I like to call myself an aspiring runner. I run often, but I don't have it quite figured out yet: endurance, eating, "carb loading," avoiding injury...I still have a lot to learn. But I keep trying. I keep running. Even in the winter. 

I haven't run a lot lately because, well, it's really cold outside! But this past Saturday, with the encouragement of some good friends, I decided to run a five mile race in a series called Tour de Trails.

The race was at Rock Cut State Park, which is over 700 acres of nature at its best. And I would have never known this if I hadn't started running: winter is no exception.

This past Saturday, we ran through some heavily wooded trails, which were serene, quiet, and picturesque with the snow gently coating each branch. A few Saturdays ago, I went on a 4.5 mile run with some friends around Pierce Lake, which lies in the center of Rock Cut (in my picture, frozen, below). That morning was windy and miserable, but I was soon distracted by hundreds of geese that were floating together on a chunk of ice as the sun came up over the trees.

There's beauty all around us in our great City. Unfortunately, you can't always capture it with an iPhone, as you see below. Sometimes, you have to get out and experience it for yourself.

Rock Cut