In a nutshell roads suck. Running on the road is boring, and punishing. The road beats us into submission with every foot fall. The road causes aches and pains the trail would never do, the trail mothers you as the road makes you its bitch. The trail welcomes you to trod on its twisting, climbing, root and rock dodging world. The road is flat, flat uphill, flat downhill, flat and plain. The road loses you in thought, plodding down the asphalt the mind wanders off to thoughts of being on a trail just to be brought back to reality when a car speeds by a little to close scaring the crap out of you.
Yep, the road sucks, but this time of year we don’t have much of a choice other than running down that black strip of hell. The trails are in transition, slushy wet melting snow permeates that world I love and it will be a couple more months before the trails are dry enough to run on without destroying them. Running down the road I stare through the trees imagining I can see a trail that I should be running on, there’s no trail there but man I have a great imagination!
Two weeks ago I was sicker than a dog, bed ridden for several days and sleeping 15 hours a day as I less than patiently waited for my body to fight the evil virus that had penetrated my iron clad immune system. The sun was shining, it was beautiful outside of my window. The birds were stretching their wings for the first time this early spring. I could even hear the snow melting off of the roof, glorious! My dog still needed his walks to stretch his legs and burn a little energy so he wouldn’t drive me crazy as I wallowed in self-pity. We walked down on the trails that were still runnable making me feel terrible that I wasn’t prancing through the landscape. We would return to the house, me covered in sweat from the sickly effort and the dog is energized by the wonderful weather.
Two weeks of suffering, well one week of actual suffering followed by a week of recovery runs to get my strength back in my legs and there I am running down the miserable road coughing and weazing the whole way.
It was awesome! Sun in my face, my body active for once and a breeze in my face, what a glorious feeling! I hate the road, hate, hate, hate it but today and for right now I truly love it. It is my portal to a world I can’t live without, my world of challenge and self improvement. The road is my escape from everything mundane and tedious, my place to go to train and feel my body grow stronger with every mile that passes beneath my feet. After a week of nothing but breathing in the stale air in my bedroom the road welcomes me with love and pleasure. For now as I patiently wait for the trails to clear up, the road is my best friend. Enough writing, I need to lace up and hit the road!