Running is my thing. Among other things. It's also my husband's thing. We don't discuss it often...just sometimes...and we never do it together. I can say "never" because the last time we ran together was too many years ago to remember, back when I was just dabbling in it and before I felt worthy of labeling myself a runner. Until today. Today, when our boy was at a friend's house and the weather was nothing short of perfect, we were both itching to hit the trails and he had a novel thought: "Why don't we run together?" Now, I have to admit I hesitated a bit at this suggestion because 1. my husband is fast. A heckuva lot faster than me. And 2. I was jonesing hard for a good long run, alone, the kind where you forget you're running and zone out, then feel completely spent and used up at the end. Alas, I decided it best to take advantage of our rare kid-free time and spend some quality time together, even though I still like to think of running as something that's just MINE. Is that weird? Probably.
So we headed over to Sope Creek - a beautiful trail system barely 10 minutes away - and hit the dirt. I know he slowed his pace to accommodate mine, while he could've smoked me, but he also pushed me when I grew tired and started to slow down. We ran 5.76 miles in 1:04, which I think is actually not bad for 2 novice trail runners. It's amazing how I can pound out 6 miles no problem on the pavement, but I struggled with the ascents and descents and rocks and roots and twists and turns. Trail running is a whole different ballgame. It's intense and it takes intense concentration and focus, and it keeps you on your toes - literally - plus it's unforgiving. Which is precisely why I love it.
I was being especially careful during our run to avoid injury (I'm registered for the Vision Trek 10K Trail Run and Publix Georgia Half Marathon in March!) and my beloved but sometimes clumsy husband fell twice. Nothing major - he actually looked impressively graceful each time he fell - and he got right back up and took off again. I think he was mildly annoyed at my gasps and cries of "ARE YOU OKAY?! Do you need to stop? Should you wear pants instead of shorts next time??" Sorry dude, just lookin' out for you and your skinny, pale, bare legs.
The most interesting and curious thing about our run today was that while my dear husband is not exactly Mr. Social (read: he can go an entire day speaking less than 5 sentences), I discovered that he turns into Chatty Cathy on the trails. Seriously! From the minute we started 'til the minute we stopped, he talked. I struggled to carry on a conversation period, but he chatted away. SO BIZARRE! Perhaps he was truly in his element and felt inspired? Comfortable? Happy to be amongst nature and beauty and the fresh, crisp air? Or perhaps he was happy to be alone with his wife? I'd wager that it's the former but secretly hope that it's the latter. Either way, I'll take Mr. Chatty Speedy Skinny Legs Trail Guy on any day.