What if I take this path to the right? And then this path to the left? And another left here? Aha, now I have another loop. And with another right here, I have another loop and another one.
One of the most beautiful things of running in the forest is the many paths there are. Some wide, some very small, some almost disappearing. All these paths make for extra loops, and extra loops are extra kilometers.
Slowly the amount of kilometers I’m running is going up. Where I used to run maybe a 5 kilometers and a 9 kilometers on weekdays, I now run 12 and 15 kilometers. But more kilometers means finding new trails as I don’t like to run the same loop twice or even 3 times.
For me, finding new trails is the fun part. There is always a little piece of forest I haven’t tried yet. A path I haven’t taken yet.
Into the unknown
Take this morning. I was on my normal route, but as it was a nice, fresh morning, I wanted to run a bit further. So instead of following my normal trail, I took a right into the unknown.
I guessed from the direction it would take me to the main road I normally cross. Only in this case a couple of hundred meters further on, where there is a bit of forest I only ran through once. In this forest I took another right into a path I had never taken, and ended up on the other side of the agriculture field I run by often.
Just this bit is a loop I can add to my normal route. But I wanted more, so I ventured into a new part of the forest and discovered that from there I can cross over to one of my favorite national parks to run in; the Malpie, next to Valkenswaard.
Finding another loop
I left crossing over to the Malpie for next time, as I first want to find the quickest way to do that. For now I gambled on the first part left, which brought me back to my usual trail. Funny enough, through a side path I’ve never seen before.
As I still had energy, I followed my normal trail to the sluice, and took another right there, instead of my usual left, into a path Sara and I walked once. I just wanted to refresh my mind and discovered that it actually is a really nice path, next to a little creek, leading to some fish ponds.
From the fish ponds it twists back to the forest, and connects to my normal trail. Giving me another loop and another loop and one more to add to my usual trail. This way I can simply play with the amount of kilometers.
The only thing I have to do now is remember which path is actually going where. But as the Dutch runner Dolf Jansen always says: ‘As long as you keep running, you can’t get lost’.