all at the same time. If I start to think I've gotten stronger and faster, all I have to do is hit a trail to be humbled again. In a good way, a way that makes me want to return and try again.
There's a lot to be said for not knowing what's around the next corner. The picture above is one of my favorite corners on that trail. I love the huge, moss-covered rocks and the way the trail narrows. It has a way of quickening my pace to see what is on the other side.
On that particular run that day, I saw the most beautiful woman running out. Hollywood wouldn't have thought her beautiful, with her gray ponytail and lined face. She wore running tights and a form fitting top that showcased her fit physique. Her face was flushed with the effort of her work and her form was graceful. Her body moved with youth her face no longer had, but all I could see was her beauty. Someone to look up to. Something to strive for.