Running 2013: Week Thirty-six
Finished off August with a mid-morning four-mile run on Saturday. Somehow felt like I was running into the wind in every direction. Not a really strong wind, but enough to make me think, “Oh, come on.”
Didn’t push things really hard until the last third of a mile, but that was enough to keep my overall pace at 8:50 per mile.
Sunday, Sept. 1, I went for my first trail run.
I’ve run on trails from time to time, but never for any significant distance, but I figured I’m going to try one of the Ohio Outside races by year’s end, I should probably give it a shot. The downside is that trail running means driving – just a few miles up the road to Quail Hollow State Park, but that also means I’m putting on the running belt so I can carry car keys. And if I’m wearing the belt, I’m bringing water – which was a good idea on Sunday anyway, since it was warm and sunny.
So, here’s my run as tracked by Garmin:
And here’s what that area looks like on Google Maps satellite view:
From my parking space to the end of the paved “Nature for All” trail was about .6 miles, and I did that at the beginning and end of my 3.5-mile route, meaning I ran about 2.3 miles on pure trail: soil, rocks, roots, and the occasional wooden-plank walkway.
What I learned: Holybejeepers, trail running is work.
I really enjoyed my ever-changing surroundings and being in the shade of the woods, but I was unprepared for the toll the terrain would take on my pace. For most of the time, I was close to ten-minute miles, held in check by the need for short strides, the need to constantly watch my footing, and the lack of downhill freewheeling opportunities. (Okay – technically the opportunities were there, but for a new trail runner, they came with too high a risk of additional opportunities. You know: full-on face plants, crunched ankles, opportunities like that.) The opening and closing pavement stretches were the spots that allowed me to keep my overall pace at 9:33.
And while the park paths are clearly marked, including numerous loops and offshoots, I did lose track of direction at one point, and got to experience the surprise of approaching a landmark only to realize I’d already been there once, and didn’t think I was anywhere near it again.
If I’m going to do a five-mile trail run, I’ll need to put in some serious time at Quail Hollow, but I don’t think I’ll mind.
Year-to-date: 243.3 miles. Today’s the 246th day of 2013, so I’m 2.7 miles short of my goal, but barring disaster, I should be able to make that up this month and get myself back into a surplus.
No comments yet.