For the last two summers I have been leading a small cohort group of my running friends on a pandemic-busting weekly series of what I called "Adventure Runs."
The ultimate goals were (a) to keep the group active and alive through uncertain running days and (b) to have a little summer fun by pathfinding on some new routes, trails, and locations.
We've gone exploring in remote neighbourhoods.
We've followed local paths we haven't dared follow on our regular training runs.
We've run asphalt, gravel, streets, single track, and bushwhacked through the wilderness.
Last night was the sixth of the Summer 2021 series, and in the wake of a hotter-than-hell day, we pushed our meetup time to an hour later than usual, and stuck to somewhere more familiar. Also, at least four of the crew had just -- JUST -- returned a couple days ago from a mountain-based ultramarathon and were feeling a bit recovery-oriented.
We started at a nearby dog park, ran across the bridge over the river, and took up some trail locals call the "intestine" which was a twisting, winding, root-covered three kilometers of single track spanning a little more than one kilometer of actual distance.
It burns you out, running in the heat and stumbling around corners and minding the never-ending tangle of tree roots, so it was really no surprise that a hundred meters from the trail exit I caught a toe on a small protrusion and rolled head over feets, landing on my side against the trunk of a tree.
I limped out of the woods, covered in sweaty muddy debris, helped by a group of too-concerned friends who were ready to call an ambulance.
Today I am a little more sore than I should have expected when I planned yesterday's run a mere twenty-four hours ago. But then what does one expect when one goes looking for an adventure.