Yesterday I decided to take some of my own advice, and get outside to go for a hike. It's been just about a month since I finished my thru-hike, and though I have been walking on roads and beaches, running on asphalt and dirt, and doing a few bootcamp style workouts outdoors, I haven't been back out hiking. I miss it. If feel like something is missing in life.
Around southeastern Massachusetts, where I live, there are very few hills and absolutely nothing that would qualify even remotely as a mountain. The closest to a steep rocky hill would be about 45 minutes away, at the Blue Hills. (I never thought I would be missing steep rocky hills, with all the complaining about rocks I did!) Since I was going up to visit my brother and his family this weekend, I would be passing by some decent sized hills. I decided to stop off and do a hike on the way up, and on the way home.
He lives close to some conservation land with hills and trails. I have a nice guidebook with suggested hikes rated "easy", "moderate", and "strenuous." I picked a nice 4.5 mile hike in the "strenuous" category. I figured without a full pack, even something "strenuous" would be pretty moderate.
How right I was! I wouldn't rate that hike "strenuous" at all. I would call it "easy." Beautiful, yes. (The leaves are all changing and falling in great big drifts along the sides of the trail.) Relaxing, sure! Good for the soul, absolutely. But really really easy. Almost boring.
"I could actually run this trail!" I thought. And so I did.
I did not run fast. I did not run far. (only about 4 miles plus .5 of walking) I switched from running to walking in spots where the rocks were loose or the soil was eroded. But I did run.
It was spectacular! I never was all that interested in trail running prior to this. I figured trailing for marathons was fine on roads with some rolling hills. No need to go crazy.
Now I see how much I was missing out on!
And I have a new love.
I'm searching some online running sites for some good trails to run on, and planning on a trail run once a week or so.
Good for the body, good for the soul.