Riding out of the dark
Monday, October 03, 2011
With the myriad of adventures that have gone on in my life this past year, I've wrestled (and usually lost) with negativity more than ever. Even the 5K that I ran last month felt so heavy. I ran with a friend thinking that would boost my energy level, but I still felt that dark cloud over my head. A lot of my training runs were not joyous but felt like defeat. I tried mixing it up - running intervals, running hills and even not running at all.
A few weeks ago, I decided to give up running for awhile and switch to biking. When I was a kid, my bike was always my escape. I'd spend all day on it, exploring places I wasn't allowed to walk to and pushing every limit I could come up with. Why couldn't I relive that kind of freedom now?
I spent a bit of time trying to figure out the best way to get out to the bike trail near my home. It's a relatively new, limestone path that runs for 26 miles. One of the old railway lines that is now a bike trail. I found that it's 3.6 miles from my house and I'd have to take a rural road to get out there. I headed out with my Garmin set to "bike" and my mace strapped to the bike (safety concern is animals on this route).
I made it out to the trail with no problem and set out to see what I could do. It was a beautiful ride. Fall flowers are blooming, there were deer on the path, a few snakes and rarely, another person. Although most people wouldn't find the Midwestern cornfields beautiful, they truly are...and smell heavenly.
I ended up doing a 20 mile ride and felt beyond renewed when I returned home. Now I use this as my "escape" when I start feeling a little dark. I'll eventually incorporate running again, but for now the satisfaction I get is a huge motivation.