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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trail Trials

On Sunday I joined several other OPRC runners to tackle some of the trails at the Palos Trail System about 30 minutes south of us. I'd never run this trail and all I knew about it was that it was hilly and that mountain bikers enjoy riding it. Okay.

We started running around 8:15 AM and already I could tell it wasn't going to be a great run. It was already warm and SO humid. The switchback we took up the side of a hill within the first quarter mile was already a killer and the lose gravel and occasional piles of horse crap made for some interesting footing.

Still, the trail was quite pretty. Portions were through open fields, others through woods. Knowing that it would be hilly and that I'm not used to running trails I decided I'd try for 8 miles (4 out, 4 back) and not worry too much about my pace. I ran most of the way out with one club member and the whole way back with two.

We ended up taking a slight shortcut due to our inability to follow the trail markers so instead of 8 miles I ended up only doing 7.8. Oh well. I'm honestly surprised I made it that far! There were portions during the first two miles when I thought I'd only be able to manage six miles total. Hard to believe that last weekend I ran 8.2 miles much faster and feeling much better. I think that as it warms up I'm going to start incorporating walk breaks every few miles. And just keep reminding myself that my long slow runs during marathon training should be just that: long and slow.

Regardless, I'm glad I went on this run. I enjoy being exposed to new trails and new places to run. Plus, running in the heat gives me an excuse to nap the afternoon away!

Palos Forest Preserve by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details