Monday, February 11, 2013

Darker than the Dark Side...

Is there anything darker than the "Dark Side", you know, The Dark Side AKA Triathlon? 

I think there might be to us Road Runners....it is called Trail Running. It is amazing and horrible and wonderful and painful and glorious and terrifying and great and awful all at the same time. It is confusing to have all these feelings about one thing to say the least. 

This past weekend my newest running buddy invited me to hit some trails.  I felt the need to attempt to totally redeem myself of the  Raven Rock 10 Mile Trail Race Epic Fail. My first week of half marathon training has gone quite well with me logging a whopping 15 miles. Ugh...that's all?! Well it will only get better from here on out. I did my weekly runs on the road and felt pretty good considering I am definitely starting from scratch with my base. To spice things up a bit  for my weekend long run of 5 miles I headed out to The Umstead National Park to hit the trails. I've wanted to do this for quite some time but had a few road blocks.  Running trails is a bit intimidating to me, especially when they are new and unfamiliar to me and if I'm by myself.  

The plan, at least for me, was 5 miles, but as I am learning trail running isn't always laid out in perfectly measured even distances that allow for me stop on the dot when the Garmin beeps "5.00".  Either way, the run was beautiful, at least the parts I dared to look up and around at. Mostly I was watching my feet so I wouldn't bite it, like I did a few weeks ago (I'm healing up quite well, thanks for asking...). I finished up with 5.75 miles. Totally redeemed myself.

Trail running is a whole new ball game. With road/sidewalk running you just have to watch for the occasional crack in the sidewalk or dip in the road. Heaven knows I have eaten my fair share of pavement, and it tastes, well....like pavement. I really didn't want to fall so I watched each step and am proud to say I didn't fall...not once! Win!

Looking at the elevation I now see why mile three to four was so awful...a full mile up! I need more hills in my life...
Elevation 
GPS of the run

Yes, I took a few pictures of the trail, only when the trail was safe enough (read flat and no trees or rocks to maneuver through, across, over, under) for me. 



It certainly was pretty and a nice change of pace/scenery and I am excited to head back out there for as many of my long runs as I can.  So maybe I wont fight the conversion to trail running after all.... 


22 comments:

  1. Great job! Umstead is no joke!

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    Replies
    1. Nope, you're right, it is no joke! But it was amazing!! =)

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  2. Replies
    1. It certainly was! And I survived! Always a bonus. =)

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  3. I am pretty sure that whenever I decide I am done with triathlon or I need a break, I am going to trail running. It's so much fun. Looks like you have a nice running spot. Enjoy!

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    1. It's amazing! And the best sprint triathlon I ever did had the 5k run on trails! It was a surprise but I loved every muddy minute of it!! AndI was super sore after it too!

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  4. If it wasn't for the fact that my top races require me to be able to handle long distance on roads, I would run trails ALL THE TIME! It's a lot better workout and much more fun.

    I fit in the occasional trail run but I'm always afraid that I'm going to roll an ankle and ruin all my road races. Keep at it for me. I'll live vicariously!

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    Replies
    1. I know, I don't think I can give up my road races. =/ I hope to find some trail races that are less than 34 miles. What's up with all the trail races being ultras?

      Go ahead, live vicariously through me! I don't mind! =)

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  5. Looks like a perfect trail for long runs.

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    Replies
    1. It was beautiful. I thought about the PNW during the whole thing...almost. The trees and ferns made me feel at home. Only thing missing was rain, moss, and mud. =)

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  6. Trail running is the best! Learn to just enjoy the view (even if its mostly the ground) and you'll find a whole new world opens up. I've heard great things about Umstead and would love to run it someday! Enjoy the dirt and embrace it!!

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    1. If you're ever out this way I'd be happy to join you for a run at Umstead! =) I think I can learn to embrace the dirt.

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  7. Pretty trails! So happy to see you getting into trail running. :)

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  8. I do almost all my long runs at Umstead now. Avoided it for a long time because of the hills, but now I can't get enough. So many options with the trails and bridle paths that it never gets old. Hopefully I'll see you there sometime.

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  9. Randomly stumbled upon your blog. I just started blogging a month or so ago and ironically I'm in NC too. Umsteads one of my favorite locations!

    http://realliferunnergirl.blogspot.com/

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  10. I prefer both walking and running on trails. It is more private, more challenging, and the scenery is definitely more captivating. Definitely beats running on a treadmill!

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