And without pictures.
Running on trails in the dark is sort of mentally taxing.
I've been learning how to run from a barefoot book (more on that later), not really with the intention of running barefoot, but instead, with a goal of figuring out how to run so I enjoy it. The first "aha moment" is bent knees. But that super simple concept is a hard thing to translate to a learned, physical, muscle-memory thing. So the second "aha moment"came last week, as I recalled a passage in the book about thinking of your thighs like giant springs. For some reason, on about 33rd and Division at about 5:45 am on a random Tuesday morning, the spring-thing hit me like a ton of bricks and made the mental game much much easier.
Since then, I've had a handful of moments/experiences where I forget myself as I run: I relax, my breathing is just working, my pace is perfect, and I feel like I could run forever. It's a fine feeling.
So -- running on trails in the dark kind of gets in the way of that. To avoid stumbling and tripping, you've got to focus a lot of mental energy on the trail and where your feet are going to land. As the mornings get darker and darker, the tunnel of bouncing light you are chasing gets more intense and surreal and more mental energy goes into finding the right line.
So just as I hit my state of running nirvana this morning, I also relaxed my trail-watching and stumbled -- nearly tripping. This jammed me up. I couldn't get it back. I got tired and wanted to be done.
I love running on the trails, but I'm wondering if I need to wait until I can find, maintain, and re-capture that nirvana state more effortlessly... Or run in the afternoon where the dark isn't getting in the way. Or just evolve slowly and steadily to handle the dark trails...
3 hours ago