Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turn the beat around.

That's a nice elevation profile in both directions.
A familiar trail in the opposite direction is....a totally new trail.

Yesterday I headed down to the river for an 8-mile trek down the Buttermilk/Northbank trails and Belle Isle. It was a gorgeous fall morning, leaves covering the ground and sun shining. On a whim, I decided to be totally weird and follow the trail in the opposite direction than my normal route.

It was a spur of the moment decision, I'm not really sure why I turned left instead of right, but I'm glad I did.

Switching directions resulted in a totally different run, different views, challenges and rewards. I was sort of clumsy, slower than usual and overly cautious. The branches, roots and rocks were less predictable; I know the trail and all its little obstacles really well in my usual direction, but in the other direction...not so much. The blanket of leaves on the ground made me even more cautious, roots and other poky stuff was well-hidden; the last thing I need a month before the 50k is a broken ankle.

I was surprised by how different the landscape looked from the opposite direction. I noticed little off-shoot trails that I've never seen before and appreciated views I usually miss or see from an alternate angle. I slowed down where I normally fly and flew where I normally crawl.

Long story short: try your usual route "backwards," and you'll have a whole new course. You probably know this already. I'm usually about a year behind on these things.

Buttermilk, eastbound towards Reedy Creek

 Anyway, Happy Trails!