A Lo Hawk shouts from the mountain top at you to take the lead for the second quarter of today’s CT run. You jump into action. The CT is headed downhill again so you try to control your pace. But soon enough you’re flying. You’ve rediscovered your trail legs and are artfully stepping past stones. Any over-confidence that is building though is challenged by the first water crossing you encounter. You slow down to consider either the thin boards to the left or the thick log to the right. A Lo Hawk surges past your incompetence and skips across the rocks right down the middle of the path. You’re learning and on the next water crossing – much later in the hike but where you are again leading – you perform gracefully without hesitation. Although to be truthful, you ran upon that stream too quickly to slow down and had to commit.
Committing your footfall while in mid-step is what makes trail runs so damned fun. Skill starts with having sufficient leg strength and grows with your swelling confidence. The faster you run, the greater your sense of owning this trail. It’s addictive and you know you’ll pay for the good time once the path reverses slope and begins to climb back up.
The upturn occurs gradually though, allowing you to maintain a decent pace. You’re nearly halted however upon encountering the glacier. The path is half creek bed and presents you with a tremendous mound of snow and ice. Your body stops momentarily, but not your momentum. After assessing the risk, you leap up the middle of the colossus – undaunted by nature and resolute in your commitment to lead this section of the trail. Not doubting A Lo Hawk’s abilities, you fail to look back, certain he is right behind you; and imagining how impressed he must be right now at your deft trail running prowess.
Typical of running intervals, the second quarter is fast, and will probably be your quickest. You take the hills strong with little walking. You guess the wrong direction at a trail intersection, but that’s why you run with a master trail guide. After a quick photo op, you surrender the lead to A Lo Hawk for the upcoming third quarter basking in the memory of this interval.