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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feeling Your Run; Actually

A gentle 9 miles in a flurry of snow fall. The hilly terrain allowed me to practice patience as the hill dropped below, crested and I was released to feel the energy of the downhill pull me toward it. I tried to focus on this feeling. How the varying degree of climb actually felt. I ran with strength and not speed, with patience and not hurry and the climbs became so interesting. The tension would slowly build in my legs, then- my legs would adjust and adapt and I felt normal in this climb.

As the hill would relent I could sense the release of its grip and my stride opening up without a change effort. These are innate things we know, but to fully experience them is something else. To back off the pace on these easy days and allow the gasping of breathe to occur another time, to renew the self in this type of run. It was essentially a runner's renewal through the medium of a hill.

Earlier in the run... near halfway I could sense something around me. I had been following the grade of the river for a few miles. I watched as the water made its way down the course. Large icicles dangled, growing from the mist around the river's drops... snow falling gently in my tiny universe. Still feeling something in my presence I heard a twig snap. I looked over my left shoulder and slightly behind me. There, ran a small doe, pacing off me on a peaceful Sunday morning.

I have read of these encounters, deer and elk running with humans... but to be honest it never seemed really plausible. But today, for a short moment I was fortunate to have that joy.

A succesful weekend! 38 miles total, two very hilly runs. I thought a lot of those brave runners on Mt. Mitchell this weekend, running 40 miles is unreal winter conditions.


  1. Hi Sean,
    You write so beautifully:) I felt like I was ruuning with you! I love it when I am fortunate enough to see deer on my runs! Have an excellent Monday:)

  2. NIce weekend sean!!! and great writing! I agree with you I think trail running does require more "patience" with the climbing. That is difficult at times because it's ingrained ( from track, XC, Road Races) to get from point A to Point B ASAP. The technical terrain of trail running really can slow you down-- but I think it teaches you to just " BE ACUTELY AWARE IN THE MOMENT" and appreciate exactly where you are/when you are there. :o)

    have a great week!!!


  3. wow. all I did was dodge buicks and puddles on my long run. Your account sounds much pertier

  4. One of these days, I'm going to chase one of those deer. Cheers!

  5. Nice. Thanks for sharing that. I miss those winter runs that I used to have in Ohio, now that I live in Florida. While I do get some peaceful runs from time to time, it is not the same as being in a more "country" place. Thank you for reminding me.

  6. Nice description, I really like it.

    Thanks for the link to the Mt. Mitchell race, I had forgotten about it.

  7. Awesome. I keep a running mental log of all of the various wildlife I've seen on my runs. The latest entry was a skunk.


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