I prefer trail running over road running, minimal & fast hiking vs relaxed & comfortable hiking, and all kinds of food, especially if its free food.
I started running all the way back in middle school and continued all through high school with cross county/track. Although track never compared to cross country. Trail running was my jam. I loved the excitement of it. Jumping over logs, running threw creek, and bombing downhills. I was hooked.
My running slowed in college but I still ran my first marathon sophomore year. My training was horrible; I would run well one week then the next week would do nothing but fun college activities. I ended up running a 3:45, which is respectable for a first time finish, but it was pretty painful. And apparently I never learned my lesson because I went on and ran three more after that.
A few years into college I started getting into hiking and rather quickly, jumped into a short section hike on the Appalachian Trail. Hiking the about 50 mile stretch in the Shenandoah National Park over the course of a week of so. That go me hooked on hiking.
Most of my gear was starter/beginner level but over the years it got lighter and more specialized. I realized my love for trail running fed into hiking as well as my urge to go lighter and faster on the trail. Working many years in retail also helped me improve my kit (as well as become obsessed with gear)
Over the years, I’ve completed countless 5K/10Ks, a handful of marathons as well as one failed 50 mile trail race. I can chalk that up to poor training. Which is kind of a running theme. But also why I like hiking and trail running so much. It can be slower when you want it to be. It’s not always a race or worrying about splits or your time.
And going back to hiking. I’ve spent my fair share on the Appalachian Trail besides that one stretch back in college. I’ve also completed a section hike from Mt Springer up to Damascus in VA. A total of 466 miles in 26 day. I was cruising! I’ve also covered just about the whole Virginia section of the trail and some up into Maryland.
I don’t think I’ll ever go for the whole thru-hike, but the 100 mile wilderness up in Maine keeps popping up in my head. So maybe that’ll be next.
That about wraps things up. Hope y’all can learn from my tips and suggestions and I can help y’all enjoy the great outdoors. Have fun!!
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