Two years ago when I first reported on the Kansas City Trail Nerds, I vowed to one day join them.
A few of them asked me to do so that night, and another has sent me occasional invitations since then.
My knees were in shambles at the time, and my back wasn’t much better. Time has passed, however, and my body is healthier than it’s been in the last five years.
That’s why tonight I finally followed through on my promise. I ran with the Trail Nerds, and I’ll definitely be doing it again.
The group offers runs almost every day of the week at various locations from Kansas City, Mo., to Lawrence. Tonight was the so-called “trail running for beginners” option at Shawnee Mission Park. About 15 of us showed up. I was the new guy. Some had been running less than a year. One guy — obviously not a “beginner” — sported his Iron Man Kansas shirt.
The faster runners headed one way on the trail and quickly disappeared into the woods. The rest of us went at a more conversational pace, spread out every 15 to 20 feet, and wound our way along the hilly, rocky root-covered trail for about 45 minutes. We began in daylight and finished by the beams of our headlamps.
It didn’t feel like we’d run for very long. I spent about half the time chatting with other runners, never realizing just how hard my legs were working. I felt like I had at least another mile or so in my legs. At the same time, it was probably wise not to overdo it. I am just a rookie, after all, and I headed home tonight feeling good and excited to run again.
I’ll be in Phoenix next week, but I already have the following Wednesday’s run on my planner. I hope to make this a regular thing. I waited two years to join the Trail Nerds, so I’ve got some catching up to do.