For most of the year, I avoided trail running to prevent raising my risks of injuring myself while training for the half marathon. So today, after some researching at the battlefield (no, my efforts to get a hammock hung for me there have been to no avail... I work there AND research about the place THEN use it as my personal recreational area), I went for a run. For whatever reason, I ventured off down our trails instead of staying on the loop.
I think it was the preceding research that motivated me to move away from the road. I had spent a few hours reading about soldiers' accounts of their surroundings, whether it be before, during, or after the battle. I had landscape descriptions on the brain.
I forgot how much I love running through the forested areas (especially in the fall when there is only a 0-5 percent chance that I will get ticks or poison ivy). I found it especially enjoyable (and challenging) after reading those soldiers' accounts. I think I ran faster thinking about how fast they would have ran through there. I also appreciate the fact that I did not have bullets whizzing past my head "as thick as hail" or see forests fall "like scythes cutting grain." Some within the park service argue that battlefields and military parks should not be used recreationally and treated as places of "hallowed ground." But I argue for the benefit of allowing visitors to use the place for hiking/biking/walking/running. We connect to the space in our own ways.