I’ve never loved running – I mean yeah, I’ve been running regularly (somewhat voluntarily) for sometime now and when I was training towards my first half marathon I ran quite a lot but I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever enjoyed it.
That’s not to say that there were not days when I’d be chuffed that I managed to run a certain distance without stopping to walk and other days where I’d be pretty pumped that I felt ok afterwards (whereas I’d usually feel like death) but other than that I never enjoyed the actual running part – only finishing.
But on Monday afternoon as I ran through the Cascade Kauri Regional Park, wading through mud and jumping over (or crawling under) fallen trees I noticed something ..
I actually like running when I’m in the forest!
I’m not sure what it is, at a guess it’s a combination of things. The bird song mixed with the sound of water running over rocks, the way the sunlight streams through the forest canopy, the fresh air, the way the pathways wind through the trees only letting you glimpse a short way ahead of you (which if you’ve ever run long straights, you’ll know is a bonus) but perhaps most of all I enjoy the solitude.
You would think that running alone in the late afternoon dwindling sun in a forest would be kind of scary and I’ll openly admit that quite often my wet pony tail slapping on the back of my hydration vest sounds exactly like the footsteps of an axe welding murderer coming up behind me (or at least, what I imagine that would sound like) BUT thankfully, I’ve yet to come across one – I mean honestly, what are the chances that someone is going to sit in the middle of the Waitakere Ranges just on the off chance that someone will come past? If you were that hell bent on killing people there would be far more proficient ways to find prey.
Although that still hasn’t stopped me from getting freaked out by my own hair ..
When I arrive at the car parking area, it’s quite common to see at least a couple of vehicles parked up and on occasion I’ll see other people arriving or leaving, but it’s quite rare on a week day for me to come across other people while out on the trail, especially now that rain has become a daily occurrence (hence the increase in mud) and the temperature has dropped remarkably.
I however love having the entire track to myself, I get to move at whatever speed I feel like and I can swerve around obstacles without worrying about getting in anyone elses way which perhaps is why the idea of doing an “actual trail run” isn’t that enthralling especially when you see photos like this;
So it’s somewhat mystifying as to why I’m driving all the way to Rotorua to run through the forest with a tonne of other people this weekend, especially when it seems as though everyone who is walking/running any distance starts at the same time (from the same place).
Although to be fair, I didn’t know about the starting times or see the above photo until well after I’d told Anna that I’d do it.
On a positive note, James has yet to visit Rotorua and it’s a long weekend (sans kids) so I guess I can put up with sharing a trail for just this one day. 😉
Till next time