Here are my conclusions after Sunday’s 15-mile trail run
1. I have a lot to learn. In the past I was a bit of a loner who would hit the Sunday long run by herself. But recently I found a trail running club which is made up of truly fantastic people and talented runners. Running for hours with someone is a great way to socialize and also a great way to pick up some good trail running tips and techniques. For example: Have you tried eating a GU before you start a long run? Oh, my goodness! Why have I never tried this? Starting a long run with a jolt of sugar and caffeine isn’t such a bad thing.
2. Bad weather = better stories: The weather on Sunday was perfect for sipping hot chocolate in front of a fire, not for running 15 miles in a forest. But nasty weather increases the bad-ass factor of a trail run and stories get instantly more street cred, Here’s a picture of the first pitstop. Beautiful, right? In a snowy, arctic tundra kind of way.
3. Running up hills is hard work. Running up mountains is even harder. The trail was Steep! Steep! Really, really steep . At some point during the run I felt that if I got tired enough I could have just stopped nd leaned against the switchback. It took over 2 hours and 40 minutes to get across 15 miles and included about four thousand feet of climbing. That’s a lot! At some point around mile 9 I think my legs decided give in, not because they loved the uphills, but because they couldn’t find the energy to complain anymore.
4. Great runs = great showers = great post run meals. This is truly my favorite part of the weekend. I finish a disgusting, long, difficult, muddy trail run. Yuck! I am a nasty mess and you won’t get anywhere near my armpits if you know what’s good for you. But then I get home and stumble into the shower where the tiredness and the mud melt away. It’s a weird mix of feeling exhausted and elated. After the shower comes the post-run mega feast. No food that I eat all week tastes as good, feels as satisfying, and is consummed with as much joy – especially if the post-run meal happens to be copious amounts of thai food.