As if yesterday wasn’t already a fun filled adventure on it’s own, I decided that I needed to take advantage of the beautiful December day that we had been gifted. It was warm for December and the sun was shining brightly. The house was empty this afternoon as Emily was out with her friends and Megan was off during her own thing. I knew I had an intense evening on deck, developing and drafting a very detailed version of some house rules that I expect all of my children to follow, and hope to help Emily get her life back on track.
I grabbed my trail shoes, layered up with my run gear (breathable yet warm) put in my ear buds and cranked the workout playlist, set my watch and off we went.
Running for me has always allowed me the chance to clear my head and have moments of mindfulness. It allows my sub conscious mind to do what it needs to do, and in this case it was think about how I wanted to approach this situation with Emily and the recent events stealing and lying directly to my face.
There are a series of trails throughout Barrie, and exist in most towns that I have lived in all throughout Ontario. None better and more well maintained than the several years that I lived in Mississauga, thank you former Mayor Hazel McCallion who did a fantastic job for so many years maintaining and expanding the trail systems throughout that city. Often times in the winter these run trails would salted and sanded before I would head out on my early morning runs during my days of training for the Ironman race.
Where I live in Barrie there is only one real trail that snakes in and out of the subdivision near where I live passing by the school my children go and right down to the waterfront and expands from there dependent on which direction that you want to head in.
And of course there is a great trail all the way around the Bay into the old section of town… I digress as I am a bit off topic.
Running, while great for the cardiovascular condition and overall general health it is something I have enjoyed all my life. Except maybe during that period where I forgot how to run?!? Growing up I was an active participant in cross country racing all the way through grade school but lost touch with running until I was into my 30’s and getting involved in the sport of triathlon.
Today running is a big part of my overall fitness plan and today’s run was an out and back through these trails down to the water, with a sharp right for a few kilometers through the woods. I absolutely love running during the fall/autumn season when the leaves have changed colors or have fallen and covered the ground.
It was great today to see many families out today enjoying the beautiful weather, walking and holding hands, walking dogs and just enjoying nature. While running these are the things that I like to focus on, the smell in the air, the sights and sounds of the forest, listening to the sound of my breathing, barking dogs, the scampering of squirrels as I run by and the comments of folks that I pass on the trail.
It was my longest run in a good long while, covering 11.97 kilometers when it was all said and done. I was able to connect and appreciate nature, the waterfront for the second time today, the beauty and feeling of the sun on my face. It was a euphoric experience sometimes referred to as a runner’s high and boy did I feel it today. There comes a point during a long run, when your body is all warmed up, your muscles are giving effort, but all of a sudden the breathing becomes just a bit easier and your heart rate drops slightly making the run feel easier. It’s like setting the cruise control on car…
It’s next to impossible to get that feeling while running on the treadmill at the gym, which I had been doing for the last several weeks and today’s run just felt great. It’s much easier on your knees and joints than running on roads and sidewalks, there is much more of an elevation change and bends and twists in the trails forcing your body to use more of it’s muscle base to navigate these trails.
My favorite part of the run today was watching a family that included grandma, mom and dad, and three little girls laughing and giggling and having a good time. They kept calling for the youngest daughter to slow down so the rest of the family could catch up as she kept running ahead of everyone without a care in the world. It brought a huge smile to my face watching this child just be a child without a care in the world. I gave her a five high as I was passing by and got a nice big smile from on on my return trip back down the trail on my way back home.
After a good stretch and hot shower I felt amazing. And that my friends is the power of running.