Saturday’s trail race was a really fun experience and also a reminder of why I should probably stick to the roads. 🙂
It was a 3.1 mile loop and the goal was to see how many loops you could do in 3 or 6 hours. I chose 3 hours as a way to get my long run in with company and more hills than usual.
I ran most of the race with my friend Nerissa. We kept a pretty easy pace, as most people did. We stopped at the end of each loop to check off our loop on the poster, grab some water and a snack and chat a bit. It was casual but the hills and rocks definitely made it more challenging than a typical long run.
I had to really focus on my steps during that first lap- paying close attention to the rocks and where I was placing my feet. I think of trail running as a great way to lose yourself out in nature, but I found it required so much more focus than my usual runs! I guess that focus prevents your mind from stressing or wandering – it’s a kind of mindfulness with the dirt and rocks and trail.
By the second lap, I learned I’m not great at picking up my feet as I tripped. I got a little too confident in lap 3 and wiped out a bit harder, nailing my knee on a rock! It took a few minutes to walk it off and then I was able to finish the run, but I ended up with a nasty bruise.
We hit our goal of 5 laps for about 16 total miles in under 3 hours. It was only 100 people or so and I learned I was first woman for the 3 hour group and got this fun prize:
I felt like I could have done another lap or two, but later in the day I was hobbling around with a lot of pain where I hit my knee. I iced it Sunday and thankfully it’s feeling better. I also had some delayed muscle soreness in my quads Sunday from the hills! So it’s a good thing it’s a cut back week.
I did some pool running Monday and the elliptical yesterday as I let my knee heal. A trail race when I am in the middle of marathon training (and a bit clutsy) was probably not the smartest move!
But it was a great way to get in some good hills (about 1400 total elevation) and a long run with lots of company.
Do you find you have to really focus when trail running?
Have you ever wiped out running?