Saturday, August 8, 2015
Running in Beauty aka Trail Running
At the end of 2014, one of my running goals for 2015, was to do a few trail runs. I was still in my funk, and thought that maybe if I challenged myself with something new, I would feel the love again (OK I did resolve that issue - see post on Mental Resilience). I signed up for my first trail race, the Crystal Springs half marathon, to be run on January 11, 2015. But then looking around in December, I found myself on the starting line of the Woodside Trail Run, and in for 17K.
Trail running is such an interesting experience, and not for the faint of heart. Besides the elevation, the different distances are marked by colored ribbons. Not for the faint of heart, to me means, be prepared to run alone, through the woods for a long time! My first trail run was full of elation. I loved it! It was a a sunny wintery day, and when I finally got to the park where the race was to be held, I thought I was in the wrong place, as there were so few people.
I got my number, walked back to the car to drop off the t-shirt, and then back to the starting line. I saw people in padded jackets and woolly hats and gloves, but thought nothing of it. Once I was in the woods, I realized that it was a very useful thing to have a woolly hat, as we were running in the shade, and it was pretty cold. Still, I never remembered that for subsequent races, and have always been cold.
I ran 17K (10.5 miles) in 2:26. Yes, a long time, but I did a lot of climbing.
There is also a small 4 mile trail not too far from where I live that has a few climbs and eventually leads down to the beach. I love running that trail, as it is so beautiful to run, and then suddenly see the sea. It reminds me a bit of Cape Town, and makes me quite homesick. It is a very special route to me, and when I run it, it is always with very high feelings and emotions. One day, I'll learn how to run it with just the technical aspects in my mind!
My last trail race was in early May. Brilliant 5 miles. it was a day where the stars aligned, as in great course, good friend to run with, cool swag and fantastic finish for me - 1:12. Trail running is challenging, and sometimes I feel like a tortoise, but I am thinking of signing up for another race pretty soon. I might go run my trail sometime this week too....