Chris Croff from Summit here. Autumn is my favorite time to hit up the trails. The cool crisp colorful mornings, the bright leaves reflecting off a tranquil lake, the smells and sounds of the woods, all those breathe-taking moments that sweep me off my feet. I was so inspired by the magnificence of this jovial season that I organized a group run with my friends so that they too could experience the emotional bliss that I frequently enjoy on the trails. However, even with all my experience as a runner (I have finished multiple 5k marathons) I didn’t realize all the challenges that my friends and I would have trail running and now I believe it is my duty to share my thoughts with all of you runners.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
1) Slow Down: Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” When running on trails, heed Emerson’s words. Trail running can be dangerous, many of the trails are not maintained and you never know whether a rock or a stump is lurking beneath the leaves. Just the other day I twisted an ankle, and it was on a root that I did not see, and it hurt so much that I had to cut my run short. You still get a great workout from running on the trails even if you run slow, so the best thing to do is slow down and be careful
2) Always be Prepared (The ABC’s)
- Always bring a headlamp, just in case. Some trails can be very dark, even in the day time
- Bugs, like bees, can bite, so bee alert. (Side note: I hate bees so so so much, I got stung once and it was the WORST)
- Cramps can put a damper on even the brightest day. Make sure you are properly hydrated before you hit the trails and bring a four bottle Nathans belt with you to stay hydrated on the go. Bring water and plenty of GU to restore electrolytes.
3) Lose Yourself: I don’t mean literally!!!! The environmentalist John Muir once said, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” With the hustle and bustle of today’s society, Muir’s words have never been truer. Lose yourself in nature, and find who you really are.
Most importantly, Have Fun!
– Chris C