On the right path after all…

I hate when I get caught up with convention.  The past few weeks I’ve been reading all I can about running.  It began with a search for the perfect diet for a runner, then turned into a search for perfection.  My question has always been, what is the best way to get in shape by running?  What is the best diet to follow, because what I’m doing now isn’t working.  The diet is one I’ve been eating for over a year.  So the trouble must be in my running program. One books says you must run 30 miles a week.  Another says to run 60-90 minutes a day.  You must add strength training.  Do yoga.  Do interval training.  The more I read, the less I enjoyed running.

Finally, I read a blog about the importance of trail running on the soul.  Ah, it’s just so true.  Not only does trail running make you a stronger overall runner, it nurtures you as well.  At least it does for me.  I’m not knocking those who prefer the road to the solace of the woods and trails; I’m just saying give it a try.  While there are few resources out there for the trail runner right now in comparison, one thing you will find is they tell you in all the magazines, books, websites, etc. to train on the trails to become a stronger runner.  I’m already out there!

Then, after a week of rain, I finally got out for a trail run.  After trudging on the treadmill all week, it was a blessing to be in the mud again!  The hour flew by as I splashed through puddles, sloshed through mud and swatted black flies.  Ah, there’s nothing like it!  I don’t get as many miles running trail, but I certainly get the time, the intensity and more importantly, the enjoyment.  I listen to my body when I’m out there.  If I need to walk, I walk.  If I want to run, I run.  It all comes naturally and without over-analyzing what I’m supposed to be doing.

There are things in life I am better off to just accept. While it’s easy to say, it’s a struggle everyday to live by.  I may never lose these 15 pounds.  I may never be a star athlete.  I may never run a marathon.  That’s okay!  I’d rather run my trails and enjoy myself than hating every moment on the road or on a treadmill.  Sometimes I get so caught up on what I should do that I forget to do what I love. While I could spend my time worrying about how many miles and minutes,  watch my heart rate every minute,  stick to a regimented plan, I’ve decided to enjoy what I do and let nature do the rest.    I don’t care about winning a marathon or running an Ultra.  I want to be healthy, happy and enjoy life.  I want to splash through the mud and get dirty!

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