Saturday, May 11, 2013

Trail Run!

I embarked on my first, what I would consider, real "trail run" today.  I've run at Fair Hill natural resource center before, but what I've run there is typically a very well kept single or double track road that's mainly gravel with few areas with roots, loose rocks, etc.  There's even a long stretch of pavement I've done before on my loops.  I ran a little bit of foot trails there with heavy rocks and roots, but it wasn't even a full mile at that and I mainly walked.

Now, that's not to say that I ran the entire 4 miles today.  Hardly! There were chunks, particularly during mile 2 that I had no choice but to hop from rock to rock and side step massive puddles and ankle deep mud.  And of course, sometimes end up in nearly ankle deep mud! For the most part, though, I was able to avoid the thickest mud and huge puddles by finding some creative paths.  Like this one:

One of many giant puddles across the trail
If you look carefully, you can see to the right of the puddle is a secondary trail that was much more passable- if you were willing to get a little pricked with prickly bushes.  I'm lucky that there was a young guy walking ahead of me with his dog, because he actually showed me some of the better ways to navigate the trail by picking through it first and tramping some of it down.

After getting through that nasty part plus some, I meandered up into a high trail through some really muddy woods that forced me to turn around because it was nearly impossible to pass through.  But it got me to a beautiful creek, so it was worth it.  After turning back around, I found another trail.  It climbed and climbed and at one point I almost just turned around because it didn't seem to ever end.  But if I had turned around, I wouldn't have gotten to enjoy this:

Running in the middle of a forest
It was so stunning and peaceful.  For a good stretch up this hill, I enjoyed running on soft pine needles with very little rocks and roots to watch out for.  When I got to this area, it finally started going down a little, so I took it as a sign I should turn back I had been hearing thunder in the distance, and I didn't want to get caught in the storm.  Well, I did anyway.  Good thing I hadn't been wearing my headphones, but I will say that my Garmin didn't dig on the rain AT ALL.  It basically beeped continuously  trying to toggle back and forth like I was touching the bezzle.  O well, at least it kept recording!  I was trying to keep my heart rate below 150 the whole time, but there were some hills that I just resigned to staying under 160.  When it started raining I picked up the pace and just ignored my HR because I wanted to get back.  It was the first time I've ever run in serious rain, where I was dripping from the rain instead of sweat.  It was a very interesting mix on my arms....sunscreen+ sweat+ rain water. Yum.   Within a minute of getting back to my car, the heavens opened up and it was pouring cats and dogs, so I'm glad I turned around when I did!

Think my shoes are broken in?
Now that I am freshly clean, stretched, foam rolled, and refueled..... I still have a smile on my face from that run just thinking about it.  It was great to have some time to just be....all that consumed my head during the run was not falling on my face or twisting my ankle- which took a lot of concentration! I brought my ipod along with me, but after only a single song, I turned it off and stashed it in my hand held bottle- I wanted to just enjoy the trail.  And enjoy I did :)

Do you like running or hiking on trails? What do you look for in a good trail?


  1. The trails we run are mostly pine needles and other forrest debris, lots of little rolling hills. No mountain climbing, that's for sure!

  2. Cool journey! I just look for flat with a lot of variety. :-)