I’ve never liked running, it’s uncomfortable, it’s slow, and you never get a break. A couple of years ago I was running almost every morning for a couple of miles and I would run trails every now and again, I ran just enough where I got to the point that I could run without great pain. Then I quit.
For some reason I’ve been going with my friends on trail runs. I don’t really think you can call what I do actually running, I’m not even sure if it’s jogging, but it’s usually got my cardio pegged. We’re all at such different abilities but it’s a pretty cool setup really, we all just take off and run, different paces and sometimes even different directions. The runs are almost the exact opposite of the rides where the focus is on having fun as a group, in the runs it’s every man for yourself.
We’ve taken to calling our group the Behind the Yellow Trail Running Club. The name comes from the yellow and brown signs that designate special areas in the forest, on foot we can go anywhere. Running on trails is much more interesting then running anywhere else, and much more difficult. Many of the trails are chewed up from equestrian use and sometimes can be like running down a ditch, deadfall makes impromptu hurdles and elevation changes abound.
The night runs are by far my favorite, the forest seems much larger at night, the long shadows dance around and help alleviate my discomfort and slowness. Last night I ran without headphones and let the sounds of the forest fill my ears. Several times I heard rustling leaves and tracked the sound to glowing eyes out in the woods, more than once I spooked deer that ran across the trail.
I’m not sure if it’s a fair comparison but it feels like an hour of trail running is worth two hours of mountain biking, like I said earlier it keeps my heart rate and breathing pegged, even downhill and you can’t coast. I’ve already seen a 6 pound weight loss since I’ve started and a very slight increase in speed, though it’s really more of a decrease in pain. I’m looking forward to keeping up with the trail runs all winter.