A good path in the early morning is just right for my better runs. Optimum conditions for my best runs are high energy levels, a crisp 42 degrees with sunshine, and a lengthy path.

Most days I will have one or the other. One day the weather will be perfect but my feet feel like bricks. The next run day I feel spry but the weather is warmer than I like. The path is generally the same at my local park but occasionally I get to run in a different place on a brand new path. Like when we were in Boulder last October and I explored part of the town on the various running trails. Or when I run with a friend and she takes me on a new trail.

I ran a new path this weekend. My goal was 6.2 miles. The conditions were not in my favor. It was a balmy 67 degrees and my energy was low. But I needed this run and I wanted to explore the beauty of the state park we were in. I just wasn’t sure where to start, or which way to go……

So I started running. Almost a mile in I realized the path I was on ended. I turned around, running at a good pace, enjoying my surroundings and saw a trail marker for a hiking trail through the woods. We’d hiked parts of the trail the day before and I remembered there were other trails off that one I wanted to explore. I knew this would slow my pace but I couldn’t resist the urge to be in the woods. The trail was familiar at first but then I realized I wasn’t where I thought I’d be. I finally ran into an open path near the road. My 6.3 mile run took me over hills, near the water, through the shaded woods, into the bright sunlight, beside a golf course and around the park swimming area.

The run was hard.

And it was glorious.

The tough parts were worth the beautiful parts.

“Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.”                        Psalm 16:11  MSG

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge A Good Match and the Daily Prompt Maze.