|Beautiful Autumn colors on a wonderful trail run at Lake Jacomo,|
One of the Jackson County Parks in Lee's Summit, Missouri
For me, the best thing about trail running is the physical benefits of changing up my training once in a while. The rougher than normal terrain, and navigation of endless obstacles demand my full attention and keep me on my toes. Plus, all of the lateral movement, along with the continual altered strides really strengthen my ankles and joints. And my feet definitely enjoy the break from pounding the pavement once in a while. As primarily a road runner, I know that there are many added benefits to hitting the trails that really improve my overall performance.
That being said, there are few things about hitting the great outdoors that I'm really NOT down with. First ... I've never once tangled with a snake, fox, billy goat, mountain lion, wolverine, tiger, yak, black panther, pit bull, or shark ... but other than maybe the fox so I could ask him "Whachu say?" ... I DO NOT WANT TO!!! Yes, I have super powers - but they're not effective on wild rabid beasts! I like to eat animals, not fight them. (no offense to my vegan friends)
|Wow ... yet another picture of Jim running ... shocker!!!|
Just further proof for the grandkids that I once was in shape
Finally ... it's sooooooo boring ... and creepy!!! Don't get me wrong, constantly whipping my head around at the sound of every snapping branch to make sure Jason Voorhees isn't sneaking up on me with a chain saw or cross bow is super cool and all, but I just need to see actual humans at some point. Last year when I was training for my Ultra, I spent hours, and hours, and days in the woods by myself. After a while I started going all "Into The Wild", running around naked, eating poison berries that eventually killed me, and humming crappy Eddie Vedder music under my breath. It was horrible! Nobody needs Eddie Vedder music. Nobody.
Now before you question my manhood, just know all that aside, I'll probably add two or three trails per week, mainly as recovery runs. It's not the trail's fault. I just need to know them better, know them better, know them better now. Taylor Swift. And hopefully in the Spring, after once again conquering the horrors of running in endless solitude during the cold dark & lonely winter along the wooded and rocky ridge for months and months around the frozen lake, maybe I'll be better for it. And who knows, if I do actually spar with a bear or cheetah, imagine how ridiculous they're gonna feel when I keep one of their teeth or hooves as a symbol of my victory. It could happen.
... be great today!