Running in shorts. After running in pants and tights for four months, there is nothing like it. Today, my legs (and my shorts) took me to the trails in a beautiful park that is west of Syracuse. It is truly a hidden gem with trails, ball fields, an awesome playground, and a fast moving creek. It sits back away from the busy road that takes you to the next town and it can barely be seen from the road (if you’re not looking).
When I arrived, I jumped on the trail that takes you around all of the baseball fields, tennis courts, beach volleyball pit, and picnic table area. Because it was sunny and in the low 50s, I passed so many happy walkers and runners. You know that it is one of the first nice days by the mood of everyone walking and running. I was met with “good mornings” and other greetings by every walker and runner that I passed.
As I entered the wooded area, I found the only snow left in the park (chilly in the woods), but the trails were in excellent shape. Wanting to get muddy, I left the trail after I circled around back to the park and the ball fields in the back of the park. With mud kicking up and my footing unsteady, my pace slowed but the fun began. I splashed down the muddy trail that ran along the creek and took the bridge to the other side of the park.
I headed back into the trails on the other side of the creek and the trail took me into the small town. I turned around on Main Street and headed back into the woods for one final time. This trail was going to lead me back to my car. At about three and a half miles into the run, I looked ahead to see something in the creek. As I got closer, I discovered three deer crossing the creek to the other side. It was the only time that I stopped running today (to take a picture). The deer citing reminded me of why I love early spring running.
I climbed the final hill and traversed down into the final wooded part of the run. While crossing the final bridge, I felt invigorated (my one word of 2021) and exhilarated by my first run of the spring, which was only six hours old. Before I got into my car, I realized that my legs were caked with mud and my shorts had dried splashes of dirt all over the back of them. The first 4.3 miles of spring running are in the books.