Sunday, May 4, 2014

Trail Heaven: Blue Ridge Mountains

Pretty sure life wouldn't be as freaking amazing if we didn't have seasons.  Ok, maybe those of you that live in a perpetual summer due to your closeness to the equator....well, you're probably not complaining one bit.  But I think there's something to be said about having a change up that makes us appreciate the gloriousness of spring and summer when it arrives.  Like now.  Just. so. damn. beautiful.  It's like it was winter one minute and now....BAM!  All the trees are in full bloom, birds are everywhere, and it's 80 degrees outside with a blazing blue sky.  And the trails....Oh, the trails!!

 I feel very grateful for living in places that have such amazing trail running at my finger tips.  I grew up in Colorado before I really got into trail running but after college I moved to the trail running mecca in the Pacific Northwest.  Yes, it sure does rain a lot there.  Ok, that's an understatement.  Let's just say that by the time you're done with a winter in Portland, you want to bash your head through the window if you see another day of rain and grey.  However, the lush green forests and trails to die for come with a price.  That price is RAIN.  If you can tolerate the rainy winters (and parts of fall, spring and summer), then you're in for a treat!  I'm not one that does so well with this rain but I do love the green and the beautiful forests for trail running.  That brings me to Asheville, a smaller city in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I feel beyond grateful to find myself here for about a year (almost over).  The trails aren't quite the same as Portland and surrounding areas but they do stand their own.  Especially in spring and summer!  Today, after my husband returned from his 16 mile trail run in the Cradle to the Grave Forestry where he is training for his next race (the one I did last year as my first trail race), we took the family to to the Mountain to Sea Trail off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  He set up camp by a creek with the kids while I took off on my run.

My run today was such food for my soul.  Getting out in nature like this is always healing and rejuvenating and I always find myself wondering why I don't do it more often.  But then I remember that it has been winter and I've been marathon training (trails not always conducive to specific workouts).  I'm determined to get out there on this trail as much as I possibly can before we move back to the west coast in July.

Biggest decision of the day:  Should I wear the Brooks Pure Grits or the Cascadias fresh from the box?  I chose the Cascadias due to a sore foot that probably need some extra support.  And yes, yes, I need to shave my legs.  Whatever.  :) 

Random sculpture on my trail

Oh sweet cold creek to soak my feet! 

Thankful.  Grateful.  Happy.  Thank you Nuun for your support and encouragement and hydration the past few year.  So glad to be a part of your team.  

Holy satisfaction after a 1hour 20 minute trail run through the Blue Ridge Mountains!  Nothing beats having my family near and a cold creek to soak my feet in as soon as I finished.  A run that brought me so close to my core!  I'm so thankful for this beautiful life.

Do you trail run?  Do you have trails near you?  



  1. Absolutely gorgeous!!! So glad you got such a great run in!!! My, what those good runs can do for our souls!

    Those new Cascadias look SO much less clunky than the ones I have. I haven't worn mine in ages because they were too much like bricks. They are such an old model though! I might have to try some of these since the gravel is tough on my road shoes here! I like the way they look too!

    Absolutely love the bottom picture. You look so happy and just beautiful. Just like a teenager!!

    I finally found my Boston tattoo. Is it tacky to wear that during another race? Like maybe I will wear it in Fargo even though it says Boston......

    1. I wish I would have taken you and AM here!! Come visit again...quick before we leave. They are still pretty clunky looking in p erson. But I liked how they felt! Thank you friend. No, wear the tat to Fargo!!

  2. What gorgeous trail pics! And what a gorgeous pic of you sitting by the creek!! I absolutely love those trail runs that do more for my heart than for my legs.

    Can't wait to have you back in Portland where we can go on some runs in Forest Park together! :) xo

  3. Jealous of those beautiful trail pics! Most of the trails around here are along highways with farm fields as a backdrop.

  4. Gorgeous! I completely agree about the seasons... the colors of spring are striking more than usual, I think because Houston didn't have much of a winter/spring when we were there. As for trails, I know there are some nearby but it's on my to do list to find them and learn them!

  5. Such beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing. As one of those Oregonians stuck with more rain than I'd prefer I do agree with your sentiments, but our trails are awesome. I love Forest Park in Portland as well as the Ridgeline trail system in Eugene. And if you ever get the chance to run Silver Falls 1/2 or Full Marathon you get some great trails and amazing waterfall views. Lastly, can't forget to mention the rail-to-trails we have in Oregon: love Banks-Vernonia trail and also Row River Trail down past Cottage grove.