Friday, February 15, 2013

What trail running can be like

I don't know about you, but when I travel via commercial carrier I just end up feeling kind of...icky. As much as I try to maintain a positive outlook, I end up annoyed at the inability of Americans to line up at a gate instead of swarming it like a pack of wild dingos. Don't get me started on the size of bag they think should fit in the overhead bin. I don't eat the same as at home, because good grocery stores can be hard to find, and while I can usually do enough cardio, the hotel gyms are sadly lacking in the weights department. Plus there is just something about flying through time zones in a pressurized box that isn't good for the body.

I am very fortunate to travel for work because I have always thought that travel keeps you young and interesting. My work trips have been challenging and informative and get me to places I would never otherwise be able to go. Never the less, there's something about travel that my body does not like.

Today, after a week of airports and meeting rooms and hotel gyms (where I encountered a man in a bathrobe, that's a first) I decided I was going to run outside no matter what. There is a trail system two hours from home that I had never checked out. I grabbed a map and headed out.

En route to the aptly named "Rollers".

A series of multi-use trails cling to the brown hills, dropping off a ridge and down to the Snake River and back up. You can pick your poison--difficult, intermediate, easy. In the summer, these trails must bake. There must be rattlesnakes to hurtle and ticks to avoid. But today they were perfect.

The view's not too terrible.

I ran along in amazed disbelief.  So this is what trail running is like for most people! You can actually look around instead of stare intently at your feet to avoid face plants. You can run along at a pretty decent pace and you don't have to claw your way up 1,000 feet in the first mile. It was so fun that I didn't want to stop. All of my travel angst melted away.

Distance? No idea. Pace? No idea. Fun? Lots.


  1. I still have yet to find a trail easy enough where I feel like I can look around and not stare at the ground. Where are you? It looks pretty this time of year. :) Enjoy the break from winter!

  2. oops I just realized I wrote "hurtle" rattlesnakes instead of "hurdle"! Yikes. This is in Lewiston, Idaho.

  3. Ha, I'm with Karen on staring at the ground. I'm way too clumsy to not worry about faceplanting at all moments of my runs.

    Beyond that, I can relate. Runnable trails are so much fun. But give me a 1,200-feet-per-mile, 5,000-foot climb any day; I still prefer mountain trails that mow me down at hiking pace. :-)

    1. Jill, we all know you are a freak of nature! It was nice to have a choice, though I like both.

  4. I figured this must be near Lewiston somewhere, but I didn't know there was a real (as in not asphalt) trail system down there somewhere.
    You are hard core my dear, driving two hours to go for a run! But it looks great. I'm sorry I won't be working down there this spring, though I preferred hiking after work when I was there.

    1. Oh no, I did not drive two hours. I flew into Lewiston and ran before driving home. I'm not that serious! This is at hells gate state park.

  5. Ha! Not quite, Mary. It's just that your post got me to consider my own thoughts about trail running. I'm a hiker at heart but I've enjoyed learning how to use running to move more efficiently and cover more ground on trails. Still, the week I spent in the Italian Alps where I effectively ran maybe 5 to 10 percent of the miles I covered remains my favorite week of "running" in memory. I do appreciate how running fitness translates into stronger and more efficient hiking pace on terrain where running paces can only be achieved by the true freaks of nature. I'm sure you've felt this effect, too. :)


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