Posted by: David Stewart | September 1, 2010

Going Wild: The trail calls

You appreciate things more when you have to do without them for a while. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" as they say.

I sustained an ankle injury last month that had me sidelined from running for about 16 days. It was weird enough that my rock star chiropractor was even mystified. But a specialist was able to figure out what was going on.

Last night I went with a group to run along the Wildwood Trail.[1] It sounds really bad I guess if you say you’re going on an 8 mile run in the rain along a dirt track, complete with twists and hills and exposed roots.

But once we got under the heavy forest cover of the trail, the rain stopped falling on us and we cruised along zipping up and down the hills. There was only one or two short sections of uphill. There we were, eight of us rambling in single file in the woods, passing the occasional hiker and even being passed by one runner.

Even so, at one point I got mesmerized by the delicious forested canopy and a tree root reached up and grabbed my foot, sending me skidding face first along the trail. My shoulder and rib cage took the worst of it, with a nice new patch of road rash. And my Garmin 305 GPS lost part of the wrist strap into the underbrush. But even with a crash, it was really worth it.

 

ADDENDUM

[1] The Wildwood Trail is a 30-mile long trail that winds through Forest Park, which is the largest wooded city park in the United States. There is a fantastic free map at this website. Another amazing thing about Portland, Oregon: trail running 5 minutes from downtown.

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