Running in the Woods in Winter
Running is a good set-up for a strong cycling season.
growl to make sure Will understands what a whipper--snapper he is.
Charles and I have not only shared our running, we also have shared our thoughts and worries. We are near in age and both have three grown children nearly the same age. Over the years, we have covered every topic from sports to sex. We range over the entire spectrum of kids, work and the world. We used to coach boys soccer together many years ago. Neither of us remembers when we first started to run together, but it must have grown out of the coaching and need to keep up with our growing kids. Over the years, we have sailed, hiked, skied and vacationed with our families together. He knows most everything about my family, my work, my politics, and my views of the changing world. And, I know his. Trail running affords us plenty of time to exchange thoughts. The woods are very quiet, especially in winter. We never have to keep an eye out for traffic. And we never need to worry about our dogs getting hit or becoming traffic hazards.
We plan on running together well into our eighties. That gives us twenty plus more years to run. It ought to be easy to keep up the pace into our advancing years as trail running has some real physical advantages. There is no jarring that happens on the road or other hard surface. It is too chopped up to engender any repetitive motion injuries. Seldom is one stride like the previous one. It helps ones balance and keeps sharp small motor coordination. It clears the head as all running does, but with the added advantage of quiet woodland serenity. We often have an entire five mile run and see no one. It is aesthetically dynamic with the season. We both prefer the winter as the deciduous woods are more open and bugs are absent, usually the mind clutter of the week leaves in the first mile. I have never returned from a Westwoods run and not been better, much better, for it. It helps to set up a good weekend.
It is also true that winter running is a good set-up for a strong cycling season. Running covers all the bases: it is aerobic, it works all the lower and core muscles and it is independent, free. It is hard to cycle year around in northern climes. Running is also a simple antidote to cycling burnout. Woods running fits with cycling because it is in keeping with `low impact workout approaches. It also is outdoors which really appeals to me. I have never functioned too well indoors and I get upset with the foolishness of driving to a building to pay money to a young person to yell at you to pedal harder while listening to some techno clang which