Trail Running

Trail runningWorkout: Recovery Run (Trail Run)

Planned Duration: 0:30
Description: 5-10 min dynamic warm-up
Easy pace throughout
If you can get on a trail, do it. Trail running is good for your soul AND it helps increase your cadence and strengthen your stabilizing muscles.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve run trails. Several ankle sprains between early 2011 and late 2012 have kept me running on the smoothest surfaces I can find. But after a good year of PT and ankle exercises, I was really looking forward to this workout.

The Ashland Reservoir trails vary from wide, rocky fire roads to rooty, single track (with a strong slope to the water).  I find lots of company on the trails in the afternoon. Much of my company is the furry, four-legged, wagging variety.  And these dogs couldn’t be happier to be outside walking in the woods.  The dogs and their people are consistent wavers and smilers when we cross and share the paths.

It felt good to be back. I do love how I feel when I’m running in the woods.  My coach was right on (again); it’s good for the soul.  I feel like I am part of the forest when I run in the woods.  It’s like I become connected to the trees, the pine needles and the other animals scurrying across the dried leaves. (I’m not running fast enough to be at a scurry pace on this first trip back into the woods.)

The terrain is hilly, sloped, and leaf covered, so my legs are continuously adjusting to the different surface that each step meets.  Every step of the way I knew that every moment spent balancing on the bosu ball, etc. had been a worthy investment.  My ankles haven’t been this strong at any point in my memory.

I truly enjoy the mental requirements of trail running .  It’s like thought and instinct blend together as I look at the path ahead for the next safe foot landing.  I feel deer-like. My alertness is peaked, but not in a stressful way. It’s very different from my awareness when I’m running on the roads, against traffic. Road awareness feels more defensive, trail alertness feels more inclusive. I don’t feel any increased stress or tension.

This was an exceptional run.  When I returned back to my car, I felt  healthy and fit . This run had restored more energy than it had consumed.

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