Posts Tagged ‘Trails’

Trail vs Road??

October 11, 2009

The race began as we ran down the trail into the desert. Down into the washes and then back out, down and then back out. The washes were a mix of sand and rock they ranged from about 3 to 8 feet deep. This action repeated itself 3 or 4 times until the trail leveled out. Just as I get my bearings my ankle turns on a rock and I see ground in front of me there’s barely enough time to put my hands out to protect myself. As I’m falling I brush up against someone and then notice him falling beside me to my right. I look back quickly to see if I’m about to be stepped on by any of the other runners. The closest ones are about 6 feet away. No time to sit, up and keep running. I go by the fellow that I took down still lying there. I have to keep running.

A quick inventory check comes up with a bloodied thumb and scraped up leg. No big deal.

I love trail running. For that matter I really enjoy mountain biking over road for the same reason. Lack of predictability.

And although I find myself on the road more times than on the trail during my training, there is nothing like being in a natural environment away from cars and images of urban life.

Nature abounds. Whether I am riding my bike in the desert or trail running in a forest. The connection to nature is unquestionable. Along with that we then have to react to what it gives us.

When I run on the street I can depend on my foot strikes landing flat. When I run or bike on trails there is not much time for daydreaming. I must stay on task. Each next step may not land so evenly.

That’s the fun part. Not knowing.

So what about you? Where do you prefer to train? As long as you are active there is no right or wrong answer to this question.

Does life force you into the gym? Do you enjoy the camaraderie of weekly bike rides? Or would you rather the solitude of hiking alone on a mountain range?

For more Health and Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at


Traveling To Unknown Parts

September 13, 2009

Next weekend I’m going to be in Asheville NC. I’ve never been there, but I have seen the town and area written up in many magazines. In fact it has been listed by Outside magazine as one of their “Best Outside Towns”. And Backpacker magazine just listed it as a “Best City To Raise An Outdoor Kid”.

Asheville is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is just hours from the Great Smokies and the Pisgah National Forest with 950 miles of trails, waterfalls and backcountry camping. My time is limited. I’m only going to be there for a day and a half.

So what do you do when you’re unfamiliar with an area but want to get the most from your trip? The internet can be an amazing tool for such a task.

When booking air fare and hotel I recommend This website gathers prices from the major travel “discount” sites. These include quotes from Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline and So you can comparison shop.

As far as outside activities I go to Outside magazine’s site, They keep an archive of their past articles and I can find plenty of information from where to get a good breakfast to who I should rent a mountain bike from. I really like Backpacker’s You plug in the city you’re going to and they present you with a topographical map of the area and show you where to find hikes of various levels of difficulty. They also include descriptions of the hike. All of his can be downloaded to your 3G iPhone, GPS phone or computer. You can also e-mail the information to yourself or your friends.

If you’re feeling exotic and traveling outside of the country a great site to visit is This site includes trips to Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest. Heck, a guy can dream can’t he?

So what do you do to prepare for a trip? Do you plan every detail out? Or do you throw caution to the wind and rely on instinct when you arrive at your destination?

In a future post I’ll let you know how our trip went. But always remember for more Health & Fitness information visit our ongoing blog at