I’ve really fallen in love with trail running in the last several months. It’s the perfect break from the humdrum of road running. If road running is a measure of efficiency then trail running is an expression of creativity.
Chickasaw Trace down in Columbia is my favorite place to run trails. It’s an 8 mile loop that gains nearly 1700 feet of elevation. Most of the trail is densly forrested and runs along the Duck River. It’s pretty technical with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, etc.
I ran 10 miles on the trail this past Saturday. Unfortunately, my achilles tendon started bothering me 3 or 4 miles into the trail. I think I started favoring that leg, because around mile 5 I twisted my ankle badly. It hit the muddy trail spewing expletives – no one around to hear them except for the many deer you see there. I thought “Oh no, a broken ankle 5 miles deep into this trail.” I had my phone, but knew it would be a real chore for anyone to come and get me. Eventually I stood, putting more and more weight on the foot, I began to hop on one foot, eventually limped, tried to walk normally, and finally started a slow jog. I had to get off the trail somehow. Honestly, this is what I love about trail running – the adventure. This kind of thing won’t happen on my normal road training loop. And what’s the fun in that? I prefer the unknown at this point honestly after many years of running in circles seeing the same old stuff over and over.
The ankle is still a little sore – as is the achilles, so I took it easy the rest of the weekend. I got my 10 miles in though.
Here are some pictures I’ve taken of Chickasaw over the last few weeks:
cabin near the trailhead
the Duck River
the beginning of a pretty dangerous descent – on a muddy morning