Apparently this was a weekend of firsts. This morning was my first trail run, at least in terms of "training" for my upcoming 50K. I did one years ago but I am not counting it because I spent more energy praying not to get lost in the woods and eaten by rabid beavers.
I got an email from a meetup group I am in that there would be a trail run this morning about 1.5 miles from our apartment. Um, yes please. Perfect timing. The description said twice "you will not get left behind". It's like they read my mind.
I got there and was a little nervous that there were only men, but the leader said based on my marathon time, I was faster than him so we could run together. Um, sure, maybe I was faster than him on the roads of pancake flat Virginia Beach, but on these trails we were pretty evenly paced.
This was my first run since the marathon and it was MUCH less painful than my first run after Baltimore. My quad above my left knee felt ... weirdly tight or something, as it did during the marathon, but not painful, so hopefully that will clear up as I recover fully. We did about 45 minutes of running - I forgot my Garmin, which may have been for the best, so I could just focus on following the guy and not tripping over a rock and falling on my face.
Trail running is HARD. There were super tough hills, plus some things I am not accustomed too during road running. I am going to apologize in advance for saying this, but it's the only way I could think of to describe what I did. I have never had to dry hump a rock to get over a stream in a road run. We didn't talk much, and I didn't bring my ipod, and I couldn't enjoy the scenery because I couldn't take my eyes off my feet, so I just enjoyed the sounds of nature. For real, don't read that in my sarcastic voice.
Before I did a trail run, I had some misconceptions, and I think most people do. Several people have told me to just train on the NCR trail. I love the NCR, I'm doing a half marathon on it next month, but it's a rails to trails paved path through the woods. Here's a picture (of one of my two bike rides in the past 7 years....um remember how I'm doing a triathlon in 5 months?).
Lovely, right? However, "trail running" is more like what would happen if Little Red Riding Hood got her head out of her ass, dropped the basket, and took off sprinting to Grandma's house. To further illustrate, I got some pics from last year's Northface Endurance Challenge to show you.
Bad idea. Too much information is a problem. I can't blog anymore, I'm going to go cry from fear.
Edited 5 minutes later to add: I did not take my own advice and started reading the race recap. Apparently I also have to worry about being bitten by a snake and I forgot it's going to be super hot. Terrified just got upgraded to petrified.