11.17.08

Trail Run

Posted in Running at 10:27 am by Marion

Yesterday another perfect autumn day and despite the chores that could use my attention, I escaped to the woods of Goose Creek State Park outside Washington.

I wore my running shoes and ran through all the park trails, about eight miles. My overall pace was about the same as walking (no trail records here!!) but I went at a brisk running clip. I started at Tar Kiln Trail, the newest trail at the park which just opened last year. It is a nice flat trail, with fascinating tar kiln sites marked along the way. These were places where sap from the pine trees was collected by slowly cooking the wood. The sap was sold for tarring ship keels and the like. An important trade in Colonial America.

From there, I scooted to the Observation Deck on the old Mallard Creek Trail, then to the other side of the park. I passed the old cemetery, that dates to the 1880s. From there, onto one of my favorite trails, the Goose Creek Trail.

That second hour of running went by very fast. By then, I reached Ivy Gut Trail and into my third hour of running, started to feel strange … my legs were numb and the tree roots began to torment me … I saw people where sunlight hit the tree branches. My mind had no thoughts. One foot in front of the other … breathe …

I wrapped up at about 2h 20 min, and it took another 15 minutes to meander along the marvelous boardwalk back to the Visitors Center. In all, about 2h 30 minutes. When it was over, I didn’t want to stop running. I felt on top of the world … what a great return for a slender time investment!!

No doubt the ibuprofen helped and today, I’m not nearly as stiff or tired as I could have been.

Running is a special pursuit, that takes me out of this world and into a state of bliss … if I can just get past the first half-hour or so. For devotees, running is a deeply held commitment.

Recently I’ve watched movies about Steve Prefontaine, the spirited University of Oregon runner who set records an taught us all how to push ourselves. He died tragically in a car accident before he could compete in the 1976 Olympics.

“Without Limits” and “Prefontaine” tell his story. While they take a predictable approach, this runner is worth learning about.

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