Happy Mothers Day, Mrs. Trail Boy!

What do you say about a woman whose only special request on Mother’s Day is to take a hike in the woods with her family?

You say: How did I get so damned lucky to marry this woman?

And you say: Happy Mothers Day, Sweetie. You’re one in a million.

Yes, she had to twist my arm to get me on a trail today. The weather was beautiful. The sky was clear. We had a rare day with nothing on the calendar.

So we went to Nancy Burton Park in Zionsville, Indiana, about 20 minutes northwest of our home, for a fun hour in the woods. 

This park has a special place in my trail-loving heart. Every May, I come here to run the Anti-Mini Marathon, a fun, low-key race that serves as a reminder that bigger isn’t always better. It attracts a few hundred runners for a four-loop course through the woods. On the same day this race is being held, a much bigger — but certainly not better — road race is being held downtown. It’s the Indy Mini Marathon, which attracts nearly 40,000 runners who pound the pavement on one of the ugliest courses I have ever seen.

In the five Mays I’ve lived in Indy, I’ve run the Mini once and the Anti-Mini three times.

Yesterday was race day. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to either race. Mrs. Trail Boy asked me to stay home and look after the boys while she took a road trip to Ohio to see her niece graduate from law school.

But today, Mrs. Trail Boy was back home, so we all went out to the woods, one day after the race. We hiked and trotted the same course as the Anti-Mini. We just did it 24 hours after everyone else did. Hey, you might call our hike today the Anti-Anti Mini!

We walked and ran and climbed on logs and took a few photos and had a great time.

You might ask: “Trail Boy, aren’t you just a week away from your marathon? Did you get in a run this weekend?” Well, yes, I’ve done a bunch of short runs in recent days, all five miles or less. I’m trying to wind down my mileage, to keep my legs fresh for my marathon next Sunday.

But that doesn’t mean I have to stay off the trails completely. That would be madness. 

I think the boys and their mom enjoy this park as much as I do. Every time we come here, the boys fly along the trail and look for the toughest challenges, including walking on fallen trees, jumping across streams and sprinting on the straightaways.

Sometimes, I think I’m raising a couple of budding trail runners.

But I think their mom’s love of nature has as much to do with it as anything I’ve done.

*****************************************************************************************

I confess. I’m a helpless tree-hugger. That’s probably why I like the woods so much.

So when a neighbor of mine who works for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful  asked a few weeks ago if we would like to plant trees in our neighborhood, I jumped at the chance.

Yesterday, bright and early, I joined a dozen or so neighbors to plant 18 trees on our block. I met a few neighbors I didn’t know. We planted 18 trees, including one in my front yard.

What more could I want?

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One Response to “Happy Mothers Day, Mrs. Trail Boy!”

  1. Man, you are livin’ a dream. Have a good time in Cleveland!

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