After running the 10K Bimbler’s Bash. Scott Livingston took the photo.

Editing two trail/environmental magazines requires that I go into the mountains, a lot. Which I love to do. But this year I had ear surgery (a success—better hearing) and I spent the first three months of 2010 resting a lot and walking the dog. This spring, ouch, has been a time to get back into mountain shape, something that isn’t as easy as it was back in the early years.

The first formal challenge was today, running roughly 6.5 miles (perhaps even 7 miles) in the Bimbler’s Bash trail race through conservation lands called Westwoods in Guilford, Connecticut. Trail races attract people I understand: those who thrive on competing against yourself and the hills more than the other runners. Everyone is so nice, too (“Coming up on the left!” “OK if I pass?”).

I am an athlete today because of Title 9. I went out for cross-country in fall 1973 at age 14 with four other girls the year that my high school was first required to allow girls on the team. We wore men’s running shoes (one and a half sizes smaller) and we were officially placed on Junior Varsity. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Although it’s been many decades since I could call myself a real runner, I run to train for mountains, and every time I go out I think of the lessons I learned from Coach Larry Ivan, my brother John Woodside (then a senior on the team, today a cross-country coach at the school) and my teammates (Kathy Woodbridge, Jane Frazier, Julie Guard, and Julie Evans).

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