Saturday was the perfect day for a trail run here in Lexington. Absolutely perfect. I am still giddy just thinking about it...so here we go!
Our feet touched down on the trail at Raven Run around 1:00 p.m. with slight drizzle and a mild 55 degrees. It was cloudy and not a soul around. Mud was everywhere. You could not run 1/4 mile without sliding down some part of the trail or off a wet rock. While it was not a very fast run, we covered quite a bit of distance and got an amazing workout. In the end, our time was still better than some trail race results at the same distance around here and that was with stopping to scrape mud off our shoes a few times. A proud moment if I do say so myself!
Speaking of "the shoes", you may be wondering how the ol Salomons held up. They did pretty well. The pair I wore have a "door to trail" classification, so I was not surprised that I slipped more than say someone wearing the La Sportiva Mountain Running shoe. Mine provided good support and kept my legs fairly fresh...so I can't complain. I kept out of the water so I did not have the "wet sock, wet feet" issue that can really make running in the rain bothersome. With the conditions of the trails, I really don't think any shoe was going to pass with flying colors. However, I do need to look into taking something with me next time to clean them when they are caked in mud. Sticks just did not do the trick!
Probably the best thing about the run was the views. We stopped a couple times and it was just magical. The world was almost completely silent. All I could hear was the water rushing below and the rain hitting the naked trees. It made a very challenging run on the muscles a very rewarding run on the soul. While some may not think trail running is particularly "interesting" when the leaves and vegetation are gone, I think it is just beautiful for the simple fact that you can see everything. It is an awesome feeling to be standing under these huge trees...able to see clear up the ridge or below...to see all the creeks full and running....to see all the animal prints in the mud. For a few hours you really feel "connected" with nature. It is almost like a secret garden. I have mixed feelings about sharing it. One part of me loves that Lexington is not really into the trail running because it means I can kind of keep it to myself. The other part of me wants to share it with others! I guess it is like your favorite gathering place. The last thing you want is to show up and have it be packed because everyone else heard how wonderful it was :)
(I was never very good at sharing as a kid...but I will try now as an adult...I promise.)
Even though I want to keep it all to myself, I do have to recommend it as a great cross training activity to my "road runner" friends. Personally, I find it to be a totally different run. For one thing, the muscles used seem to be different. The burn you will get just going over simple grade change is fantastic. And forget about the hills...they will kick your butt like no road can! The scenery is second to none. I find that when I am running on the road I tend to get bored. I do not find towns and developments particularly pretty and staring at concrete can get depressing. On the trail there is always something to look at. There is always something going on. Everything there is literally alive. Run past a tree and it is alive...the moss on the rocks...alive. It is just such a neat thing to be a part of. It is like they are all watching you run thru their world...welcoming you....smiling because you are there to visit them. However, I find it is also a place where you need to run with a buddy. It is an environment that demands a very high level of respect. Unlike on the road, there is not a good chance someone will see you if you fall or slip. If you are alone and get injured you are likely to be in the elements for a while. It just makes sense to take someone with you...they can help set a pace or take really great videos/pictures of you being all "pro" on the downhill :)
Moving on, after our run I tracked mud through Starbucks to get my traditional "grande iced coffee....no syrup...cream....two sugars in the raw" and headed towards Bluegrass Bouldering. It was not open to non-members at the time but I did peek through the windows and it looked pretty neat. I really cannot wait to get in there any try it. I think it will really help with strength conditioning as well as concentration. I know a few of you are waiting for that update...so I will try to make it happen soon.
However, I was able to get into an awesome place I didn't even know existed near by. Ladies and Gentlemen, you seriously need to get your butts and bikes over to Swim Bike Run KY on 320 North Ashland Ave here in Lexington. The place is beyond amazing. If you bike during the winter months or for cross training, then you have to take a look at their Computrainer. They will literally store your bike, set it up in the Computrainer when you are ready, and provide an environment where you can really concentrate on your ride. They also have something called CycleYou which is a cycling class set up in a more "spa" like atmosphere. It is set to music and can also incorporate yoga and weight training like poses to get a full body workout. The store out front also has all your triathlon gear and even the Newton minimalist running shoes. Feel free to check their website out. I did the best description I could and will be hitting up a free seminar they are having for running at the end of the month.
Other than that...tomorrow evening I will be totally useless as Kilian Jornet's first movie in the Summit Of My Life series (A Fine Line) comes available for download and sale. I am beyond excited. Feel free to come watch it with me. If you do...do not speak...do not move...do not even blink. If you do I will most likely kick you out. I have been waiting for this for some time. It will be amazing. He is amazing. Please stop rolling your eyes. To see what this man can do in nature...there really are no words. Check it out. You may not get it at all....the whole running waist deep in snow and climbing mountains stuff, but his take on life and what he is looking to get out of it is really touching.
Now go look and watch the little preview! (Beth..Heidi..no comments....just no comments....and you know what I am talking about)
Till next time.....run on!