We drove to our trail head, exited the car, prepared our gels, sport beans, and water, packing most of it in the Labrador/German Shepherd/Who-knows-what-kind-of-dog, Jack's backpack, then started running. At the start of the trail we ran past Good Springs Church, then onward into the woods. I don't know what it is about the wilderness, but it calms me. Going away from even the small city of Bowling Green, and getting out into the wilderness puts a smile on my face and sets me at ease. Having my wife next to me amplifies this feeling. The smell of moist earth, the dappled sun trying to dodge its way to the forest floor, the birds calling to one another, then the familiar sound of my feet and my wife's finding a rhythm as we run together.
My wife and I are very different runners really. I am faster, she is more adept at longer distances. Earlier this year we ran a trail half-marathon in Fall Creek Falls State Park. I finished significantly ahead of her, but took the next week off running and the following week only doing short and easy runs. She, on the other hand, ran another half marathon two weeks later. We don't run together often because of this, but when we do run together, we synergize. We overcome our differences simply because we choose to. I will run a little further and slower than if I were on my own. She will run a little shorter and faster. We compromise and find a way to make it work together.
I ran in front, trying to run a pace that would give me my workout without outpacing my wife. She communicated her needs from the back, and I tried to anticipate her needs before hearing them. I had even brought double the nutrition she had estimated she would need and that turned out to be the smartest thing I had done that day. We ran, calling out trail hazards to one another as well as calling out breathtaking views to one another. We pulled off the trail at times to patiently let mules coming the other way pass without being spooked, we passed hikers, and saw horseback riders. We saw the beginnings of fall colors in some of the trees. We ran for just over two hours. We returned to the car happy, rejuvenated, refreshed. It was the first two hours of the week that neither of us was thinking about work or bills or other stresses. It was the date that we needed. It was the confidence boost we both needed as we train for our races at Big South Fork at the end of the month. It was a wonderful sneak peek of fall.
|Shoe review to come later.|