There’s something about getting to grips with nature that makes me feel complete.
In reaching towards an Iron Man, distance is inevitable. The repetitive pounding of pavement and road for, what seems to be, an eternity is an unavoidable bridge one must cross but to run in nature… It brings out some deep, primitive feeling of elation. Lightly bouncing from loose stone to loose stone. The crack of numerous dry twigs under foot and the sound of shale loosely falling down steep gradients as the deep tread of trail shoes imposes the will of the wearer on the loose earth beneath.
This morning was pretty warm but the forested areas had a coolness in the air. The trees sheltered me as I battled steep climbs, tall grass. My will, seeking superiority through biomechanics. A spin on the term “Art vs. Science”. It took time and effort (Well spent, might I add) but the fluctuating ying and yang eventually levelled off in my favour, as I ascended over 1000ft of elevation in little over a mile and a half. 20 minutes of high intensity work. There was a sense of pride as I ran from behind the ski lift at the top of the mountain. I can definitely get used to this!
I was glad for the invite to this event and I hope it happens again soon. It’s great to be around like-minded folk, smiling and laughing, taking the inevitable selfies as we shared the workload of the gradient with each other, making it that much more bearable, until I decided to take on the remainder of the climb on my own.
The event started with the usual meet and greet of people that have been friends on Facebook for quite some time but have never met, as seems to be the norm in the Spartan Race/OCR community. It’s good to be able to put a real face to good conversation as the virtual reality of a profile picture is stripped from the mind, which is a good thing!
From the meet and greet, we stepped over to the base of the climb and went through some basic warm up drills and exercises before starting our hike up the mountain. Between 8 and 12 of us were ventilating pretty intensely from early on as we ascended the lower portion of a ski slope that, I’m sure, provides a lot more fun when descending in the proper fashion! LOL!
Those that were familiar with the trails took the lead, which was definitely a good thing. I had absolutely no clue where we were going or how to get there. All I knew was, we were about to climb, a LOT!
Eventually, we reached a point where it was time for me to climb on my own. As I jogged on, on my own, I allowed myself a little smile of excitement. I love this kind of stuff!
I spent a fair bit of the run looking out for black bears. Don’t judge me. I just don’t fancy being something’s dinner! I was looking around for trees that would form getaway points and I noticed that the struts keeping the ski lift supported had ladders. Any how 300lbs of black fur came out of from among the trees smiling, I was ready to be missing! LOL!
OK! So, I’m about to be rushed out of the coffee shop, as closing is upon us but I’ll close with this. GET OUT AND RUN! Find a trail nearby. It could be through trees, by a canal or lake. Just do it! I ache and, at one point, I could taste the lactic in my mouth but I’m STILL exhilarated. Definitely looking forward to the next time!