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A liberating run

March 3, 2011

All alone in the forest. All paths are covered with a thick layer of ice. All but the tiniest trails where nearly nobody walks. These trails are the only ones without icy deep frozen footsteps. But these trails are well hidden. You need to be an adventure-seeking trail runner to find them, or an animal. Being the animal within you. So it’s not sursprising no one else is here.

The thick snow layer is hard and compact enough to hold my weight. Snowshoes would have been required if the snow had been softer. Negotiating treacherous snow filled gullies and icy ledges along vertical rock faces I’m happy to wear the Inov-8 OROC 280 trail shoe with aggressive outsole studded with spikes. In this terrain, in this climate with mercury fluctuating around zero, you don’t want to tread into the unknown without sharp studs of strong steel.

First it feels somewhat blunt and akward to trot around aimlessly, forced to explore possible routes, crawling under branches, hugging rocks, daring slippery fallen logs and frozen creeks, stepping lightly beside evil dark deep holes in the snow.

Then it becomes interesting. There are no trails telling you where to go next. Everything is new. Like following a remarkably runnable ridge after ascending snow free south facing slopes. Experimenting. Improvising. Playing. Just having fun. Being here and just doing it, instead of falling into an all too common routine where the run will be compared and measured.

It was just one of those days, when you’re not chosing comfortability over freedom.

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