What do Deer and "Hell Yeah!" Have In Common?

I was talking to a friend the other day about living joyfully. Writing, relationships, exercise, chores... everything in life flows so much smoother on the days I approach life with a playful "let's just see what happens here" type of excited expectancy. I think the Universe works to bring us what we want when we don't spend so much time and energy fighting for what we think we need

I was thinking about this on today's trail run. I've been doing a trail run once a week after I work out with a friend. We work upper body for about 45 minutes and then I run. Last week, I was miserable. My arms and shoulders hurt from the workout and I brought this into my run. My mantra that day was something along the lines of, "Ow, this hurts, this sucks, I'm not going to make it."  Guess what? I had a crappy run, walking a good part of it. 

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Face Plant In The Dirt

Wild Turkey Trail in Greensboro, NCI've started a weekly trail run with a friend. Yesterday was our third run together and we were both pretty tired. Me because I'd done 5 miles of speed work the day before, and Kathi because she'd raced (and won her age group) that weekend. 

Here's the trick to trail running: You have to pick your feet up. Sounds obvious, but...

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Lucky Moment On The Piedmont Trail

Wooden steps on trail. Photo from Line of Cedars blogI went for a trail run this morning. LOVED IT. Trail running is so different from road running. It's a completely different kind of tired at the end of it. There's something raw and gritty and base about finishing a run with your ankles spattered in mud and scratches on your legs and arms from vines and low-hanging branches, and new muscles aching because you don't usually use them on road runs.

I always let someone know when I run a trail alone, just in case anything should happen.

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Does A Runner Pee In the Woods?

I've been told you're not a "real" trail runner until you use the great outdoors as your toilet. I've put off becoming a member of the club for years but today, finally, nature called, and I am now an "official" trail runner. 

As my running partner Dave and I started the Wild Turkey trail this morning at 7, I was already regretting not making a quick pit stop on my way into town. Especially as I was wearing a water belt which pushed on my bladder with every move. Dave had pulled a hamstring the day before, so he started walking around mile one, and I went on. 

"Suck it up, suck it up, suck it up," I told myself with each step. "It's mind over matter. You only THINK you have to pee.

Nope. I really had to. REALLY had to. So I ducked behind a tree and let loose. Frankly, you haven't experienced the meaning of the word "vulnerable" until you lower your pants on the side of a wooded trail and pray a stray jogger or biker doesn't come barrelling past you. 

I will say I enjoyed the second half of my run MUCH more than the first part. 

Did I mention it was 34 degrees out this morning? 

I'm glad to be a legitimate trail runner, but I still prefer a flush and hand soap, thank you very much. 

Merry Christmas.