It’s no secret that I am pretty much obsessed with trail running right now. Sure I still love running when I am on the roads because I just simply love to run, but there is nothing like the crunching sound of dirt or the feeling of soft pine needles underneath my feet.
While out running the hills, and trying to draft out the trail running posts I have been putting together (that will be posted soon!), I have been thinking about why exactly I love trail running so much. It’s really hard to put it into words what it is about it that I love so much, but I realized that I have learned a lot from spending so much time on the trails this year.
Hills are fun.
It’s not that I didn’t like hills before, but I didn’t appreciate them like I do now. Hills aren’t easy, they slow you down, and are just plain hard. I have learned that I actually look forward to the challenge, that I see hills and I want to run up them. And more importantly, that I can run up them.
Plus, there is nothing like the view you get from the top of a big trail hill or mountain.
Summer isn’t so bad.
My last few summers were spent wishing away the days. I was not a fan of the heat at all and would do anything to avoid being too warm on a run. This year however I am realizing that summer comes with a lot of benefits! The days are longer, which means more access to trails, so more trail running. Plus, it’s not so bad being warm sometimes. I have even learn to appreciate the brown hills, because as much as I love the green hills of the spring, there is most definitely beauty in the golden hills of California.
Dirt doesn’t hurt.
It’s not that I disliked dirt before, but now there is nothing like that moment when I take off my socks after a run to see how dirty my legs are. For some weird reason, the dirtier the legs, the more of a feeling of accomplishment I get. When there is mud, it’s even better.
I love where I live.
I have lived in the Bay Area for just over 8 years now. For the first probably 6 years I tried to fight my love for it. I was always saying I wanted to move to another state, or just leave the area to go somewhere new. It’s taken me this long to realize what a truly amazing place the Bay Area is and how lucky I am to live here. We have so many trails that are so easy to get to, are well maintained, with such varying scenery. I can drive 30 minutes for some foggy relief when its 100 degrees at my house. Or I can run from my front door a few miles on some road to one of the best trail running in the area. Why on earth would I want to live anywhere else?
Keep moving forward.
I think the most important thing that I have learned from trail running, that can be applied to all areas of life, is to just keep moving forward. It may be a bad day, a hot day, a tough run, or a difficult route, but as long as you just keep moving forward, no matter how slow you are going, you will make it through whatever challenge you are facing and get to the finish feeling pretty amazing.
Have you learned anything from running lately?