I'll admit it. I was lost without the running. Completely, utterly and totally without direction. Scattered. Oh wait, that's normal....I'm sorry, what did you say?
Trail running makes me joyful! It takes me outside and closer to nature. It gives me purpose and health and clarity, which are good things to have. It's simple, uncomplicated, fluid and beautiful. Truth be known, I think I actually enjoy the trails more than I like the running. Time, speed and distance don't matter much to me, but scenery? Heck yeah, I'll run for that. And I hope to be doing it for a long time.
This weekend, I had a couple of great runs. I've been cautious with the running and easing myself into it gently this past week. On Friday, I ran for a couple of hours and finally tried out my climbing and descending legs on Tunnel Mountain. While my trail dexterity is gone, my legs were just fine. My post race aches and pains have come full circle. I feel good again. The best thing about Fridays run was just spending time outside. I surprised a big, healthy coyote and got a up and close look. I saw an enormous herd of elk across the river. I took a little side trip up a dry creek bed to look for animal tracks and in 5 minutes I had found prints of bear, elk, deer and wolf. Cool. That's what I missed.
On Sunday, I was so excited to be going for a long run! I organized a key-exchange run with my Trailtrash friends from Calgary. We both started at opposite ends of the trail and met in the middle, swapped keys and hugs and kept running. It was an awesome 35km point to point run along the shoreline of Lake Minnewanka trail, past the Ghost Lakes and clear out of the mountains into the Ghost/Waiperous area of the foothills. Magic. We awoke to a clear, beautiful, sunny day and I couldn't believe our good fortune. New friends Patrick and Andrew joined Mike and I for a great day on the trail.
It was a fun, social day. Speaking of fun and social, I also had the pleasure of meeting Sara and Derrick this weekend. Last year, I found Derrick online through Bryon's IRunFar Blog and he gave me some of his Coaching wisdom. The man knows his running! Derrick is a speedy-speedster who ran his most recent 100 Miler in (gasp!) 17:52. Stud. Sara and Derrick are also lovers of all things wintery, including their sled dogs, snowshoeing and the Rock and Ice Ultra.
After such a great weekend, what can I say? I was lost, but now I am found. Hallelujah. Praise the Run.