Trail races are done out in the woods, usually on hiking trails. Sometimes they climb mountains and runners have to clamber over rocks and trees. I've never done one. I'm klutzy and old and I'm afraid I'll kill myself! But other runners talk about how much fun they are, and over the years I've gotten curious about what they're like. When the Minnesota Arboretum announced a 5 and 10k trail run I decided to give it a try.
it was harder than I thought it would be to run on a real woodsy trail. My running was very slow, very, very slow. I did the 10k and it wound through different areas of the Arboretum. First we went on the trail that goes through the prairie. We did two loops around that area. Then we went through the woods that led to the Dog Commons. You can buy a dog membership and take your dog walking in this area. We did two loops around this area. The grass on the paths was long, and the ground was very uneven, plus there were some massive hills. Finally we did one loop around the Wood Duck Pond. By the end I was really tired.
I think I would have been better off doing run 30 seconds/walk 30 second intervals, which is what I do for my normal easy runs, instead of trying to run longer intervals like I would in a regular 10k race. I also at times wondered if I would have been faster if I just walked the whole thing! I really don’t know how to approach trail runs, if I want to attempt this again.
I don’t have trail running shoes, but in this case it wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t particularly muddy, and it wasn’t technical, no scrambling over rocks, or anything like that. That would have completely done me in.
I have to admit I’m intrigued by the process, so its probably not my last one. But its probably my last one for awhile!
The next day I was tired but not terribly sore, so I went for a run. My training plan said to run 8 easy miles and then do 8 strides, which are short sprints with recovery in-between. I did easy running for 80 minutes, around 6 miles, because I wanted to start some bagels that morning. I was ok until I started doing the strides. During the first one I could feel my left hamstring. It was hurting, and I should have stopped right then, but noooooo. I did a second one, and started to do a third, but I could feel something start to give way and I finally stopped. By now I was in real pain and had to hobble home and call it a day.
I babied it for the rest of the day and did some stretches later in the afternoon. I’m taking a little ibuprofen, not much. No exercising today (October 11). I did more stretching, and might take the dogs for a short walk in a little bit. I’m mad at myself. I know better than to not give myself time to recover after a hard workout, no matter what my training plan says. If I’m going to stick random races in here and there I need to respect that, and stick the necessary recovery in as well. Now I have to wait for it to heal and then start back slowly. Argh!