Unicorns and Trails

I’ve been in a rut. A running rut. It has lasted about a month now. I’ve been running a lot of flat routes on the road so as not to re-injure my calf. I guess flat road just doesn’t excite me that much. I’m supposed to be training for the Wine Country Half Marathon on May 7th, but I haven’t been all that emotionally invested in the race. My motivation just isn’t at the level it usually is.

Yesterday Fred convinced me to run an easy 8 miles on Romero Canyon with him. Hmm, 8 miles on Romero…a trail run during which we would climb for 4 miles and continue quad blasting down 4 miles. I was rather nervous. The last time I ran Romero was mid-January, before the calf strain. I’ve been avoiding the trail to keep my calf happy, and I knew I’d be huffing and puffing up the trail. But, I figured it was time to get some hill work in, plus it was F’s birthday and I wanted to be a good wife and keep him company. So I put on my new Unicorn Tears Run Skirt — yes, that is what the pattern is called, and you can probably guess what company made such a run skirt — and headed up the trail with F.

Sure, it was challenging, and we ran a slower pace than we did during our peak trail-running training, but somewhere along the trail, I think found my motivation to run. I’ve missed the trail, its beauty, its challenging climbs and descents, and its peace. I never worried about how fast I was going, what I looked like to other runners running by, or if I my gut would start cramping up at mile 4. Instead, I was focused on the dirt, the lush scenery, the birds rustling in the bushes, the sounds of rushing water, the lone bunny on the trail and the banana slug we narrowly avoided squashing.  The time flew by, even with legs and lungs burning, and I felt great after the run.

I’m still not sure I’ll run the Wine Country Half, but do I know I’ll be hitting the trail more often.

Who knew all I needed was a new running skirt and Romero Canyon to get me excited about running again? Those are unicorn tears on my skirt, in case you've never seen them before. I like to think of them as tears of joy, not misery.

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