After two major injuries, I’ve learned not to take running as seriously as I used to.
On my first long run of the spring training season, everything went wrong.
The old Savannah would’ve come off the trail saying, “That was one of my worst runs ever!” The new Savannah just laughed when her shoes were caked in mud that was so heavy she couldn’t run. After all, running is supposed to be FUN!
I went to the Greenbelt Plateau Trailhead expecting easy snow-packed gravel. Instead, I got giant rocks, melting slush and a muddy Slip N Slide.
Blake fell before we hit 1 mile.
Determined to hit my goal of 5 miles, I blazed on.
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To get to the Greenbelt Plateau Trailhead from Louisville, Colorado, I took McCaslin Boulevard into Superior, Colorado, turning right onto Marshall Drive 170. At the end of 170 (just past Marshall Mesa Trailhead), I turned right onto State Highway 93. The trailhead was just down the road on the left.
Greenbelt Platuea connects to the Flatirons Vista, Marhshall Mesa and Coalton Trailheads. It’s terrain consists of grasslands and the ponderosa pine savannas (in other words, this is the space BEFORE reaching the foothills, so it’s an easier trail run/hike).
I planned for an out-and-back on the High Plains Trail, which is 2.6 miles one way and heads toward Coalton Trailhead in Superior, Colorado. The Greenbelt Platuea Trail is 1.5 miles one way and heads toward Marshall Mesa Trailhead.
* * *
The run — if you can call fast walking with jogging in between a run — was slow. I’m talking 13- to 15-minute miles — not the times a half-marathoner hopes for. As my phone blurted out my pathetic mile times, I thought back to Blake’s comment after his fall: “If this is as bad as life gets, then that’s okay with me.”
Since when does running outside with your beloved dog and amazing views indicate a bad time? I haven’t played around in the mud since I was a small child, so when my shoes were so sludgy that I could barely lift them up, I burst out laughing! IT WAS FUN!
Who the hell cares if my mile times were slow?! Am I an Olympic athlete? Is my phone going to send a shock through my body if I’m not fast? Is anyone going to care at all? NO, NO and NO!
I stopped to take a few photos on the run because the views of the snow-dotted foothills were breathtaking. And I never stop to take photos (because I can’t mess with my precious mile times).
I’m running five races this spring — two for practice, two to race and one because it’s the 2nd largest 10k in the country; I’m running five races this spring — five for fun.
It doesn’t matter if I set a PR; it doesn’t matter if I win an age-group award. What matters is that I race them because I enjoy running with others, being part of something bigger than myself and enjoying the life I’m living.
I started running to lose weight. I kept up with it because it relieved my anxiety and helped me find peace each day. Running should never be something that causes me stress — it should be fun.
Life, my dear readers, should be fun.
So go out and run.