In a former life (and I know I’ve had a few), I was a total Mountain Mama. Earth chick. Rock Climber. Probably even some form of mountain animal. Who knows… Every single time I step foot in the mountains, I feel like I’m coming home. I can’t even describe it adequately. I know as a flatlander originally from Ohio, it REALLY doesn’t make sense, but then again, most intuitive things don’t make sense. You just KNOW them to be the truth.
In addition to watching Richard and several other Austin friends totally rock Ironman St. George, we also turned it into a National Parks vacation visiting some of the wonders of the U.S. including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands Nations Park and Snow Canyon State Park. When we weren’t hiking among the world’s most beautiful scenery, we were seeking out trails in and around the St. George and Moab areas. I know Austin has a great Greenbelt system, but it was nothing compared to walking out of our St. George house and hitting wonderful trails just a few steps away. As I tried to describe to others, I felt like I was a character running around in someone’s painting…like, here was this palette of perfection and I was somehow in the middle of it pretending to be “trail runner girl.” I guess I wasn’t really pretending. I did have some spectacular trail runs and my legs were doing great thanks to my Pearl Izumi syncroFuel XC trail shoes. They arrived literally the day before we left for Utah and I’ve never worn these shoes before. Rookie mistake #1, right?? Never run in shoes you haven’t broken in…oh well! I went on a couple of small hikes in them and then did about 4-5 great road/trail runs with absolutely no problems. I’m now anxious to try out their road shoes since the trail shoes were so comfortable, light and flexible. I highly recommend giving them a try if you are into trail running. Just being out there completely reignited my love for running amongst the rocks, hills and trees. Maybe I was a squirrel in a past life?! Or a cheetah?! Or a turtle…
The other fun shoe I tried were my Vibram Five Fingers! I still haven’t attempted a run in them, but decided to hike in them at Bryce Canyon. They were quite the topic of many glances and conversations that day. Lots of Europeans were hiking and I would catch them staring at my feet as we passed by and then I would hear them launch into some kind of French or German chatter immediately after passing. I’m sure it was something to the effect of, “What the hell is she wearing–Stupid American Girl!”
Trail shoes or five-fingered slippers, Southern Utah was brilliant. I highly recommend this vacation if you truly want to get away and bask in the glory of Mother Nature. We timed it perfectly too because the weather wasn’t too hot and the parks weren’t crowded at all. I know I could’ve easily stayed in the area for another month to do some rafting, cycling and more hiking/running. Alas, reality calls home every time.
Strangely enough, it’s time to put my trail shoes and vibrams away for awhile. I’m glad we spent precious time together out in the hills. It’s only a matter of time before we reconnect and share more runs. For now, I’m off to take a walk down a different path of restoration and healing. Let it begin!