Joys of Trail Running: Seeing the Big Picture

Friday, October 01, 2010

I have always enjoyed trail running but now that I have committed to the Brazos Bend Trail Run (13.1 miles) I am doing most of my training off road. There are many wonderful aspects of trail running and a few drawbacks that I thought I would explore, and ponder some life lessons along the way.

I read an article about off road running that made quite a point about keeping eyes on the ground a few feet in front of you to prevent falls. This is generally good advice except for the spiders across the path! That’s right; big banana spiders that carefully construct their webs across the path, not dreaming that the first runner of the morning is doomed to face-plant into the sticky mess! I had such an experience a few days ago. As I ducked and squirmed to get away from the arachnid I could see it on the edge of my cap. The cap and spider went flying as I made my escape!

Maybe restricting our vision to the path directly in front of us is too limiting. Maybe getting the big picture: spotting the spiders, low-hanging branches, oncoming runners, and so on, is as much a part of our experience as avoiding the rough places and pitfalls on the path. And then there are the glimpses of beauty that we would miss if we never looked up.

We do need to keep our focus on our immediate goals, but not at the expense of the big picture. So I went 150 calories over today. When I look at my summaries for the week I see that the trend is good. Most days I am right on target. New habits are being formed and I am being honest with myself. That’s my big picture. How about you?
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