Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday 5 - Lessons from my first trail run

It's Friday!  It's been a busy week here and I'm glad that we're finally on the verge of the weekend :)  But first, I'm linking up for the Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy

As mentioned in my training recap, I had my first trail run over the weekend.  It was a bit of an accident so I didn't really research much in advance.  But here are some lessons learned during the course of the run.

1. Maps - Ok, we weren't in the middle of nowhere.  We parked at a county soccer park and the trails were right off the park.  So we kind of figured it wouldn't be a big deal to explore the trails haphazardly.  But once we were out of sight of the park, we might as well have been in the middle of nowhere.  We got lost. ended up on the wrong trail entirely, made it 6 miles and found our way back to civilization, though at a different location in the park from where we got on the trail at the beginning.  In hindsight, we should have had a better idea of where we were trying to go.

Back to civilization!

2. Slowing down _ I learned really quickly that it's important to slow down on the trails.  We pretty much didn't have a choice.  The trails were covered with fallen leaves hiding the rocks.  There were a couple times while we were running that I almost turned my ankle or jammed my foot on to a hidden rock.  At least I managed to avoid tripping on a root!

Leaf covered trail

3. Go with friends - It was pretty isolated.  I definitely wouldn't have been comfortable out there by myself.  It was beautiful and peaceful and during the whole 6 miles, the only other people we saw were a couple bicyclists.  So I was very happy to have a friend with me.

At least we had each other in our sights the whole time :)

4. Being present - One of the things I ended up loving about this trail run is that I definitely had to be more present in the moment.  There was no zoning out as sometimes happens when I run on pavement.  Don't get me wrong, I love the zoning out.  But I also really enjoyed the feeling of having to be hyper-present in the now.  I felt like I was alert but also really able to appreciate the beautiful surroundings.

The trail included a couple beautiful bridge crossings over water

5. Different muscles - It was only 6 miles and it was slow, so I was surprised to be sore the next day.  But I definitely felt like I was using different muscles, or more likely the same muscles in a different way.  There was more balancing required, more side to side than in my usual runs.  And it felt better on my joints due to the softer surface.

The start of the trail looked so deceptively easy

I will definitely be trying to incorporate more trail runs in the future!  I've always been kind of afraid to try it but this was kind of by accident so I didn't have a chance to psych myself out.  Though if I begin to do this regularly, I may need to look into trail shoes and perhaps gaiters since I did get rocks in my shoes.

How do you guys feel about trail runs?