Earlier this spring, I had the joy to hit the trails again and run the Crazy Desert Trail Race at San Angelo State Park. It was definitely crazy (the first run out since before little gal was born) and desert like (plenty of cactus) and lots of trail (15 miles of jeep and cattle trails) and such a blast to spend the morning enjoying the West Texas views.
Trail running is so fun to me because of the varying terrain, off road adventure and time to think while running through incredibly gorgeous scenery.
Running is moving meditation to me. And getting out on the trail in the wild is even better. It’s a place of escape, time to think about what is going on in my life and ultimately just zone for a little while. For the time I am on the trail, I get to enjoy seeing the beautiful blue sky, passing scenery, wind blowing on me and the beauty of sweet nothingness to worry about and nothing going through my brain except making sure one foot goes after the other.
As my husband told me before I headed out of town, spend that time with God. And time I did spend, thanking God for all of the wonderful things in my life, asking God for direction on next steps to take in life, and at times (about miles 8 and mile 13) not having nice things to say to God (let’s just say those are never easy mile markers for me).
Additionally, it is a good break for me to step away from the kids and do something for me. My sister was incredible to wake up with the baby twice in the middle of the night before so I could get sleep and watch the kids all day while I went to the run. While I love running on improved trail and the road too, the jogging stroller can’t make it up the rocky hillsides, so baby has to stay home.
On a side note – in addition to running the trails, camping is a part of the trail run experience. No driving to the race the morning of. When the kids get a little older, I’d love to camp with them and they can cheer me on at the finish line and run around themselves.
In the past several years, trail running has grown so much as a sport. From the first time I ran in the Rogue trail series there have been more and more races to choose from and fun to be had. After this first race I wanted to learn more about the techniques of trail running and explore more trails so I joined the Women on the Trails introduction class with Trailhead Running. This class was a fun way to learn the trails in my backyard with fun and laid back folks. This past fall I went to a road show of the Trail Running Film Festival and learned so much more about the opportunities and inspiration to trail run across the country. Tejas Trails and Trail Racing Over Texas are just two groups that put on many races in fabulous places in Texas. Trail runs are a great way to explore our state and national parks and beautiful landscape across the country.
The sport is not just for crazy endurance junkies running 100 milers anymore. There are plenty of distances starting at 5ks. With the beautiful spring weather, I encourage you to get out and try some trail running.