Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to the Heart of Things

At heart, I am a Trail Runner. I know this is kind of duplicitous, because the majority of my runs are ran in Portsmouth, not on a trail. However, this is only because I am obligated to run in town since I run for Shawnee State and I have run with the team. This is fine, I have accepted it, it is my role on the team, and I have the rest of my life to run where I want to run! First and foremost at this current time, my focus is to improve Shawnee State Cross Country, and I am doing that to my fullest.

Although most of our runs are in town, Eric has allowed whoever wants to run on trails, do it on Wednesdays. This is something Keegan convinced him to do last year and it is awesome that we are able to get out of town. This year Corey, Shane, and I have drove out to the Forest each Wednesday. Other people have joined sporadically such as, Paul and Wysocki. Not only are we able to run on a soft surface, enjoy fresher air, and have fun, I feel running trails once week does many positive things to help us as runners; strengthen ankle dexterity, engages chi, strengthens calves on uphills and quads on downhills, etc....

We are fortunate to have such close access to a State Forest and a magnitude of great trails (note* one of my favorite trails was bulldozed and widened and not is not a top choice now, ADT trail). It is only about a 20 minute drive and there is instant access to many trail heads and over 120 miles of different trails. We can park at the main entrance under the lodge, at Pond Run Pond, at Camp OYO (pronounced O-Yi-O, I found out today), at Hangover, or any other crossing of a road and trail! There are unlimited options. For the most part the trails are cleared well. Last winter knocked a lot of trees over the trails, but the people out there seem to be getting to them now. I need to find out who does this and maybe lend them a hand sometime.

Today Corey, Shane, and I parked at camp OYO and were going to run across the road on the orange blazed trails but as we were running there a few hunters were walking in. We thought best to not run where there were men with guns! So, we ran on the blue blazed trail. This was the first run on this part this year. It has some technical spots in it and it's the first time I have ran on technical trails in a while. I was a little off balance at times but overall felt pretty good. This is one of my favorite runs because it has several nice hills plus the technicality. I'm sure everyone I run with is tired of my talking about this but.... this trail passes through my favorite part of the forest; it winds through a short section of evergreen trees and for some reason I love it!

Tomorrow Shane and I are going to drive out there and look around for some more trails. I have heard there is a nice trail at a place called Blue Ridge, so we are going to find it and check it out. I can't believe I went my entire freshman year without running out there (besides Hangover). One of my favorite places to be, even though these trails don't compare to trails out west.

Running Free! WMO

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