|Stillwell: Mind and Body|
Today’s run (Stillwell Woods): 4.25 miles
It occurred to me that I haven’t run the trails in a while, so I looked it up on Garmin Connect and saw that my last Stillwell run was eight weeks ago. After thirty runs on pavement and treadmill, I thought it was time to head back to the woods. Trail running is far different than street running, both in terms of experience and expectation. On trails, the terrain underfoot can change by the second and the hills and drops are frequent and occasionally treacherous. Not all trails are as technical as Stillwell and that’s probably a good thing.
A trail run was the ideal way to burn some extra calories after last night’s Thanksgiving dinner. We had fun and were given the choice of both normal people food and vegan offerings. Another guest cooked most of the vegan dishes and I give credit to my sister-in-law (who hosted) for preparing excellent vegan acorn squash stuffed with toasted quinoa and cranberries. I had tofurky for the first time and thought it was really good, like well marinated seitan.
Stillwell Woods Park was fairly empty when I arrived. A group of men were assembling to play touch football and a few others were busy preparing mountain bikes in the lot. There were light winds that made it feel like 26° but I had prepared for that. The trails were clear and the ground was frozen for the most part. I enjoyed being back on Stillwell’s paths and its ever changing surroundings.
I’d recently read an article that said, “If I am thinking at all when I run, this is a sign of a run gone wrong.” I think the writer’s point was that if you can think, you haven’t given yourself fully to the effort. I strongly disagree with this and suggest the opposite. I feel that when you reach a state where you are thinking about anything except for the run, you have succeeded. When I’m running in the woods I am able to detach from the physical world in a way that’s nearly impossible to do while running on the street.
I enjoyed every foot of the 4+ miles I covered today and thought about many things, all of which I’ve since forgotten. I know I need to work on my speed this weekend and should probably have gone to the track today, instead of the woods. After all, there’s always tomorrow and Sunday to do that. Today was about the mind, and tomorrow I’ll worry about the body.