My friend Lisa recently got a new pair of trail shoes and wanted to take them out for a spin, so she suggested a run at the Palos/Sag Valley Trail System, a.k.a. Badwater of the Midwest.
I wanted to get out there all summer but, instead, kept finding myself going downtown to the lakefront for long runs. This is why running there landed on the list of things I wanted to do before it got too cold.
We headed out to the northern end of the trail system Saturday morning, which was a perfect fall-weather running day. After about a mile into the run I remembered the one thing I dislike about this particular trail system — the trails are not properly marked in many areas. We found ourselves off the trail at one point, and on the nearby streets.
I had stashed a paper map in my pocket before I left, which ended up being wise decision. We had to stop a few times to look at the map and try to figure out where the heck we were and where we needed to go. We finally made our way back to the trail and got the run we were looking for.
Most of the leaves at this point in the season have fallen and are now covering the ground hiding any branches or other obstructions that may have fallen on the path. Also, the rain we have had in recent weeks produced quite a bit of mud in certain areas. So…we tripped, slipped and twisted our ankles a few times, but no one fell or got hurt 🙂 We started a little too late to see the amount of wildlife we would have seen with a much earlier start, but we did see one deer.
We ended up doing about five miles, and we followed the one unwritten rule about what makes a trail run a success – we left muddy. 🙂