Sunday, December 30, 2012

Over the River and through the Woods...

I am loving your comments on the Swim Bike Mom book giveaway!  Inspirational and hilarious!  Don't you worry, I have a pretty awesome (errr, not so awesome) moment I will share with you when I draw the winner for the book.  If you haven't entered yet, go to the post HERE and add your two cents.  I will be picking the winner on Wednesday.

In other news, this morning I hit the trails!  I don't know why but every time someone has mentioned trails to me in the past I had almost no interest.  Maybe I just didn't want to get my running shoes dirty...

I met my training group this morning bright and early at Stone Mountain and hit the trail.  The funny thing is I run almost exclusively at Stone Mountain and have for about five years now.  I see the trails when I run past the entrances on the pavement but have never ventured off-road.  We finally got a blast of winter weather this weekend.  It was maybe upper 20s when we headed out and there were patches of ice on the rocks from the rain yesterday.

I had heard that your pace in trail running is generally a good bit slower than on the road and I immediately found this to be true.  Lots of roots to step around as well as rocks, trees and other things on the trail.  Maybe it was because it was my first time running trails but I felt like I was constantly looking down trying not to trip and fall.  Apparently I wasn't looking good enough because I tripped and fell within the first mile.  It was one of those moments where you think you can save it but the next thing you know you are down.  I hopped back up quickly and kept going hoping no one noticed.  The lesson learned there is you really need to pick your feet up a bit more on the trails - shuffling your feet will lead to a face plant in the dirt  :)  After that I felt like I got warmed up and really started to enjoy the run.  Almost like falling the first time on the bike while you are still clipped in.  Once it happens, you are over it and don't fear it so much anymore.

We went up and down hills, across rocks and streams.  A couple of  sections where you go up and across part of the mountain had quite a few icy patches.  (Stone Mountain is just a big exposed granite mountain -  ice + granite = slippery).  We tried to head up but were having trouble finding sections that weren't iced over so ended up heading down another trail as a Plan B.  We eventually made our way back to the wooded part of the trail and to the cars after almost 90 minutes for a total of 5.5 miles.

I really loved that run and can't wait to do it again!  I definitely see more trail running in my future.  The best part is that it is practically in my own backyard so I can do it any time.  I am only sad that I did not venture out of my comfort zone and try it a little sooner.                          

8 comments:

Kate Geisen said...

I LOVE trail running, especially in the winter bc the trails around here tend to be much less icy than the sidewalks. And in the summer bc it's shadier. And in fall and spring bc it's so pretty. :) The more you trail run the more comfortable you get with the varied terrain..not that I don't still fall. :)

Glad you had so much fun!

Michael said...

I really haven't done much trail running at all, but I think I've decided to sign up for 3 hour run as far as you can trail run in March...so I see lots of it in my future. I'm scared :)

Nice job!

Matthew Smith said...

That sounds like a fun day, other than the falling. I'm glad you're ok! I haven't done too much trail running, but I really do like it!

Mike said...

I love trail running too! I bit it a few times on the first few runs but concentrating on lifting my toes (thanks Jill!) has resulted in hardly any falls. Trail running exercises more muscles too so don't be surprised if you are a little more sore than normal.

Colleen said...

I'm glad to hear that you liked Stone Mountain. Tom and I have driven to Kennesaw a few times. There's a good 6 and 11 mile course that we would do and it's fun, but kind of a hike. I loved trail running - kind of keeps your mind fresh!

Kevin said...

I love trail running. Over time I have gotten pretty good at not falling on my face when I loose balance, but occasionally I still go body surfing

Carolina John said...

Start getting your head around the trail ultra concept. It's very different. I can't decide if I like it or not after that 40 miler just south of you, but since you seem to really enjoy it then you're in for a natural progression.

gajkelley said...

The trails at Little Mulberry are fun although you do have the added challenge of watching out for horse poop. They also have nice cross country trails cut out at the top for a change of pace.