I learned the joy of trail running today.
I've always been a road runner. Well, let me clarify. I haven't always been a runner; but, in the past, when I ran it was always on pavement or sidewalks. I never did cross country, and I never before today have ventured onto a trail for the specific purpose of running.
I drove to Oak Mountain with my mountain bike with the intention of riding for a couple of hours. But when I arrived, I just couldn't get motivated to ride in the cold (ok, it was really only about 50 F but that's a LOT colder than my preferred 75, and yes, I admit I am a wuss about the cold.) So, I decided to run.
Much to my surprise, the first probably 2 miles of the trail were straight UP! Or at least it seemed that way. I started much faster than I typically run for a warm up, I think maybe because the ground was so soft and impact-free. But after just a mile or so, I realized that I was cruising along with a HR of about 170 - much much higher than I needed to be. The ground was soft and the air was so cool I didn't even realize that I had been running uphill the entire mile.
Adjustment, slow de eff down!
I ended up with about 8 miles for the afternoon. I walked some, in part because I overdid it the first couple of miles and my legs were already burnt from a computrainer session this morning. This was also the first time I ever had run with a pack, which I noticed much more than I though I would. I reasoned that since I was running in the middle of the forest and there was basically NObody nearby, I probably should carry at least a little water and money (as if I would just happen to run past a store at the top of the hill in the middle of the woods - not!) and phone (no one to hitch with here ;) )
Although it was only maybe 3 pounds, that's 2 % of my body weight so I guess that's enough to notice over the course of a few miles.
I didn't see any animals (no cows there, C), but I was amazed at the silence. I even turned the ipod off for a few miles and just listened to my feet strike the earth. It's such an elemental sound, such a simple feeling. I've learned that the most complicated situations almost always are made easier by focusing on the most basic components. Trees, dirt, rocks, and me. And silence...
It doesn't get more basic than that my friends...
Yea, I think I'm going to like running trails...