Trails or shopping? Hmm, tough choice.

It’s a weekend in December, and that means I have to make a brutal choice:  

1) Go Christmas shopping at the mall, and wander aimlessly around the stores until I collapse from a monster headache.  

2) Go running in the woods!  

This is NOT Trail Boy's habitat. This is Trail Boy's idea of hell.


That, dear readers, is the story of my life. When faced with a choice of fighting mobs of people in an insane, frenzied atmosphere, or soaking up the peacefulness of winter woods, you know where to find me.  

So there I was, at about 3 p.m. on Saturday, trotting along the frozen, hilly trails of Fort Ben, with a contented smile, while the rest of the world was circling the parking lots, fighting over spaces, and watching their blood pressure hit the red zone.  

I ran about seven miles enjoying the solitude and the chilly air. I ran a bit stiffly for the first 40 minutes or so, but then warmed up and got my butt into third gear for the last 30-35 minutes.  

As I kicked through the leaves and watched my breath in the air, I had three main thoughts:  

1) This feels really good.  

2) I kind of wish I was about 60 miles south, in Yellowwood Forest, running the Tecumseh Trail Marathon. The conditions were perfect for a trail race in December: no snow, no rain, no sleet, no slush, just a hard, frozen trail without a trace of mud.  But that’s what you get when you don’t train for a winter marathon. And I knew I didn’t have time to train for another long race this year.  

3) That being said, I’m looking forward to my next major trail race, the Buckeye Trail 50K next July in Ohio. Yep, I had so much fun running it this year that I have to try it again. I signed up this afternoon, on the first day of registration. I’m sure the race will fill up quickly.  

So that was Saturday running: about an hour and 10 minutes through the quiet woods. The rest of the day was filled up with yardwork, chauffeuring kids around, a trip to the library, and relaxing in front of the fire.  

On Sunday, the weather was still nice, no snow or rain, although the air was a bit cooler, in the high 20s. After church, the whole family went out to Fort Ben for a hike in the woods. We enjoyed stretching our legs and throwing stones in the frozen creeks to hear the ice crack.  

Then we came home and watched the Colts game. But it really wasn’t much of a game. The Colts dominated the Tennessee Titans, winning by 10 points, and extending their undefeated record to 12-0.  

So it was kind of a lazy weekend. We should have done a bit of shopping, or at least decorated the house.  

There’s always next weekend.


One Response to “Trails or shopping? Hmm, tough choice.”

  1. I suppose all those people shopping is good for the economy and while I’m glad all those shoppers are shopping rather than clogging up my favorite trails; I do wish Americans would get a little more exercise, eat a little healthier, and lose a little weight.

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