On Sunday January 8, I completed the final leg of the Batona Trail series. I knew nothing about the Batona Trail prior to signing up. My exposure was limited to speeding by the forest on the way to Long Beach Island for the weekend. It seemed like a desolate place for motor cross and four-wheeling, all I ever saw were bikes and jeeps on the sidetrails. I definitely would have never thought it could be a pretty place to run. Now that I have seen the entire 53 miles of trails, I have a new found respect for the area and the ever-changing beauty of nature.
The series begins in September and finished up in early January. The monthly runs range from 8-13.5 miles. Back in September I was dragging during the first 8 mile run. It was before my first postpartum half marathon. Even the 13.5 mile leg after my half marathon took more effort then I remembered. But by the time December came around, I felt strong at the end of 20 miles (instead of carpooling from the end to the beginning we just ran out and back to get more miles in). It’s a considerable difference how my running has improved and how my body can handle the long runs. I am starting to feel more like myself and it feels amazing.
Although, at the end of the final run in January I felt like I had cinder blocks on my feet – you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. The trails were covered in fresh snow. It was picture perfect like something out of a movie. I felt like a kid discovering something new. I just couldn’t stop smiling. It was my first experience running in snow and it could not have been any better. Although the weather was somewhere around 10 degrees the trees protected us from the 20 mph winds. We were isolated in this amazing labyrinth of white except it wasn’t difficult to follow thanks to the faster runners ahead of me. My theme for 2017 is to get out of my comfort zone and try things I wouldn’t normally do and running in the snow in 10 degrees is definitely one of them. It was astonishing.
Definitely excited for more adventures in 2017. Thanks for reading.