To joggle or not to joggle at the Looper Bowl

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you may be under the impression that I juggle whenever I run. This isn’t actually the case, though it’s usually over 90% of the time, so it’s almost true.

In fact, just this weekend I did a 10k(6 mile) non-joggling run up in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, NY called the “Looper Bowl” with a bunch of other enthusiastic runners. They call it this because the run is on the Leatherman’s Loop trail, which loops back to where it starts, and it was on the morning of Super Bowl sunday. It’s a very hilly, treacherous trail with a lot of water crossings(mostly frozen), so it was a lot of fun! I hear it’s even more fun during spring and summer events on this trail, with some crazy runners going through the water waist deep. I may try this next time.

Days before the run, I kept arguing with myself if I should juggle during this run, and decided not to, due to the ice and snow on this very challenging course. And it wasn’t just my own safety I was concerned about, but the safety of other runners. Besides this, my right knee still gets a little sore when I run.

After less than a mile into the run, it became obvious that I made the right decision. It sure was rocky, steep, and slippery in some places(I borrowed my brother’s traction attachments for my sneakers, since mine broke). Still, I am used to this kind of thing and that just makes it more fun for me. Running on flat surfaces is dullsville to me.

I really believe that all the joggling I do pays off. Even when I am just running, it helps make me a better, more confident runner, making challenging terrain easier to handle. Without the balls, I can run just a little faster, and I feel I have more stamina. I also think that thanks to the joggling I do, my coordination is better and my eyes are sharper. For example, toward the end of the run, we had to go through a swampy area with thorny brambles galore. For some reason, I was one of the few runners who didn’t get pierced by thorns or stuck in the thorny bushes. Some unlucky runners legs got really bloody. I really hope they are okay by now.

So if you want to be a better runner, especially a better trail runner, consider taking up joggling. You don’t have to juggle every time you run, but it may help you when you’re dealing with very treacherous terrain, even if you’re just running it.

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