It’s safe to say I’ve accomplished something that I will remember for the rest of my life! Sunday April 10th 2016 I completed my first trail run in almost four yearsssss!
It happened quite accidentally or maybe I was just not really conscious of what I was about to do and that’s kind of why it felt unexpected to me. I have my nice little schedule
And there it is 30 minute run on soft surface, so it’s not like I didn’t know that I was going to run. My body and brain literally didn’t process what I was about to do until I threw myself into a jog one foot clammering after the other.
Sunday was the first really beautiful day the east coast has had in weeks and I wasn’t going to squander it. I though I’d maybe sit on my porch, drink a glass of wine and relax after a really long emotional weekend. I started cleaning, must have caught the spring cleaning bug and then the next thing I know my mind has decided I’m going to get back to sticking on track with my training plan. Before I knew it my camel back was strapped on, shoes laced up, and bandana tightened. It was the prefect temperature mid 60s sun shining brightly as I drove straight for the national park. It’s a gorgeous park with many access points, all kinds of terrain, a winding river right in the middle, and of course packs of people enjoying all those things. It’s almost impossible to be anything but calm and happy as you admire the farmland stretch out for miles to the south and the rising mountains to the north-west.
Parking is always a little hectic but after I found a spot nerves threw me into an anxious state. I didn’t register what the distance or the demands of what I was about to do as I walked over the little damn that connects one side of the park to the other mountainous side. Once over and at the bottom of the mountain and beginning of the trail I took off. It wasn’t long before pain radiated up from my weak ankles, fatigue settling down on my frail knees. I thought it was the end. Then I remembered what the training plan had said “soft surface,” I pondered this while I stared down at my feet that were making contact with a paved asphalt trail. Maybe I shouldn’t be running on asphalt yet, should I have started with the treadmill all these thoughts came racing to my mind. I saw a tree to my right with a painted deep red marker, there was an openning to a trail that ran right along the river. My heart skipped a beat when I made a sharp turn off the main road and slipped onto the equestrian narrow trail. It had been rainy for weeks so the trail was muddy but I continued on, my legs falling into stride and my feet finding there way easily along the uneven ground. I kept my head up looking for any horses that may be flying down the trail. Sure enough I had to dodge a rider fairly quickly, but only had to do that one other time. The sun was reflecting off the surface of the river and I couldn’t believe I was even still running.
I continued up a step incline, power walking the steepest part before settling back into a nice steady jog. I was now looking at my Fitbit every ten seconds looking for that merciful number 30. Just as I reached the flat surface of the summit thirty minutes passed. Luckily there was a little wooden bench I immediately began stretching, my muscles were all already tight. I enjoyed the moment there I sat over looking the park, exhausted and exhilarated. I had run.