Tidbits of Wisdom, Woodland Adventures

Easy Miles

My miles with Bella have been a little low and slow these past two weeks. Over the last few months, I’ve been working toward a virtual 25k, which I ran last weekend. So the week leading up to those 15.6 miles was a low-mileage week, as was this week. And I have to say, I felt tired this week. I’ve been steadily adding miles (more than 160 miles of running and walking for the month of January) and I think it finally caught up to me. Bella was also a little off this week with some tummy trouble, so it was a good time to slow down a bit.

Today called for a 6-mile run but I opted for less. Bella and I joined a friend for a short hike on a new-to-me trail in Montgomery County—a portion of the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail. Part of what we hiked is also part of the Montgomery County trail system that encompasses those 100 miles of trails I spoke of in my last post (and that we plan to tick off throughout 2021!).

I LOVE MEANDERING: The Seneca Creek Greenway Trail follows Great Seneca Creek in Montgomery County.

We did a short out-and-back hike, but it was very pretty as it meandered along the Great Seneca Creek with lots of pretty photo opportunities.

PRETTY AS A PICTURE: The creek bed was gorgeous with the sun highlighting the varying colors.

Despite the number of cars near the trailhead, the side we hiked on was very quiet. The opposite side of the creek seemed to have more mountain bikes. From time to time we could hear them hootin’ and hollerin’.

SUNNY WARMTH: While the day was cool, the sun warmed us as we hiked along the quiet banks of the creek. The trails on the opposite side (in the woods to the left) were occupied by a number of mountain bikers.

I will admit that early on in the day I beat myself up for not getting my 6-mile run done. After all, it was on the calendar! But in the end, this easy, pretty hike was just what I needed. And it was a great opportunity to find a new trail (not too far from home) that I can return to for a run.

And following the theme of easy … I ended the day with a cocktail from my favorite—McClintock Distilling.

EASY MILES, EASY EVENING: One of my favorite cocktails is McClintock’s Gardner’s Gin with fresh lime juice and a splash of Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water. The perfect ending to a great day.

Until next time…

Tidbits of Wisdom

What’s Your Word?

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions. I can never keep them, so why bother making them. I’ve also never chosen a guiding word before—a word that is to be my constant reminder to help guide me in my decision making and help keep me moving forward in a positive light. But this year is different. This year I felt a very real need to choose a word that I could live by for the next 12 months. And, in doing so, I found a word that I want to live the rest of my life by. My word is wonder.

I found my word with a little help from a good running friend. We were out on the trails the other day and started chatting about what word or phrase we wanted to adopt for 2021. I told her that I was thinking of explore or discover. Then she said, “I think your word is wonder. When I think of you, I see someone who is always finding the wonderment in things. I think that should be your word.” As soon as she said it I knew she was right.

The definition of wonder is “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.”

In my last post, I talked about how I’ve made a conscious decision to seek out the beauty that surrounds me. In doing that, I’ve discovered so many things that stop me in my tracks and make me think about just how wonderful our world is. I’m talking simple stuff here—coming around the bend in the trail to see the sun peeking through the trees …

Or seeing beautiful flowers dancing on the side of the road during a run …

Or seeing a mound of moss that somehow reminds me of the little garden gnomes from the Disney movie “Frozen” (I can’t explain it, but it makes me smile).

While there is so much that needs our attention in today’s world … so many heavy things … it is my hope that my word will guide me to view the world with a sense of wonder each and every day. And I vow to take that sense of wonder into everything I do—every word I write, every person I interact with, every bend in the trail. I hope you can find the wonder in your days, too.

Here are some pictures from my word discovery run the other day and another new-to-me trail: Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Darnestown, Maryland. Enjoy!

BLOCKHOUSE POINT: This was one of the views from the Blockhouse Point Conservation Park trail. The park is approximately 630-acres and this particular trail overlooks the Potomac River and C&O Canal, which is the path you see below us.
BLOCKHOUSE POINT: Bella was a happy dog and a muddy dog by the end of this run. But muddy dog = a happy dog, right? The island in the background is known to have nesting Bald Eagles. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any on this trip. Hopefully next time.
BLOCKHOUSE POINT: I just loved this tree. According to the Montgomery Parks website, many of the existing trails in Blockhouse Point Conservation Park are part of the historic Civil War complex for which the park is named.
A THING OF BEAUTY: The trails border this horse farm, which gave me a great shot of these beauties grazing on the hill.