Monday, November 8, 2010

Trail Talk

Hooray, there's a new trail in town! It's not finished yet, but I've run it's length several times already. Kevin worked on it all weekend and it is coming along great. It doesn't take expensive gifts, flowers, or nights out to make me happy. A new trail will do it!

For some runners, it's all about quality of training, for others it's quantity of miles. For a few, it's all about the gear or fashion. Then there are those that focus on race results, competition, or rivalries. At one point or another I have been driven by each of these motivators (except the gear and fashion.) Back a number of years, I had to take my running into the woods due to a bad spine that doesn't tolerate hard surfaces very well. I had already been doing some trail running and a few trail races, and since I was a very young child I had hiked and back packed and back country skied in the woods. But, when I moved virtually all of my running into the woods I found a new running motivator. For me, running has become all about the trails!

Kevin also appreciates a good trail. Before Kevin and I even met in person, we were having lively email conversations and phone calls about trails. On our second date he took me for a long walk in the pouring rain to show me some of his favorite mountain bike trails. It didn't take me long to figure out that he had helped design and build and maintain some of those trails. A week or so later he had me on a borrowed mountain bike, learning a new way to enjoy the trails. It wasn't long after that, that he had me out working on trails with him. He introduced me to his good friends, McCleod and Pulaski. I already knew his friend, Rake.

I'm not the kind of person who can recite the names of every trail in the White Mountains along with their elevation profiles, origins, history, and statistics. I don't keep records about how many times I've been over them and how fast I've run and/or hiked them. I'm definitely not a "peak bagger" or anything else that requires I keep track of the fun I'm having. For example, I think I've climbed all but two of New Hampshire's 4000 footers, but my old white mountain guide says I have hiked those two. Beats me. And I don't really care. All I know is that being on the trails makes me happy.

Most mornings as soon as I wake up I start babbling away to Kevin about the dream I had been having just before awakening. It usually sounds something like this..."I was on this really narrow winding trail and I had to push this wheel barrow full of firewood down the trail as fast as I could. There were jumps and obstacles..." or "I was on this single track trail on a really high narrow ledge driving the Jeep. I'm not really sure how it fit on the trail, but it did..." or "First I was on the bike, but when I got to the narrow high bridge, I was suddenly running. Once I got over the bridge, I was on the bike again, but with a big basket of fruit balanced on my head..." These are happy dreams!

Tomorrow I will be doing my long run. I'm not sure which trails I'll be running on, but I know it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it! I'll probably run without the wheelbarrow full of firewood. Happy Trails to you!

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