Man! Have I missed the boat with trail running or WHAT?! This weekend I went trail running for the first time ever. I’ve hiked, snowshoed and skied trails but never run ‘em. But now I’m jumping squarely on the Trail Running Bandwagon.
This year I’ve been trying to change up my running game a little bit. I’ve felt uninspired by running on the same roads and sidewalks I usually do, by registering for the the same traditional road races I’ve always run. So I’ve picked different races to register for and have been wanting to give trail running a shot. I mean, EVERYONE in Colorado runs on trails (I’m looking at you: Paula, Courtney, Sarah, Heidi, Erin, etc, etc. I know I’ve forgotten some of y’all) so I keep seeing and hearing about how awesome trail running is but have been too scared to try it alone. (Must remember: Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Fate). I knew trail running would be a new, fun challenge that would keep me interested in running.
Lucky for me, Heidi mentioned that the Boulder Running Company had an organized run at Green Mountain and I invited myself along. We ended up running sans group which was probably for the better for my first time, in my unprofessional opinion.There was no self-inflicted peer pressure to keep with the group or run a certain distance. We ran how and where we wanted.
(Heidi’s photo – Her husband took this. See that teeeeny tiny little yellow spec on the trail on the left? That’s us!)
First things first: I had NO idea that 1) Green Mountain existed and had trails and 2) that it’s within 20 minutes of my apartment. This place is perfect for runners, hikers and mountain bikers – we saw many of each on the trails.
Heidi shared her trail running tips with me – go slow and don’t look at your pace, pick your mini-target distance (spot on the trail to run to to stay motivated) and to just keep breathing – and we took off!
We ran and walked equal parts – sometimes walking because it was a ridiculously hard incline and sometimes because we busy talking. It’s a lot harder to talk and run on trails, I quickly found out. At one point, we ended up in a residential neighborhood and had to run on the sidewalk to get back on the trail we wanted – in that moment, running on the sidewalk, I knew I was a goner – trail running already had my heart! Running on the sidewalk felt so boring!
We weaved our way through different trail loops for a grand total of 5 miles. And managed to inadvertently look like twins.
It definitely is harder to run on trails than on the flat sidewalk but I really enjoyed the challenge. It’s the challenge I’ve been looking for, I’ve been needing. My legs and body were way more tired after these 5 miles than my Tuesday/Thursday morning 5 mile runs. (And my booty is SORE today! Uphill running will whip my booty in shape for sure.)
My goal this year is to build a better, more solid base of fitness so I can do the things I love better and longer so adding trail running into my run schedule will absolutely help me achieve that. And running on a dirt trail, rather than a sidewalk next to cars, does not suck. I mean, THE MOUNTAINS ARE RIGHT THERE!