13 women met in Ohiopyle. My heart sang and danced with the arrival of so many, some close friends, others I knew, or hardly knew, through coaching, the river, yoga or the local running community. We, so different from one another, individually unique, with a single, unbending, unifying love... RUNNING. Our first steps as one consisted of 3.46 miles on the Great Gorge Trail.
It was after having my second son, Grey, that the idea sparked inside of me to form an all-female trail running group. My desire to be with women increased, perhaps because of the influx of even more testosterone into my home (now having not one but TWO sons, plus my husband).
Pair that desire with a passion for running (and, in all honesty, a fear of my alone time, my zen, being ripped from my grip with the arrival of a second child) and, BOOM! The Trail Run Tribe was born. Nearly two months after Grey's birth, I began contacting every running woman with whom I wanted to share some quality time, and whom I wanted to get to know a little better. I chose the nearest date that made sense to June 1, the day my dad died in 2013, for our first run. In some regard, the Trail Run Tribe was a way to honor him and to transition, to fill a void of missing my dad with a giant, awesome group of beautiful, hardcore badass women!
Since that first day, we have met every six to 10 days to run three to 16 miles. Typically four to 10 of us form our pack. We run in all temperatures, from zero degrees to 100, and in all conditions, from icy and snowy to muddy and rainy to sticky and humid.
To date, here are our cumulative stats from June 4, 2017, to June 4, 2018:
Number of days we have run together: 45
Number of races we have run together: Eight
Total miles run together: 352
We talk about everything, - tattoos, food, gear, shoes, books, podcasts, blogs, poop (yes!), men, babies, birth, dogs, famous runners, things we love and hate, dreams, fears, hopes, hobbies, habits, work, vacations, the joys and hilarities, horrors and heartaches of our pasts and present... nothing is left untouched. Open and non-judging, we listen and keep running. What happens on the trail, stays on the trail. What we talk about on the trail, remains in the thick, protective, beauty of the forest that hugs and heals our souls. Most of all, we laugh. A lot. We laugh so loudly that hunters have glared at us and (so far!) we are our own protection against the wilds of the wild woods.
These are the random thoughts that I want you, Trail Run Tribe, to know:
Each weekend I look forward to our sacred time spent putting one foot in front of the other in the woods.
For those whom I hardly knew before you came to the Tribe, our connection was immediate, and our friendship made stronger with each run.
For those who were dear friends, our bond has strengthened with each mile.
I get so excited to share new trails with you!
Long runs are less daunting.
Goal-setting excites me a little more ;)
Racing is more meaningful when we start together.
Racing as individuals yet knowing that each of us is near, on the same path, fills me with confidence and faith.
Supporting each other in our own races rocks my world!!!
I'm sorry I'm almost always late (lol!)
Thank you for loving me as I am <3
Thank you for loving one another as you each are.
Running is more fun with you.
Life is better with you.
Happy one year anniversary. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.
With love and sweaty hugs,
Your Trail Run Tribe Leader & Friend,