Desert delights

In all the years I’ve been running, I haven’t done much trail running. On occasion I’ve ventured out with friends to a trail near home, but never on a regular basis. I like it, but I guess for my road racing goals, it never really fit well into the picture. I’m also leery of turning an ankle that has seen its share of sprains. Plus, as a female, I’ve always felt it’s probably unsafe to hit the trails alone and I don’t have too many running partners who trail run.

Today in the desert, however, I found a great trail during my run. I had seen signs for the trailhead yesterday, but couldn’t find it. I did a bit more exploring today and found it. What a great run! The trail switchbacked up a mountain with spectacular views everywhere I turned. I loved it–could have kept going and going, but with a 1/2 marathon this weekend, thought better of it. And again, I was solo, somthing I think is probably not the best of ideas. So before I got too far I turned around and headed back in.

I’m pretty sure that if I lived out west, in the desert in particular, I’d be a regular trail runner. There’s something about those wide-open vistas, which we don’t get back east, that really calls to my spirit. I felt like I was channeling my inner Caballo Blanco (well, not really–I’m too wimpy), connecting with my surroundings. It was great. Later in the day I took my kids back to the the trail and we hiked to the top–they enjoyed every step of it.

When I get back to the east coast and all of the snow has finally melted, I might try to pull some of my running pals along for a trail run every now and again. It really did bring out that sense of play we all have bottled up inside from childhood–it was great to let it out.

Do you ever mix it up with trail running? What do you like about it?

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  1. Barefoot AngieB says

    I want to check out some trails here in the spring but am afraid of going it alone. I do love to trail run though, Its quite exhilarating. Maybe I can get the dear one to go with me!
    Enjoy your time there!

  2. MarathonChris says

    I feel the same way….not a lot of trails near here but as a female runner am a bit leary of running on trails by myself. Still, I would love to be out west by all those cool trails. Someday….

  3. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) says

    I'm glad you had a good run!
    When I lived in AZ I would go trail running all of the time. But now that I live in Denver I don't get to do it very often. There are some great trails here, but they are further away then I'd like and finding the time to get out there is kind of hard with two little ones! However, whenever I go to AZ to visit my parents my husband and I always make a point to get in a couple trail runs and they are always a blast! :)

  4. Jill says

    I love trail running. In Colorado, I do it a lot in the summer in the mountains and I love it because I go sans watch; it's just me and nature and maybe a few friends. The fresh smell of the air and all the surrounding are crisper and clearer! So glad you enjoyed it, too!!

  5. Lindsey says

    I've never gone trail running, but would love to! I think the reason I haven't is lack of knowledge of where to go and I'd like to go with someone else. Maybe this summer I will explore and drag a friend along for the run – it sounds like a great experience and a great way to switch up your running routine.

  6. southofthecliff says

    I spent some time in Phoenix this summer, and got up at the crack of dawn to run in Papago park (in vibram's – this was before I worked up the courage to go barefoot against my wife's wishes). Crazy beautiful. And weird to run in 85 degrees, but not sweat…