some random thoughts from a quiet run

20 Dec

Tonight, as I was cruising through Durand on a nice little spin (because I felt guilty for not having run today and I had tried to go to the store to get some last minute gifts for Eric and left the store after about 5 minutes of stress looking at all the people and all the stuff), I came across some women hiking.  They were all in long black robe-dresses, and one of them had a pentagon  necklace, and for some reason I immediately was like, “Oh.  Wiccans. How weird.”  I have no idea if they were Wiccans, but in the moment, those were my thoughts.  As I ran away (after a brief, pleasant conversation), I started thinking about how religion itself is weird, and all religions are really just “cults,” but some are more accepted cults than others. Again, my language nerd thing came to play and I was thinking about how cult has such a negative connotation when in reality it’s not a bad thing necessarily–until you start asking people to drink the Kool-Aid or something…  I thought about how if I had to say what my religion is, I’d say “trail church.”  And a lot of people think it’s weird.  That it’s unhealthy.  That I need to stop.  And I hate being judged for what makes me feel good better than almost anything else out there.  And then I realized that I shouldn’t need to think Wiccans are weird, because that was doing to them what I hate that some people do to me.  I don’t know if I’m expressing that correctly or not…but yeah…religion.  Man, it’s some weird shit.


I like running for many things, friendships and sharing things with others is one of them.  But sometimes it’s nice to get out by yourself and just be.  It’s like some weird form of moving meditation (in fact, there are people who teach that).  When I’m running alone, the deep thoughts can be pretty awesome…or really weird.  So here are some of my other deep thoughts from this run:

  1.  There is so much trail to discover.  Eric and I went on a mission to find a trail at Durand that is listed on some maps, and while we were unsuccessful in THAT endeavor, we instead discovered some OTHER new (to us) trail.  This evening, I set out to see if I could link the new stuff and found ADDITIONAL new (to me) trail.  I was so excited the whole time I was out cruising around it.  Gorgeous.

    cool new trail, PLUS a ginormous tree to climb. what's not to love about that?

    cool new trail, PLUS a ginormous tree to climb. what’s not to love about that?

  2. Durand has a whole lotta trail.  I’ve got a 10 mile out-and-back/loop (some sections are loop, some are out-and-back) that Liz, Eric and I created during Dirty German training.  That doesn’t include any of the new stuff I’ve found since then, so I’m guessing it could get stretched to probably a 12ish mile loop with limited repeats of trail.  It is by far my favorite place to run/hike/be.  I. Love. Durand.  I wish the county would take better care of the trails, because they are the best the county has to offer–wetlands, swamp, trail next to lakes, ridgelines, awesome climbs, beautiful forest.  Luckily, #TrailsRoc is taking care of it.
  3. New trail-running game: how far away from my car can I go and still make it off the trail before it gets dark?  Every time I’d hit a juncture, I’d think about which way I was going to go, how much farther from the car that would take me, and if I could realistically make it back before it got dark.  Legit focus and thought required.
  4. Strava needs to stop “smoothing” my elevation out.  According to my Epson watch (which is super accurate because of–insert tech speak here), I ran 6.5 miles with 980 feet of elevation gain–considering I wasn’t trying to get any elevation (minus the stair climb repeats at the end…see below), that’s pretty impressive.  I didn’t even hit any of the major climbs of the park except for Snake Hill, which I only ran once.  According to Strava, 502 feet of elevation gain.  This is a consistent trend I am noticing–Strava says I ran about half the elevation that I actually did.  I ran the same stair climb repeats today, but on Strava’s elevation profile, it looks like I ran completely different climbs.  Strange.  Kinda lame.
  5. Am I the only one who comes across these weird purple tree/plant things and thinks I’m in a real-life version of Frozen????  They’re at Durand, but also at Powder Mills (I’m sure other parks, too, but these are the ones where I KNOW I’ve seen them).  Super cool looking.  Does anyone know what they are??? Because I think I’m interested in getting some for our garden.

    what are these things?? My camera doesn't do them justice--super purple. super cool.

    what are these things?? My camera doesn’t do them justice–super purple. super cool.

  6. How many times do you need to run up the stairs, around White Lady’s Castle, and back down again to get to 1 mile???? durand 3  I don’t know actually.  Because I lost count, but I think it was about 7.  I was going to quit about halfway through because I kept thinking about how ridiculous it was to run in circles.  Except that I wanted to count the stairs but kept thinking about life and forgetting to actually, ya know, COUNT the stairs, so then I’d have to circle around the castle and do it again.  Around the 5th or 6th time, I counted.  There are 52.  I’m sure I could have found this information on The Internets.  From now on, this stair climb repeat will be called “Deck of Cards.”  Trying to work in more stair climb repeats in anticipation of crushing through CT50 this spring.
  7. I decided to end my run going down to the beach–I wish I’d gone farther out and then come back because it was gorgeous down there today.  I even saw some people who had just gotten engaged taking pictures with their friends, which brought back great memories of getting engaged to Eric, which made me smile my way through the end of my run.  I can’t believe this is less than a week from Christmas and I was on the beach.  I even ran in the water, which was deliciously cold.  Because why not???
heaven on earth?

heaven on earth?

So that’s that.  It’s almost Christmas.  I ran through Lake Ontario today, on the beach and over amazing trail.  My one regret from the evening run was that Eric was not with me, because every time I’m on trails or see something amazing, I always wish for him to be there with me.  Thankful to have a partner who loves to adventure in the woods as much as more than me.  Next adventure: the ADK!


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