Perfect autumn outing

There was no question but that there had to be a hike or outing of some sort this morning. I didn’t have a lot of time before my afternoon plans, but the weather is perfect, and the leaves are changing, so I packed up the dogs and headed out to one of our usual trail walks. The pups trotted through the newly-fallen leaves, and I noticed how much more depth the forest has when you can see into it. I love the green-ness and new warmth and waking-up of spring, so I have always felt a bit of sadness at the waning of all of those things in autumn. But looking through the trees to see interesting rock formations or the way the land rises and falls over the forested hills brings a new element to the landscape that I can appreciate even when the colors are gone.

I felt light and comfortable on this walk, and after I got about a quarter of the way in, I thought I’d try jogging a bit. So far I’ve only run on flat sections of road to ensure that my feet land in a way that won’t aggravate my knee, but I chose the flattest and smoothest sections of trail and tried it out.

Happiness. I jogged slowly but immediately felt at home. My new stride feels natural and comfortable. The trail was so much softer than pavement that it almost seemed cushioned. It brought back many good memories of last year’s marathon training.

I alternated running and walking, with the pups trotting or sprinting ahead and waiting for me to catch up. It made the outing go by faster than usual, and I was tempted to head over to another trail to soak in some more autumn goodness, but I really didn’t have enough time.

So we headed home with a little bit of a runner’s high, no knee pain, and a feeling of contentment.IMG_3732

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