Thursday, July 23, 2009

Englewood Reserve

I went out to the Englewood Reserve to run - it's been years since I got to go trail running!

Before our trip to Ohio I hoped I could hit the trails, though I couldn't remember if the reserve was paved all the way in or not. It started with a steep paved downhill, and then a long curved drive that climbed back up, all lined with tall trees. I love hills, so even though I wasn't convinced that I would find trails I was already happy with the run. But then I got to the first open area and found trails, hoorah! I immediately took off my iPod and stashed it in my shorts – I just can’t run on trails and listen to music at the same time. It feels disrespectful somehow, never mind the fact that I've got to watch my footing. And these trails have lots of rocks, roots, and quick up-and-downs.

I ran one loop and was surprised at how short it was, so I decided to just pick a path, follow it to the end, and then find another loop to take. After a while I ended up on one path bordering the lake. Very narrow, very overgrown, lots of serrated leaves catching at my calves - I prayed that my good luck with poison ivy would continue to hold. I saw a snake, thin and writhing, right before I was on top of it – there was no room to move around so I just went over instead.

The trail got narrower and narrower (and the leaves sharper and sharper) so when there was a chance to leave I took it and ended up back on the main road. Followed a couple of different loops in that area then rejoined the trail by the river, came back to the first loop I had run and just ran that a few more times until I felt I should probably head home. Decided to run up that initial steep hill I’d run down - made it!

Heavenly. To be in all that green, to have every step different, to not worry about how fast I was going but just have my pace shift with the trail. Just my breath, my feet, and the ground I was passing over.

I don't know if I'll get back any more on this trip so I am writing this down to carry it close to me when I'm back in the land of concrete and steel.

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