Try trail running and feel yourself soar to new heights

A few weeks ago I checked another item off my Maine bucket list: trail running. It’s pretty much what it sounds like–running along a hiking trail as opposed to hoofing it step by grueling step. I have seen people along various trails running down the mountain like their life depended on it, and who knows maybe it did. I hadn’t gotten to the top of the mountain yet, so what did I know. To me it just looked like fun.

Trail running in Maine

I was a little apprehensive to try trail running since I am clumsy by nature, and the thought of running down a rocky footpath at high speed with no one around seemed just a tad risky. However my Maine experience is about trying new things and doing the things that scare me so I decided to do it within reason: having a buddy (my boyfriend in this case) with me just in case if I did fall someone would actually be there to help.

I learned that trail running is all about being aware. You have to be aware of where you’re stepping, how you’re stepping, of any obstructions in your way, of steep declines, how your body is positioned, and you have to do it all at the same time and at a very high speed. Once you have it all down though, oh man is it incredible!

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It reminded me of this recurring dream I’ve had since I was a kid where I’m running through the forest and as I run faster and faster my feet lift off the ground and I’m soaring over the landscape. First I’m air-running over the trees and as my legs propel faster I get higher and higher until I’m soaring through the clouds. When my legs got tired I would slowly descend to the soft earth. My feet would gently touch the ground and then I was running again rising above the trees.

Trail running through the forest

In real life I wasn’t actually flying, but it felt like I was! I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had that dream, but as I was running down the mountain that day the dream came back to me instantly. It was an amazing high, and such a great reward after hoofing it all the way up the mountain.

Since then I have been brave enough to try trail running solo and thankfully without incident! It’s now my go-to method of getting down a mountain. It’s fun, fast, and let’s be honest—you look like a badass doing it. Or who knows—maybe people just think I’m running because my life depends on it, and in a way I suppose that’s true.

What terrifying thing have you tried that you ended up loving? Would you ever do it again?

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3 Comments

  1. Nice! I first started contemplating trail running last fall, entered a trail race that was way too long for me and had to take a break for a while. Then I tried again in June, but I guess I must be more clumsy than you because–yep, down I went. Unfortunately, all alone. Luckily, although I was sore and a little cut, I could still walk out fine. Slowly, annoyingly, and itching the whole time to still run, but hey I’ll take victory where I can get it.

    Did you know that Strava premium now has this Beacon feature? You pick up to 3 people to send texts and (GPS willing), they can follow along in real time or check up on you to make sure you actually make it home. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s a nice idea.

    Too bad there isn’t like an AAA for people, right?

    Me: “Hello, so I need a tire change (translate: I can’t walk cause I fell on my face).
    AAA People: “No problem, we’ll send someone shortly to carry you. You can follow how far away we are on our app.”

    • Haha. That would be something. I didn’t know about the Beacon feature. I’ll definitely have to check that out.
      So sorry to hear about your trail running experience! Glad you were still able to walk though. Hopefully you will be able to try trail running again at some point in the future because it really is incredible.

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