There’s something about a cold morning when the sun shines on frost-covered grasses yet fails to touch one’s chill from fall temperatures. It’s not something I’ve ever taken the time to notice because this chica just doesn’t typically do cold temperatures.
And yet, here I was, bundled up with four layers, gloves and a long Tough Girl Skirt, meeting my two running mentors Brandess and Janet for an impromptu trail run through Woldumar Nature Center in Lansing, Mich. This might just be the kind of occurrence el husbando cites when shaking his head and saying things like “you’re insane.”
Loca or not, I’ve committed to taking on trails in my quest to keep running interesting. The experience did not disappoint.
Woldumar has four well-marked loops, ranging from a wheelchair-accessible .7 miles to a longer 1.6 miles with excellent water views.
Since I’d only been there once before, my friend Brandess took the lead and took us through leaf-covered trails surrounded both by bare trees and tall pines that have earned that spot the enchanted forest nickname.
Our pace was slow and we did some walking as we enjoyed the scenery, stopped to pet some dogs on leashes and talk to their humans, and planned our next adventure: the Bad Apple Ultra in October 2016.
A handful of us — maybe five or six friends — plan to train together so we’re ready for about 30 miles in this timed race in Greenville, Mich. I agreed to the insanity when I was promised real bathrooms on the loop course housed in Klackle Orchard. Let’s just say that Brandess can be very persuasive.
The run felt effortless and we stopped several times so I could take photos to share with you. Did I mention Janet and Brandess are really patient?
In the end, we covered about three miles, saw deer and Canadian geese, and increased my appreciation for an activity that allows one to enjoy such beauty with some of my favorite people … even if I dashed back into my Jeep right after we were done.
I may warming up to fall in the Michigan tundra, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the wonders of a seat warmer.
How do you feel about cold-weather running? About trail running? How much wildlife do you see on a typical run?