Trail Running – Leanne Kopec

I went for my first real trail run this morning!  I have been running a lot the past few months and have gotten to a point where I really feel a need to run every day.  However, for a long time I have been pretty limited to running in the Fitness Center on a treadmill during the beginning of the semester and started running around Poultney when the weather lightened up a bit a few weeks ago.  Running outside is so much easier for me.  Although there may be more inclines and hills, gravel, cars, and whatnot, it is easier for me to go for longer distances or longer periods of time.  It is probably because I’m more entertained and different things to concentrate on.  I certainly have a lot more to look at and to be aware of; where I’m going and watching out for cars. 

Over the past couple of months I have ran on the Rail Trail a few times.  The Rail Trail (I am pretty sure a lot of areas have something like this) is an old railway line that no longer has tracks on it.  The ground is level and the trail is usually pretty flat and quite scenic.  It tends to wander through woods, over rivers, and the boarders of farms.  While it is much better than running on a road or sidewalk, it can still get a little boring because it is rather straight and easy.  

So this morning I woke up at 5:45 and drove north past Fair Haven, VT to a state park called Glen Lake.  I was on the trail by about 6:45.  The air was so crisp and fresh as I started the route that went a long the lake for a while then up and around in the woods passing by a few more ponds.  It felt so nice to get outside and moving around so early! It certainly did not take long to warm up.  Although trail running may be a more physically demanding; more up and down, you have to be a bit more careful about where your feet are landing and how, time flew by. I was very entertained by the scenery and also the technical  nature of trail running, again paying way more attention to the actual act of running, instead of just moving forward as you would on a side walk.  We ran for so long and this was the first time in quite a long time that my legs actually got tired.  I am not too sure what distance we were able to accomplish, however, we ran for almost two hours.  

I could probably make a whole list of my favorite thing  about trail running, but I’ll just describe a few.  First, of course, just being outside, especially early in the morning and being in a forested area.  Also, I really liked the challenge, I really feel that running like this will make me a much stronger runner.  And the last would be that, while I do not experience too many aches and pains while running on a regular basis, I think that trail running is almost a cure for common running injuries because of how it can strengthen your feet, ankles, and legs (also, I am not a doctor, just sayin’).  Recently I have been suffering a bit from shin splints, which if you don’t know are kind of awful.  However, even running for two hours today, I did not feel them one bit! 

I am so excited to find all of the other areas close by where I can go running now.  I hear there are a lot!


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