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• back to trail running or mud versus chocolate

Uber happy at the half-way turn-around point

My 6 year old daughter and I are reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The latest chapter was about the chocolate room. I’m sure you remember from the book and/or movie, it’s the one where everything is pretty and sweet and eatable and a chocolate river runs through it. Can you imagine the delight?!! Well, those of you who know me know I’d rather be on tour in a cheese factory where the trees and flowers are made of cheddar, gouda and pecorino, where it rains shredded parmesan and the river is made of melted fondue cheese…. But I digress. What I’m trying to say is, I felt like a kid in a candy store on my recent trail run. Forget the Snickers, Jolly Ranchers and Reeces Pieces, however, I had single track, rocks, mud, rollers, lake-side view, birds, fern and yes, even a little poison oak!

Friend Aaron (better known as CrazyPants for the wild tights he wears on cold days), organized a group run out at Lookout Reservoir, just south of Eugene. I love that trail and know it like the back of my hand. When my hubby and I first got together, we would take our 3 dogs there almost every Saturday. We even found our cat of 13 years there as a kitten stranded up a tree and brought him home. My husband often reminds me that it’s where I first started running and “where I learned to breathe.” Anyway, when my coach Cathie from Eugene Running Club said my foot was ready for a mellow 6 mile trail run (if I promised to go slowly), my heart skipped a beat!

I carpooled with my buddy Danuta who planned to run 7 miles a bit faster than I. It was SO nice to catch up with her on the 30 minute ride to the trailhead.

It's been a while since Danuta & I got to hang out - pre-run chat is the BEST!
View from the parking lot at the dam. Is that blue sky?

Dead last but lovin’ every minute of it, my first couple miles were a wake up call. I had forgotten how quick on your feet you have to be to dodge rocks, hop over roots and pretend you have x-ray vision to see what’s under slippery leaves. By mile 4 I was back in the groove though and allowed myself some glances around and out over the lake. Popping in and out of sunlight from under the heavily forested trail, the air was cool and smelled delicious.

Waterfalls and little pools can be found every mile or so of this trail and in the summer, the clover is deliciously lemon-minty.
Who needs a chocolate river when you've got mud to play in?!!

The poison oak didn’t phase me much. I must have brushed by a leaf in that little band between where my sock ends above my ankle and where my long tights start. Doh! My poor hubby ended up catching it on his wrist. It sounds kinkier than it is. It was probably from doing my wash. Anyway, with my shoes full of mud and my heart full of joy, I look forward to my next romp in the woods.

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