A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, September 21, 2009

River Running


Photo by Wildcat Dunny

Early last week I got an email from the president of the running group I joined informing us that Sunday was going to be the monthly trail run and that the trail head was just a few miles from us. He said the trail was mostly hard packed dirt with some crush gravel sections and some of it was "single track" meaning that you have to run/walk/bike single file. I was very curious about this trail since I'm always looking for new, close places to run. However, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. I wanted to run on Saturday and I don't normally run two days in a row. Also, you may remember that the last time I ran with this particular group I didn't have the best experience.

But, in the end, I sucked it up and joined a small group early Sunday morning for my first trail run. I figured I could just go slow and have it be a "recovery" run for my run on Saturday morning. Plus, it was an out and back run so I didn't have to worry about getting lost. Just in case, though, I strapped by iPhone (with GPS!) to my arm and brought my headphones to keep me company if I ended up alone.

Amazingly, I ran with the other women in the group the entire time! They were going slow (for them) and although I wasn't always right on their heels, I was close enough to hear their conversations the entire time. And, for some of that time, I was even close enough to participate in the conversation! I'm glad, too, because even though the club president had marked the course, we still missed a turn and ended up having to back track and find the trail again. I would have been so angry and irritated if I'd been by myself. Thankfully, I wasn't.

It was a beautiful run. All through woods and along the Des Plaines river. We rarely saw other people and it was fun to run on something other than pavement. Watching for roots, climbing embankments, and navigating through gravel made the run go by so fast! I'd decided to go 4 miles out and 4 miles back for a total of 8 miles. I got so caught up in running with the other two women and enjoying the trail that I didn't even realize it when we hit 4 miles! Seriously, if one of the other women hadn't also decided to turn around at mile 4 I have no idea how many miles I would have covered.

During the second half of the run I was running with the club secretary. I'm impressed with her. She came to running late in life and she said it took her a few years to build up her speed. She was asking me about my upcoming races and goals. When I told her about my 8K on Sunday and how my goal was to pace under 9:25 per mile, she OFFERED TO COME PACE ME. Yes, she really offered to come run with me on Sunday and help me hit my goal times. Hopefully it will really work out because how cool would that be??

All in all, I had a really good run. This run renewed my faith in the running group. They definitely aren't for beginners, but I can tell that if I stick with it I'll make some really good, really supportive running buddies. Plus, the actually running itself wasn't half bad. No unintentional walk breaks (just when we stopped at water fountains) and what I think is a great pace for an 8 mile trail run the day after a 6 mile run. I ate the same mini Clif Bar and chocolate milk for pre-run fuel and I didn't even bring any gels or sports beans or anything with me. Drank some water just before mile 3 and again on the way back around mile 5. If that's the kind of energy trail running can give you, sign me up!



Route:--Elev. Avg:614 ft
Location:Elmwood Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:09/20/09Up/Downhill: [+344/-344]
Time:07:59 AMDifficulty:2.9 / 5.0
Weather:Mostly Cloudy
 66 F temp; 65% humidity
 66 F heat index; winds E 8

Distance: 8.06 miles
Speed:5.9 mph
Pace:10' 06 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 32+0' 265.7-0.3+3 ft
210' 23+0' 175.8-0.2-6 ft
39' 57-0' 096.0+0.1+3 ft
49' 27-0' 396.3+0.4-4 ft
59' 45-0' 216.2+0.2-10 ft
610' 29+0' 235.7-0.2+10 ft
79' 43-0' 236.2+0.2-4 ft
811' 05+0' 595.4-0.5+4 ft
end10' 00-0' 066.0+0.1+3 ft
Versus average of 10' 06 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Lacey Nicole said...

oh my gosh that running group really redeemed themselves, huh?!?! seriously awesome! i was so down for you from the last time. but now you have had a great run! AND you get a pacer?! niiiiiiiiice :)

Lindsay said...

Glad that you're back into running again! Sometimes we fight with run and we just need a few days break to get over the fight and make up. Sounds like this was a great make up!

How big were those hills? Like barely noticeable or you could feel it?

Ms. Incredible said...

That's awesome! Running groups are great - especially when training for a marathon and they have water stations!! Good luck with the 8K!

kristen said...

You go girl!! I'm so glad you decided to give the runnin group another chance. They will make you faster. Trail running is fantastic. And as you can tell - it definitly levels the playing feild a little.

Good luck on the 8k!!! Can't wait to hear about it.

Bayjb said...

Yay! Good for you, I'm so glad the train run went well and you had a good run.

kilax said...

Your own personal PACER? SCHWEET!!!! I can't wait to hear about Saturday's race.

This trail run sounds so fun! Man. I miss running. I think I am going to try again in 2 weeks.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.