Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I've always considered myself a hiker, runner and skier, but let's face it, these days I'm really truly just a runner. I mean, I only skiied once this past season, and our hiking lately has consisted of little jaunts near home with Sam either in the backpack, or on foot, meaning our pace isn't exactly quick, and our mileage is next to none. I wouldn't trade our recent excursions for anything, of course! I love that Sam loves to be outside, and I feel honored and excited to be able to introduce her to the natural world, and to the joys of hiking and wandering in the woods. And I know that someday we'll get back to doing more true hiking, and backpacking, both with and without her. We're just not in that phase right now.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I experienced a sensation today while running that I hadn't felt in a while. When we were hiking the AT, if we happened to camp away from the shelter and so were the first ones on the stretch of trail beyond our campsite the next morning, or if by some chance, we were the first ones out of the shelter area, we would often run into some serious spider webs across the trail. Some mornings, the webs were so thick (amazing what those industrious little spiders can do in a few hours!) that I would flick my poles out in front of me as I walked, in the hopes that the webs would be broken by the poles, and not my face, head, arms, etc! Even so, poor Ryan would still get the higher webs in his face, the ones that I had glanced under. Ah, being webbed! Such was life along the trail :-)

This morning, I woke up not feeling great. I hadn't slept well and my stomach felt off (this is probably TMI, but one of the only things I truly miss about being pregnant and the early nursing days, is not having my period! Of course, it's been back to reality for a while now, and well, today was just one of those days). I had hoped to get in 7 miles on the Cathance trails this morning, as due to scheduling for the rest of the week, I wasn't sure how much running I'd be able to do over the course of the next few days. And then I woke up feeling blah. I moaned and groaned, and hemmed and hawed, and Ryan finally pushed me out the door. Well, once I got out there, I just put myself on autopilot and went. I didn't give myself the chance to not do the intended loop. I just ran. And amazingly, after the first mile up and over Mt. Ararat, I felt good. Once I got onto the Cathance trails, I realized I must be the first one out using them this morning. I was getting webbed left and right. But I just smiled. Brought back memories. And meant I had the trails to myself. I won't complain about that.

The woods were lush and green. Most of the early season wildflowers are gone. A few pink ladyslippers still grace the edge of the trails, and the bunchberries are abundant, but otherwise, it is green green green everywhere you look. I was also surprised to find that the water level of the river was down significantly from our outing down to Barnes Leap with Sam on Memorial Day. And with all the spring rain and this recent spate of warm weather, the grassy sections of trail are getting a bit unruly. I love these trails for their natural feel, but the stretches that run through the long field grass and the blackberry brambles make my legs itch. I guess summer is on its way!

So in the end, I got in 7.15 miles in 1:09:10 and I was happy. I felt better, and I was glad I went for it. Thanks to Ryan for the extra push! I headed in for a quick snack and a shower, and I even managed to get to work on time :-)


mindy said...

I love those types of runs. So psyched you got in "first tracks" and especially before the big heat we're supposed to get today. We spotted many ladyslippers at the Brad today and thought of you!

Sparkplug said...

Sounds like you guys had a good run too! And things are feeling good with the hip too, I hope! Planning to get to the Brad on Sunday morning for a run. Maybe I'll see you there? If not, next weekend!