I love everything about trail running. I love being out in the middle of nature, away from cars, people, and pavement. I love the solitude and the singleness of the track, I love the fact that trail running is kind of like "anything goes" running. It's a community where no one gives a shit that I'm wearing a cotton tshirt to run in or that I'm carrying an extra 20 pounds on me. And no trail runners are standing around talking about what model Garmin they just bought. I love the rawness of it. It just feels so primitive and yet childlike at the same time... to be running through the woods amongst the wild animals. It's just a perfect community and running style for me. It's not about speed, pace, gadgets, or PRs, but about nature and yourself. It just really seems so bad-ass and hardcore... which is what I strive to be everyday of my life.
I love it all. It's great.
Except... in actuality, I think I might kinda sorta hate it.
I know, I know. It's like Trail Running is the THING that I should be completely and utterly in love with. My dream existence in life is to travel around... camping, hiking and trail running. And the camping and hiking part I'm 100% on board with... but I just can't get amped about the running part. I love running, I love trails... why don't I love them together?
I'm a little heartbroken. It's like I want to be absolutely in love with trail running. But, to be 100% honest... I really don't like it. I don't like the interruptions of having to hike up a steep incline, I don't like fact that the trails are NEVER empty, so you've got to dodge people, dogs, etc which isn't easy to do on a single track. I don't like breaking a zillion spiderwebs with my face in the early mornings. I don't like the fact that I have to get in my car and DRIVE to a trailhead. I don't like how in the summer, you get shade from the trees, but you don't get any freaking breeze whatsoever.
But most of all, I hate how hard it is. I mean, seriously... it kicks my ass. The steep inclines, the steep downhills, the concentration required... it's effing exhausting!
It's one of those things for me, that on paper is so wonderful... but when I actually do it, it's not like I want it to be. I'm not all zen and loving life... I'm tired, grouchy, and dreaming of the sidewalk where I could have ran twice as far in the same amount of time. And... I SUCK at it. I fall a lot, I'm slow. I'm just not mentally tough enough to be a good trail runner. As much as I want to be hardcore and bad ass... at the core.. I'm just a pansy.
I'm not giving up though. I'm going to stick with the trail running (mainly because there are too many awesome ultras that I want to do that are on trails). I figure, with as much as I love hiking trails and being outdoors, that EVENTUALLY I'll come around. I think part of the issue is that I've ran Percy Warner Parks trails so much that I have them memorized and am kinda bored now. This late summer and fall I plan on getting out more to hike, camp, and run... so maybe a change of scenery will do me some good.
All I know is that I better start loving those trails. I'm officially signed up for this little gem of a race in October:
Stumpjump 50k. (at some point, I gotta learn how to read one of these crazy elevation charts. Or... maybe not).