I had a lovely week of light runs T-F. There was some cold, some wind, a couple of deer doing it one morning. But really nothing too eventful to report. Wednesday after work I played a full round of disc golf. I'm starting to do that more and more. It is fun because it combines throwing and running (or walking if you don't like to run) between holes. It is kind of like a biathlon for people who don't like shooting or skiing. I find that I am constantly amazed at the skill level of some of the guys I play with. Luckily for me, they are patient teachers.
On Sat I popped over to run with the Hawks at Clinton at 7:30. It was cold, but not freezing. We were just doing the route of the upcoming Sanders Saunter, so it didn't seem as if it would be too taxing. There were two new girls and a guy who were joining the regulars for the first time. For some reason, I led for the initial climb to the top of Sanders Mound. On the way down, the new guy took the lead. He was going at a pretty good clip, but had to keep stopping to wait for the group to catch him in order to know which way to go. So, after about a mile of that, I took off after him and the two of us left the group behind.
We ran about an 8 min pace on the trails (I think I normally race those trail between 8:30 and 9 on a good day, and train around 10-11 - they are seriously technical, at least to me). Up and down the hill, over rocks and roots, he told me about his training for triathlons. He is, it turned out, mainly a swimmer, and a decent runner. We chatted about various training techniques. Then he mentioned his sponsors. I was thinking 'great, I'm being dragged around the course by a sponsored 19 year-old triathlete.' Not something I encounter every day. But oddly, it wasn't too hard to hang on yesterday. I even contributed a bit to the conversation (although, I was happy that he liked to talk so I could spend a bit of time sucking wind in his wake).
Today I hit my beloved River Trails at 8 and knocked out the loop in about an hour and twenty. The weather couldn't have been better. I ran into a friend coming the other way on his bike. We stopped and chatted for a bit. I love biking the trails, but there is something about running them that dwarfs the bike experience. It really is the zen-like quality of running in an ever-changing wood. The trail's distance and course remains unchanged, but the surroundings fluctuate with the temperatures, the humidity, the time of day, the seasons. Each run offers a new experience. I try to clear my mind and think of nothing. Usually I fail and ponder problems and solutions. But I never fail to go into the zone where I lose myself in the run. And that is what makes the RTs my favorite spot.