Planning, blogging and the Garden of Eden

It’s time for some serious planning.


All these empty squares need to be filled in with tough workouts. Who wants to join me on the trails for some pain -- I mean fun?

For the past three weekends, I’ve run three trail races. They were all fun and challenging in their own ways. (You can read about them here and here and here.)

Now, we’re heading into a dry spell. I don’t see a lot of long trail races on the calendar that I can use as training runs.

But The Big Race is just two months away. So I really need to crank it up.

For the next seven weekends, I will ramp up the weekend runs to their highest, including a handful of three- and four-hour trail runs. I will be drawing up a detailed plan over the next few days.

All suggestions are welcome!


Monday was a bit of a high-water mark for this modest blog.

I posted my 50th entry. I also got a record number of hits for one day: 99, about twice as high as my daily average.

"OK, class, repeat after me: Trail Boy is going places!"

OK, I said it was modest. But for a blog that started less than two months ago, I’m pretty pleased. It’s going in the right direction.

Some people are finding me on their own. I’m getting more emails and comments from strangers saying nice things about my posts. My running friends also are spreading the news.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting this blog where I want to get it will take another six to twelve months. At that point, I hope to know all the best running trails, groups, races and fun runs in Indiana.

Trail Boy might even entertain commercial licensing for a line of hats and shoes. Hey Mizuno and Nike, you know where to reach me.

A few more good months of reader clicks, and I'll be able to roll out a Power Point slide like this.

Yes, this might sound funny, all this muss and fuss over a little blog read by a few dozen people.

After all, I write for metropolitan newspaper with a daily circulation of more than 200,000. My stories and bylines have run in USA Today, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune and other major papers. I have a wall full of national and state journalism awards. Just this month, I won four first-place awards in statewide journalism contests.

Still, it’s fun to start a small, independent blog and watch it grow. It’s a labor of love. It never feels like work. No editor can ever mess it up or make me rewrite it. I get to choose all the topics, words and photos.

Plus, it stretches me to find new trails and connect with other trail runners.

And that’s really the whole point.


Trail Boy doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the afterlife.

I’m a here-and-now kind of guy. Life on Earth is a rich banquet in itself, full of joy, beauty, challenges, hard work, heartbreak, satisfaction, disappointment and everything in between. It’s plenty for me. One life at a time, I say.

Still, if there is a heaven after this life, I wouldn’t be surprised if it looks a lot like Holcomb Gardens at Butler University.

 Every time I go there, I am overwhelmed with natural beauty, friendly people and happy thoughts. Throw in a few harps, and bingo, you’re in heaven. Trail Boy’s idea of heaven, anyway.

I’m not the only one who thinks this place is special. Just about every weekend, you can see people using the gardens as a photographic backdrop for a wedding, prom or family portrait. I’ve even seen a few marriage proposals take place here. It’s really that scenic. (Keep scrolling down for photos.)

The gardens are located on a green, scenic part of Butler University alongside the Central Canal, which just happens to be one of my favorite running trails. 

Today, I drove to the Gardens at lunchtime, parked alongside the canal, crossed the footbridge, and ran for 46 minutes on the towpath, down to 30th Street and back (about 5 1/2 miles).

When I got back to my car, I spent a minute or two looking at the gardens, the woods, the fountain, the canal — the whole ball of wax. I swear I heard harps playing.

A footbridge across the canal connects Holcomb Gardens with the towpath.

Here's another angle on that bridge, from the towpath side.


Acres of manicured gardens are filled with nearly every flowering plant you would want to find.

A fountain and bell tower at Holcomb Gardens.

In addition to the canal, you can meander around on a few small hiking trails that take you past small creeks and waterfalls.

A woody hillside completes the package.


2 Responses to “Planning, blogging and the Garden of Eden”

  1. Thank you for this post! I love your style of blogging! And oh keep them comin’! : ) Kudos to you!

    • Trail Boy Says:

      Thanks, that’s the plan! Do you live in Indy? Do you know of any good trails I haven’t tried yet?

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