When the training miles stack up and I grow bored of treading the same manicured trails, I often get the bug to run away from home. Whether it’s a time zone or two away or just a couple hours out of town, running trails foreign to my feet transforms my training even more than getting a new pair of shoes.
Last weekend, I had a chance to run a chunk of untouched prairie on the Konza Prairie Trail along with my brother Louis and my daughter. Louis is training for his inaugural trail race, a 25k, on this same trail in about 4 weeks. I’m training for what I call my deep and wide adventure in 3 weeks — fast-packing through the Grand Canyon — otherwise known as Rim to Rim. This is no commercial guided trek, though I’ll have expert and entertaining guidance with Coach Jenny Hadfield, along with the company of 24 other women from around the US and Canada. My daughter won’t be joining me for Rim to Rim, but she is training to endure her first year as a college freshman. She knows that time on her feet will help her balance the demands of classes, so she is always game for running with a little exploring on the side.
While we didn’t exactly plan our start, turns out our timing was near perfect. As our eager threesome headed eastward and upward on a pebbly trail marked with limestone slabs, the day cracked open right before us. Once we plateaued, taking pics became a good excuse to pause and catch my breath. As the rest of the run unfolded, we found a rhythm where time and pace fell away — we let the terrain call the shots.
We even took time to explore some of the historic limestone outbuildings near the trailhead. How often do I take a detour and literally “stop the clock” on my regular training runs? Not nearly enough. When our little run on the prairie came to an end, my daughter and I decided it wouldn’t be our last time to hit this trail. In fact, we’re already considering joining Louis for next year’s Konza Prairie trail race. In the meantime, I’ll be running away from home whenever my feet fancy a new path.
Here’s our run, tracked by my Forerunner 610, in Garmin Connect. If there’s a new Forerunner in your future, find out how you can get $50 back on the touchscreen Forerunner 610 now through October 31 — offer details here.