I had to wait 8 hours to see that our starting point was marked by this wonderful little concrete trail marker thanks to the hour of darkness when we started our adventure. But it had been there marking the place where we began the long climb up to introduce my body back to serious trail running.
Happily I was not alone but again in the fun company of D, hubby and their wonderful dogs. After a crazy start to the morning with some forgotten trail shoes, I was quickly thrown back into the arms of those wonderfully taxing trails I have missed so much over the summer.
Running a local trail for an hour or so is nothing like carrying your supplies for an 8 hour run. The excitement of being out there again was quickly replaced with the reminder of how punishing those climbs - and descents - can be. Unfortunately D even reminded me how quickly things can get serious by being the first to take a fall during our run.
The weather was prefect. It was hard to imagine that it was August in Virginia. Although my legs were rapidly questioning how I will be Ring read by the end of the month, I was too caught up in loving being on the trail to really give much voice to those words of doubt.
D happily snapped photos of me dealing with all the abuses of the trail as I was lost in getting to see some new sites.
The climbs up were completely worth it!
One of many reasons I love ultra running is getting to see these amazing places.
And having friends who tolerate my nature loving side while in the midst of a training run doesn't hurt either. Thankfully, D waited to indulge my nature photo ops.
And she captured awesome views like this one.
While I was enjoying this one. But all too quickly our time on the trail was over. My first - and potentially only - training run for the Ring.
How fitting the we found these butterflies at the end of our run. Ones like these had fluttered by us all day. A few butterflies had been hurt probably ran over while they gathering salt from some sports drink dumped on the ground but others kept gathering there taking no lesson from their injured brethren. It made me think of the craziness of trail running.
I will blindly continue wanting to do these crazy things even though I see the carnage around me. There is something more powerfully beautiful drawing me forward and making my eyes only see the wonder.