How is it already December 18th?! This season has flown by so quickly! Christmas parties are happening, cookies are being baked, and presents are being wrapped! I still have some Christmas shopping to do, as well as several other “Christmas activities” I want to squeeze in before the 25th! I have yet to do a “Christmas lights run” or go to any drive-through lights displays. I haven’t watched nearly enough Christmas movies or gotten tired of Christmas music yet. I need this month to sloooow down!

This week I’ve been dogsitting for a family friend while they are in Florida! I’m staying at their house, which happens to be 2.80 miles from a beautiful state park! I know this because I ran there on Sunday morning before church to explore! However, I had just down P90X Plyometrics the day before and my calves were pretty tight, so by the time I got to the park, I was pretty tired and decided to turn around and save the exploring for another day. My route back was a little bit longer so I ended up with exactly 6.00 miles when I got back to the house! We’ve had crazy-warm weather here in St Louis lately, considering it’s December, but I’m not complaining! I love being able to take off on a run without 5 layers of thermal shirts and leggings. πŸ˜›

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This morning I headed back to the park to tackle the trails! I had such a great time exploring the cliffs and bluffs and jumping over tree roots and rocks. Every time I do a trail run, it makes me wish I had access to more trails near my house! Trail runs are a great way to get out in nature, enjoy the peace and quiet, and disconnect from phones and computers. I always feel so refreshed after a trail run, I love it!

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About a half mile into my run, I spotted a beautiful doe just 20 yards ahead of me on the trail! The trails were hilly and muddy, winding through the woods and ravines. I felt adventurous and free as I powered up the hills and flew down the other side.

I’d accidentally left my earbuds at home so I didn’t have any iPod accompaniment on this run, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I also didn’t use my GPS watch at all, so I had no concept of pace or time. Amazing. I need to unplug more often for “naked runs” because it’s always so cleansing and relaxing!

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When I did finally make it back to my car, I was covered in mud, but happy and content. Settled. Peaceful. Refreshed. Is it possible that a simple run in the woods can do all of that for me? I’ll take it! πŸ™‚

I’m off to study for the afternoon with a doggie on my lap and a mug of Candy Cane Green Tea beside me. πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas!

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