Following the Song

In preparation for my trail run in October, I have made a conscious effort to do at least one run per week at Lime Creek. And, in doing this, I’ve grown to look forward more and more to that run each week, so much so that I think I’ll be upping it to 2 per week next week. It’s enchanting for me to run there. There are number of beautiful bike, horse, and hiking trails scattered through there and I usually am able to take a different route each time I’m out. I don’t usually have a plan other than the length of time dictated by my training program, so I make up the route on the fly. Yesterday, I decided every time I saw a fork in the trail, I’d go the direction I heard the most birds singing.

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Photo Credit : Bob White (Flickr)

Needless-to-say, for most of the run, until I decided to go back, was spent going all different directions. Looking at the route from my GPS watch, I’m sure you’d think I was lost or drunk. But I had a great time. It forced me to really actively listen to the noises around me (which, I suppose, is a good practice when you are running anywhere) and I was forced to realize just how many bird songs there are. Everything from one-note chirps and caws to complex twitters and whistles were present. I’m sure, in their own way, they were saying, “Look out! That weird, ungraceful runner is coming back this way again!” But to me, it was creation’s symphony, with notes of bird song, cracking twigs, gravel and dirt crunching underfoot, running river, and gentle winds. I felt entirely enthralled by the experience. I could have run in that for days.

I’m not saying that I’ll always remember to run with that kind of mindfulness. Most often, on runs and in life, I don’t. But I hope to get there someday. And that’s my challenge for you, today.

Have you ever had an experience like that? Where were you and what captivated you?

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6 thoughts on “Following the Song

  1. I kind of have actually. The trail near my house is the one place that I try to run without music. There’s just so much more to be aware of out there that I would miss with headphones in. 🙂

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    • That’s awesome! It’s a huge blessing to have trails nearby to run on. The sounds out there aren’t necessarily driving, like music would be, but they’re oddly motivating for me, anyway.

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  2. Oh Limecreeek how I love you! Do you start on 12th by the dog park? This is my go to running place. From the moment I enter the area I search for the tiny, thin, single track trails where the trees brush my hair back for me and the outside world is drowned out by the echo of my shoes on the path! I would guess I spend 90% of my time running there on trails like that. I feel fast on those trails. I pretend I’m racing and the closest opponent is on my tail just waiting for a break, a widening in the path, to scream past me. That opponent is normally my tiny Rat Terror pacing partner, Zoie Grace. What trail race are you doing? I live for the Timber Trot that they do in Limecreek. It’s not very long but it’s the chance to enjoy a race that doesn’t smell of hot asphalt, but rather the sweet aroma of fallen autumn leaves.

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    • That’s exactly where I start. I love that feeling, too! There’s one spot in particular on one of the trails where I felt like I was being rocked – just gently back and forth. You’ll have to let me know when the Timber Trot is! I’d love to run it!

      I’m doing the Runner’s Flat race in Cedar Falls. I’m signed up for the 20-mile, but I think I’d like to upgrade to the 50k. I’ve never done one, but I’d love to try!

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