Well today I finally did my first ever trail run. Before today I didn't understand what all the hype could be about wanting to run on an uneven nonuniform surface with the risk of falling on my head, getting bitten by a snake or stung by a hornet vs running on a nice smooth street and just having to watch out for traffic and the occasional crack in the concrete. I had been always wanting to trail run, but waiting around and hinting for someone to invite me along on one as I didn't want to intrude on anyone's private party. Found out that the regular peeps I run with at the DRC do trails regularly, inquired on it and they sucked me right in. I didn't realize there were so many nature resorts with natural trails in the metro area, thought I would have to drive to the country. In fact, there is one less than 15 minutes away from my home. Today we ran at the LB Houston Nature resort which is about 20 minutes away from me. Here are some observations I made.
1. Gotta get me some trail shoes. For now I'll use my beat up runners until I find what I like. I fell once and stumbled twice. Once when trying to take a drink from my bottle and the other two times I'm not sure what I was looking at. What's funny is the shoes I went in with were white, but after I was done they were grey. Trail shoes I"m told will help with balance.
2. Be attentive to what you are doing. That was a challenge to me especially since I am ADHD. This trail running I think, will help me and could end up being a good source of treatment for that ailment.
3. I was told that this was an 'easy' trail. I can see how because there were no hills and the only obstacles were tree roots which were raised higher out of the ground than others. I can see how other trail locations can be more difficult. I am going to bet that the crazier ones have more uneven terrain, hills and places where you would have to walk rather than run. Not to mention muddy or wet trails.
4. This is the best for summer runs. It was so cool in there. And I mean 'cool' as in temperature. There was one point where the trail took us out of the woods and into an open field. We were quickly reminded that this is summer and this is Texas.
5. Workin' those muscles. I've always known all along that you will work muscles that you don't normally use on trail runs. I didn't feel that today, but I think only because I had been running on all kinds of surfaces like rock, gravel and grass when I prepared for El Scorcho. I do feel my toe that I stubbed on a tree root though :/
6. I"m not going to set any pace records here. That forces me to slow my roll which is my philosophy in the first place. Most of the run was between a 10:45 and 11:15 min/mile pace. I never looked at my Garmin anyway, only once or twice to see how much time we had been running. I could not have cared less. And maybe that was it too. Away from everything almost like an escape from the world.
Overall a very pleasant experience. I will be incorporating bi-weekly if not weekly trail running into my training or just do it to 'get away'. I'm a little hesitant to do a solo trail run though, for fear of getting lost or hurt and no one finding me lol. I have to familiarize myself with these trails first. For now, i'm like a kid in a candy store.