There is a 5K out-and-back I have run hundreds of times over the past four years – a familiar distance, a reliable quick workout, a dose of the magic of celebrated Lithia Park that conveniently began and ended at my doorstep. Typically in solitude, sometimes with input from music or an audiobook and often focused on pace, trying to be a little faster than previous. Occasionally the “out” would serve as the entry way to a longer run up into the hills, chasing friends with greater gifts for navigation of the endless miles of trails.
More recently, on a walk with a friend on this same stretch of land, embracing a shift in pace that has presented itself more frequently in the past year, I was shocked to discover both a road I had never before seen and a massive tree trunk, now crafted into a throne in the woods. Once seen, it seemed impossible to have overlooked them for all the passes in such close proximity, leading me to wonder how I had missed them and what else I might incidentally be ignoring.