This afternoon I allowed my friend to drive me to a local state park where we proceeded to run up rocky hill after rocky hill. We heard our shoes go "squelch, squelch" in the mud and watched as friendly squirrels crossed our path. It was hard. It made my lungs burn and my legs ache and it was FREAKING awesome! I felt so strong as the sweat started to pour and my breathing started to become more shallow. It was comforting to hear Maggie's footsteps beside me and to know she was working as hard as I was.
Running trails is not passive. You have to keep your eyes on the ground in front of you, staying aware of each footfall and scanning the ground up ahead. As a beginner, there's really no time to settle in and lose yourself in the run. Instead, I found myself relishing each movement; the feel of my ankles and knees absorbing the shock, my thighs working to get me up those hills.
It was a little scary and a lot exhilarating. I think I might be addicted.