What Do You Like About Trail Running?

I’m 6 months into my season and I was thinking about all of the changes I’ve made.  The biggest change being that I temporarily gave up road racing to become a trail runner.  When I started trail running, I thought that I would love it because it was running and it would be less damaging to my body.  Little did I know that there is a whole other part of me that craves trail running.

I love the trails around this area.  There are so many trails around here that I haven’t been able to explore all of them.  What is it that makes me love trail running so much?  Is it the fact that I’m surrounded by nature?  Even though the snakes get my blood pumping, I know they’re not the reason that I love trail running.

2013-04-22 snake pic

And, I’m pretty sure it’s not the coyotes either.  I definitely know it’s not the poison oak that attracts me to trail running.

2013-03-07 poison oak

  Perhaps it’s the deer and wild turkeys that make me enjoy it so much.

2013-05-02 wild turkeys

Seeing all the lupines bloom earlier this spring would make anyone want to run the trails.

2013-04-18 spring pic 1

The sounds of the trails are much different than running on the roads, too.  Sometimes it’s so quiet and other times the birds are very talkative.  I appreciate all the things I see and hear while trail running, but there’s something more that keeps calling me out there.

Maybe it’s the fact that I know how to find challenging trails with lots of hills? When was the last time you climbed 1000 feet in a mile?  Well, I know where we can go do that if you’d like to.  My weekly hill repeat workout is a tough workout and one of my favorites.  Even with this challenge, there’s something else.

Recently, I’ve gone on two new trails that have made me realize what I really enjoy about trail running.  The first trail was along the bluffs above the American River Bike Trail.  This made an impression on me because there is a huge maze of trails that  I had no idea existed.  I’ve run along the paved trail noticing the dirt trails that go towards and behind the brush.  Never having explored them, I had no idea that there’s a whole secret world out there.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel safe running trails by myself.  I’ll have to wait to go with a friend to do some more exploring.

Over the weekend I ran on a different trail that helped me realize that it’s not just the running that I enjoy.  We started out on a familiar trail and decided to try to get to a known area via trail.  During this adventure we ran through thistle, squeezed through a gate, ignored a “do not enter” sign, and were forced to climb a fence when we found ourselves close to the trail, but separated by the fence .  Even though we didn’t make it to where we wanted to go, the run was fun and it’s outings like these that can’t even compare to a road run.  I normally carry my camera with me, but didn’t this day.  Looking back, it’s probably a good thing that there’s no evidence of this run.

Along with being surrounded by nature, I definitely enjoy the ADVENTURE of trail running as much as I enjoy the actual running.


What do you like about trail running?


2 thoughts on “What Do You Like About Trail Running?

  1. Thus my addiction to mountain biking in this area…why hit the roads and battle with cars when we have all these great trails!?!?!?

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