I have been quiet lately, thankfully, the running has not turned silent. In fact, I added trail running to my training last Saturday for the first time. My brother-in-law, who’s training for half Iron men, has been running all his miles almost exclusively on trail races. I’ve heard him raving about it for few weeks.
Conclusion: it’s very liberating running downhills. This is probably the closest I feel to a “Kenyan” as I race downhill with wind brushing up my face! It is also very challenging going uphills. I tried to maintain a “jogging” pace, but found it difficult. I ended up fast walking up the hill. Even then, it was more engaging than a flat road run. There were switchbacks, deers, views, and trees to accompany me!
On my very first try, I went to a local park that I often hiked, but never ventured “deep” into the hills. Armed with a sticky note of miles, turns, and trail names, I set out for the run. The beginning was a flat run, the middle was the incline, followed by the decent, and ended with the same flat run. That was total of 5.4 miles with 640 ft of elevation gain with max elevation at 902 ft. The hardest part was the incline, but once on top, it was worth every mile!
And the down hill was exhilarating through lines of trees!
RECOVERY: I knew the run was taxing on my body as I finished it. I knew I might be in for some adjustment pain. I had to take a power nap that afternoon (which has not happened for a while). I was glad I listened to my body for the nap. I was sore the next day but not as bad as I had anticipated. It was mostly on my hip flexor, surprisingly, not much on my legs. It was probably due to the climb and the decent.
SECOND TIME is a CHARM: two days later, I dragged my sore body out for a short and sweet 2 mile recovery run because I was already thinking doing trail run AGAIN! I wanted to test the limit. So, yesterday, I set out again for another trail run. This time up to the Lexington Reservoir, which I had done in January. I had miscalculated the sunset time and ended up with a shorter run instead, still satisfactory at 5 miles, 575 ft elevation gain, and max elevation at 835 ft. It was still work but I woke up this morning feeling less sore.
LESSON: the more I run/practice, the faster the body will adapt. The amazing human body just keeps adapting! I’m looking to more mix of trail run on my longer runs, as driving to parks and getting situated take longer than just a easy track run near my home. But, the views, hills, and scenery are worth my mile!