Nature Never Closes

We got in the car bundled up, cell phone flashlight ready, hats, gloves, water, snacks–ready for our night hike. Not going to lie, I’m a little bit scared of the dark. I mean, a night hike? That’s like the start of a really bad horror flick, “Two girls innocently and unknowingly hiked right into their death when the evil woodland creature attacked them from behind! He abducted, tortured…” Okay, done writing THAT story–on with what really happened…

Like most parks, trails and awesome things outdoors there was a sign at the trails head that said “Open from sunrise to sunset” I quickly stated in the obvious, “Dude, Nature doesn’t close!” She agreed and we found a spot to park the car and got our night hike on. Stepping out of the vehicle we quickly noted the moon and the unseasonable warm weather for November. The ginormous moon that had erupted from a blanket of clouds and shone down on us, literally lighting the path. We peeled off one of the 16 layers we were wearing, ditched the lights and went on our way.

As our pupils dilated and our feet maneuvered over rocks, roots and avoided mud puddles our senses heightened–I could hear better, I could smell the looming winter before us, but we could also see. Considering it was 10:30pm, that seemed odd. Color was dulled. In fact we both kept commented on the lack of color, but noticing the different shades of greys all around us It was as if we had jumped into a scary black and white film. A Film Noir, or and old Hitchcock that never got much press. This film would have been about the moon, the clouds, the cracking branches in the distance, the lack of stars but the incredible amount of light so late in the night. It was eery, eery but amazingly beautiful.

We didn’t talk a lot. We walked and listened. I touched tree trunks as I passed by them, I wanted to know if Nature feels different with the Full Moon shining so bright on two lost girls. As we found our way through the trees, over the rocks and roots and back to the car we emerged from a fog. Like we had experienced a new country or planet. Nature showed off for us, she let us breath with out aide of light pollution, she allowed us to absorb the essence of her with out the distraction of color, we connected to earth in a new way.

When the Moon beckons you have to listen and respond. Ignore the “Closed” sign because I think we all know that sometimes the best things happen after closing time.

Lesson Learned

Early afternoon rolls around and I’m supposed to take a break in the workday to not go over my hours. Though I’m in a funk, I feel like taking a nap, reading my book, watching TV; it’s time to move my body—my plan? Head to the gym, bust out 90 minutes of strength training and cardio. Boring, but convenient. LA Fitness is a quick drive from work and home… my new boss/friend/roommate/landlord and I pull on our shoes and head out the door. We’re both trying to shake this sleepy, tired, unmotivated feeling. 

 

The sun is coming out. We could hit the trails. She says.

It’s still cold… I’ve become a baby. I want the elliptical, weights and TV to zone out to.

Come on, let’s just go. She’s not going in the direction of the gym. You know I didn’t plan on going to the gym, right? She looks over from the driver’s seat with a damn smirk on her face. We’re headed towards Twin Lakes Park.

Alright, let’s do this.

 

50 minutes later we’re both out of our funk, we’ve run up and down, across streams, over roots and through trees. Thank you. I say. The vitamin D, fresh air, getting back to the trails was needed and has somehow been put on the back burner lately. Lesson learned: Trails trump the gym any day. I just need to remember that when the snow is falling, the wind is blowing and I feel like being a baby. Remember the post run, post OUTDOORS adrenaline rush I always get.

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Dogs, bears, mountains, OH MY

Yesterday’s long run was more or less supposed to be a gauge on how my body is feeling. A gauge to see how my body is functioning, if I can continue to train hard, up my mileage and attempt to keep up with some of the big boys. Well, I know that I’m just too slow to actually keep up with them, but being able to talk about the trails, knowing them, having higher mileage to show off—to me that’s keeping up.

Notice that I didn’t write about running in NYC. I was there for a week and sadly I guess I have to admit that I only went for one 35-minute run. Embarrassing, I know! I KNOW! I did walk a lot! Like, a lot a lot! So that counts as exercise, right? I think so! Anyway, I went from running roughly three miles the week before last, so you’ll be as surprised as I was when I counted up my miles this past week—I ran a total (roughly, trail miles are hard to calculate) 35 miles! I’ve never run that many in my life! Pretty sweet. Sweet, just like my long run with my friend Darcy and her herd of doggies yesterday.

Abby after here mud bath at Four Corners

Abby after here mud bath at Four Corners

Ember

Ember

There was one other doggie, but he wouldn’t stay still enough for me to get a picture. These girls are like speedy bullets and probably ran twice as far as we did! Ember ran super far ahead of us and then was a speedy bullet on her way back towards us and just about knocked my legs from under me! Pretty sweet dogs if you ask me!

There were a couple really awesome reasons my run was so awesome yesterday morning. First: we started at like 7:30 and the temperature was PERFECT. And we basically had the entire mountain to ourselves. There were a couple mountain bikers but they were cool so that was okay. Sometimes mountain bikers are kinda rude and think they own the trail, but these guys were really nice.

Next awesome thing: we saw a Mama and baby BEAR. Maybe they were hanging out for an early Mother’s day, I don’t know. But they were HUGE and pretty close and it was amazing to see them!! I was sorta worried about the dogs, but they were fine and the bears just ignored us and walked along on their way.

The bears. Okay, there were a little more ferocious than these

The bears. Okay, there were a little more ferocious than these

Conversation. That’s the next awesome thing. There’s something about running with a good friend that can be more helpful than paying a therapist to listen to you talk. Have you ever had that experience? I feel like some of my best friendships have been formed over long runs.

So, perfect temperatures, bears, good friends and lots of miles. You really can’t beat that. Later in the day I tried elevating my legs to recover, I read that somewhere that works and I’m not so into ice baths. So I decided not to bathe and read my book with my legs in the air. But quickly got bored and went to lounge in the sun with some friends and go for a bike ride to the Goodwill. I’m a bigger proponent for ‘active recovery’.

My favorite socks: legs up!

My favorite socks: legs up!

I think the bike ride and sun bathing were the best ideas. So far I feel pretty good today. We’ll see how I feel after 6 hours working retail. But over all a great running week, pretty stoked on it!!!